Open Access

Potential contribution of design in strengthening the regional identity in Southern Slovakia


The article deals with the phenomenon of the disappearance of cultural identities of regions in the Slovak Republic and presents potential design solutions and strategies that can positively influence the quality of public space, inspire and increase innovation in the region. The gradual loss of cultural identity is an unfortunate but an all-too-common reality in many regions of Slovakia. The studied regions of Hont and Novohrad are no exception: here the situation of regional awareness is even lower as a result of the historical development of the area. This is further evidenced by the frequently changing and fluid nature of the boundaries of these specific territorial units. This paper argues that regional identity is alive but constantly changes over a period of time. Identity is affected by various natural and social factors, including climate changes, population aging, and others. Nevertheless, the authenticity of the original culture is often suppressed at the expense of the aforementioned changes. Sadly, only a few regions are able to develop and maintain their traditional cultural heritage under these conditions. However, with the assistance of modern technologies, designers are able to use creative and systematic processes for the positive development of regional culture. This can be illustrated by various foreign organisations and projects such as the Werkraum Bregenzerwald. The regions under investigation have a specific design language which is characterised by a unique morphology and material composition. Although, in order to reveal these signs and the very identity of the region, it is necessary to establish a contact with the local government, the local population and active cultural associations. The cooperation of interested parties in the form of participatory design is a key aspect in order to revive the existing elements of folk culture into a sustainable form with the character of local culture.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Architecture and Design, Architecture, Architects, Buildings, Landscape Architecture, Landscape Architects, Design, Designers, other