ThessDW 2023

Design & Gastronomy

Food, nutrition, diet, cooking, feast, restaurant, taste, meal. Irrespective of language, place, time or culture, these words and their signification are equally powerful, important, recognizable and valuable. They are inextricably interrelated, associated and intertwined with life itself.

Design shapes, in an increasingly dynamic, decisive and influential way, every aspect of the culinary ecosystem and its constituent elements. Aligned with creativity, talent and ingenuity it supports, frames, highlights, communicates, invents images, flavors, smells, aromas, experiences, environments.

From June 6th through the 11th, ThessDW 2023 creates the dialogue framework where the relationship between design and gastronomy comes into focus. Aiming to approach and elaborate this topic in a more comprehensive way, this year's event is divided into four major thematic sections. For six days, both experts and the general public will have the opportunity to interact, discuss, share information, exchange views and ideas and reflect on a multitude of individual issues.

Thematic sections

Designing the restaurant of the future

The restaurant is the prime point of reference in gastronomy as it encases the preparation and supply of food to the general public. The concept of design in a restaurant involves each and every one of its aspects, both visible and invisible such as: the selection of raw materials and the composition of the menu; the serving of the food and its disposal; the architecture of the building and the interior design choices in regard to furniture, textiles, lighting, utensils, table and dish decoration; staff uniforms as well as staff interaction with clients; the visual identity and communication strategy adopted by the restaurant management; the way a customer enjoys and indulges in a culinary experience.

The next generation of restaurant guests is tech-savvy, permanently connected to the internet and seeking high value digital experiences and services. The pandemic has changed consumer behavior and set new rules and practices for gathering, socializing, safety and hygiene. Eating habits, needs and trends are also changing, slowly and steadily at times, abruptly or rapidly at others, inevitably affecting the environment, climate, nature and its ecosystems.

How does restaurant design follow these changes and developments? How can it pay heed to the ways the members of a society and their respective needs are transforming? How does it assimilate modern technologies, innovation, automation and digital transformation? How does it contribute to the sound and sustainable management of natural resources, the reduction of the environmental footprint and the requirements for zero waste? And last but not least, what does the future hold for the restaurant business and what role does design play in all this?

Smart and innovative food concepts

Food, either as an abstract concept or as a tangible substance necessary for the preservation and growth of every living organism, is intertwined through time with human existence and course of life. Strong ties exist between food and cultural elements, identity, memory, history, social structure. It is inextricably linked to key issues, problems or challenges that are matters of concern for organized societies such as the food crisis, the imprudent exploitation of natural resources for the production and distribution of food, the loss and waste of food throughout the supply chain. Food contains symbols and messages, mobilizes the senses, creates human emotions.

In turn, the lifecycle of food is vast. It comprises many and complex stages, processes and procedures, it is directly or indirectly connected to a wide range of professional, social, economic, productive activities. The growing, harvesting, producing, processing, packaging, transporting, distributing, promoting, cooking, consuming,disposing and recycling of food are the milestones of a perpetual journey, in which the whole planet is actively involved.

In this journey revolving around food, the need for the creation of objects, products, services, solutions, systems, infrastructures, spaces, applications, is always relevant. Societies are constantly in demand to access food in a concise way characterized by functionality, ease of use, efficiency, high level of aesthetic and technical perfection, attractiveness and sustainability. The role of design towards this direction is decisive and critical, as imaginative, inventive, original and special design methodologies, approaches and technical solutions can indeed lead to intelligent and innovative food concepts.

Revisiting the origins

One of the dominant trends of recent years in the international culinary scene is the reconnection with local culture, traditional recipes and ancestral cooking techniques, with pure, locally produced, fresh and healthy products, agricultural goods and ingredients. The return to our culinary roots was strengthened by the pandemic. The mandatory and long-lasting confinement and the anxiety over the uncertainty of what the future holds accumulated pressure on an emotional level, which consequently led to psychological distress. As expected, people sought comfort, safety, protection and warmth in the traditional culinary culture which reflects the values of authenticity, family and a more simple and natural way of life.

A restart based on nutritional roots is acknowledged as a contributory factor to addressing some of the key problems that concern humans and the world today, such as, for example, loss of biodiversity, food waste, environmental degradation and climate change. In this case, an important question arises: whether, from now on, this culinary trend should not only be the result of a spontaneous reaction, as it was manifested during the pandemic, but also the object of systematic and meticulous planning, since it lays the groundwork for a more sustainable future.

Thessaloniki Creative City of Gastronomy

In 2021, Thessaloniki joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the creative field of gastronomy, being the first and only Greek city to date to become a member of this important global network. As stated on the UNESCO website, "Thessaloniki acknowledges that gastronomy plays a crucial role in valorizing cultural and creative assets, supporting innovation, strengthening the identity of the city, opening export markets, and expanding professional networks, among others".

ThessDW 2023 aims to support, enhance and further highlight this international distinction, which certifies the importance of Thessaloniki’s gastronomy, the culinary tradition and value of the city and its worldwide recognition as a creative culinary center and destination. At the same time, it aspires to promote and empower the remarkable, thriving and vibrant creative community living and operating in Thessaloniki and the wider region. not only in the gastronomy sector but in all fields of design and the creative industry.

General information

ThessDW 2023 takes place in Thessaloniki from Tuesday, June 6, to Sunday, June 11.

The ThessDW 2023 program includes many and varied activities and events, such as competitions and exhibitions, speeches and presentations, thematic tours and routes, workshops and B2B meetings, award ceremonies, etc. Several of these will be hosted in facilities and venues at the Port of Thessaloniki (Pier 1), which will be the primary event location. However, events included in the program of ThessDW 2023 will also take place in other spaces in the city, public or private, indoor or outdoor. These include museums and cultural infrastructures, studios and creative offices, food businesses and eating establishments, all located in central areas of the urban fabric.

The full program with the exact days, time and location of all events and actions, will soon be made available on

ThessDW 2023 is aimed at professionals in the design and creative industry as well as people in the food, cooking and catering business. Furthermore, being an important cultural institution, it is open to the general public and welcomes all residents and visitors of Thessaloniki.





City of Thessaloniki logo

Event management

Spyros Tsafaras, General Manager
Panos Remoundos, Project Manager
Argyro Barata, Communication Manager
Mirella Menegaki, Social Media Manager
Christina Ioannidis, Volunteer Manager
Tenia Megaki, Exhibitions Designer
Kalina Ntampiza, Exhibitions Designer
Kostas Stathis, Audiovisual Content Manager
Michalis Palamas, Camera Operator
Dimitris Antonopoulos, Curator Thessaloniki City of Gastronomy Conference & Food
Styling: Art on the Plate Πίνακες στο Πιάτο
Dimitris Karakontinos, Curator Thessaloniki Design Gems

Open call implementation support

Cultural Society

Open call jury members (No1)

Thanasis Georgiou
Anastasios Tellios
Ismini Tornivouka

Open call jury members (No2)

Antonis Vezyroglou
Irene Rigopoulou
Simos Saltiel

Visual identity design

Boo Republic

With financial support and patronage

With the kind support of

In collaboration with

Cultural Society logo Mataroa Awards logo

Media sponsorship

ERT3 logo ERT3 95.8FM logo ERT3 102FM logo FM100 Thessaloniki logo TV100 Thessaloniki logo Macedonia Newspaper logo Thessaloniki Citymag logo logo logo logo Design Society logo

Supporting Agencies

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki logo Innovative Environments logo University of the Aegean logo University of Western Macedonia logo One Stop Liaison Office - Region of Central Macedonia logo FoodHack Thessaloniki logo Hellenic Design Centre logo logo Goethe Institut logo Anemon Productions logo Among logo Agro Design logo InCommOn Innovative Communities Onwards logo .fromScratch logo Thessaloniki Film Festival logo Code+ Computational Design + Digital Fabrication Lab logo Plus Design logo American Farm School Thessaloniki Greece logo Major Development Agency Thessaloniki S.A. logo Innovative Design Cluster logo Apodec / Arts Exhibitions Community Organization Design logo


Agora Modiano logo Tetragon logo Whale Graphics logo Butterfly Communication logo NCODE Audiovisual Productions logo


Olympos Naoussa Greek Urban Cuisine logo Bahar Boutique Hotel Thessaloniki logo Gatto Perso logo The Modernist logo Zeus is Loose logo Ypsilon   logo
Pencil illustration
June 6-11, 2023
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