Real-Time Design

12 Days in Serbia

Belgrade’s FIA Art Group, together with Publikum, had commissioned and produced a special calendar for the Serbian public throughout the turmoil of the 1990s, as a way to offer a glimpse of hope and positivity.


karlssonwilker partners Hjalti and Jan, were the first non-Serbs invited to take on this project. Rather than providing a standard calendar design in the safety of our studio, they wanted to put their feet on the Serbian ground so that they could smell the air, try the food, and get an insight into the local culture. Their hope was to create an immersive project that would take place in real-time over the course of twelve days, with one piece of design produced every single day, ending up with 12 pieces: a full calendar. Instead of over-thinking and having the luxury of time, they forced themselves to produce on the fly and to create a public statement that same day, which turned out to be more nerve-wracking than expected.

From their landing at Nikola Tesla airport, being greeted by singing children and traditional dancers, Jan and Hjalti realized the importance of the project, which got their heart rate up and their adrenaline pumping, helping to give them the inspiration that was needed to deliver a worthy final project. Daily trips included visits to various landmarks, as well as ongoing conversations, interviews, and visits with politicians and famous musicians, artists, and all kinds of young creatives. There were plenty of experiences with locals, and of course, the food and drink, which helped to inspire the twelve pieces created in real-time.


This project was the first in a series of real-time design adventures, with South Africa and Jerusalem following.

Few months later we attended to launch of the calendar, a big event in the center of the city.

A book was also produced, bilingual, English and Serbian.

Hjalti and Jan had the pleasure (and distress) to be interviewed multiple times each day from a multitude of media outlets. See how they fared here.

A year later, we returned once again to Belgrade, for an exhibition titled Serbia Remixed.
We also showed a series of large format portraits of well-known and fictional Serbs.