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˅ Exhibition Overview ˅

press releases

CREATIVA: For all DIY Enthusiasts and Fans of Unique Design

Europe’s largest exhibition for creative design offers a diverse creativity programme

Sabine Loos, Hauptgeschäftsführerin der Westfalenhallen Dortmund, und Jens Oprzondek, Leiter der Cake Akademie, schneiden anlässlich der neuen CAKE DREAMS symbolisch eine kunstvolle Torte an.

Das Queens’ Battle, der einzige Live-Wettbewerb Deutschlands zu Torten- und Backdekoration, hat in diesem Jahr das Thema Hochrokoko. Kaum zu glauben: Dieses Beispielkleid ist tatsächlich essbar.

Ob Suppenkelle oder Motorradhelm – aus vielen Produkten lassen sich ungewöhnliche Recycling-Lampen herstellen. Das beweist dieser Aussteller auf der CREATIVA 2018.

Sylvie Rasch (l.), YouTuberin und Kreativ-Unternehmerin, hat eine neuartige Stricknadel entwickelt. In Workshops demonstriert sie auf der CREATIVA die Anwendung.

Kreativtechniken mit langer Tradition sind heute aktueller denn je. Kein Wunder also, dass auch das klassische Weben im Themenbereich Textile Handwerke in Halle 6 demonstriert wird.

Ostern steht auch im heimischen Garten vor der Tür. Anregungen für passende Outdoor-Dekorationen bietet der LandGarten in Halle 5.

Passende Outdoor-Dekorationen für Ostern bietet der LandGarten in Halle 5.

Für alle, deren Herz für Perlen und Schmuck schlägt, ist ein Besuch der PerlenExpo in Halle 5 ein Muss.

Kreative und österliche Dekorationen für die eigenen vier Wände gehören zum Angebot der CREATIVA.

Creative minds meet in Dortmund once a year when Europe’s largest exhibition for creative design opens its doors for five days at the Dortmund Exhibition Centre (14 – 18 March). The visitor list, which includes not only teachers, freelance artists, creative hobbyists and bloggers, is as diverse and colourful as the exhibition itself. That is not surprising because in the five exhibition halls there is something for everyone who does, or wants to do, creative work in their profession or as a leisure activity. Visitors can get inspiration and advice from the 678 international exhibitors, get tips from experts, buy handmade, high-quality designer and artisan products or even have a go at making a creative product themselves. To even better fulfil the desire for sustainable products and in accordance with the ‘Reinterpret old valued items’ motto, the exhibition will have, for the first time, an Upcycling Area with brand- new recycled products.  A further new feature this year is the new use of the stage of the CREATIVA professional area as an activity stage on which visitor participation in the discussion is firmly wanted. A further highlight will take place at the CREATIVA weekend:  CAKE DREAMS, the international exhibition for creative baking, will open its doors for the first time in Dortmund.

A comprehensive creativity environment on 40,000 sqm with all types of creativity products and methods from exhibitors from 24 countries awaits the visitors again this year. The exhibitor list includes not only numerous companies from Germany and the Benelux countries but also suppliers from France, Great Britain, Uzbekistan, Nepal and India. A comprehensive programme with demonstrations, creativity workshops and diverse stage shows allow a time scheduling to suit the individual taste. A day at CREATIVA will be a true experience regardless of whether the focus is on cake decorating and design, arts and crafts, painting, drawing, upcycling, paper products, fashion, home furnishing, decorative arts or traditional handicraft. Supplementary topic areas are the CREATIVA professional, PerlenExpo, LandGarten and Puppen & Bären exhibitions. New is the CAKEDREAMS exhibition at the exhibition weekend.

DORTEX Design Award opens CREATIVA 2018
The CREATIVA 2018 exhibition will start with a very special exhibition highlight – the DORTEX Design Award. The DORTEX company, a manufacturer of unique woven and textile labels, organises the annual award for people with creative ideas in the textile area. The ‘creative minds’ selected by an expert jury will present their imaginative, unique textile designs in the knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing, weaving, felting, upcycling and re-design categories on the CREATIVA activity stage in Hall 4. The visitors can let themselves be amazed by what is possible with creative methods in six award categories and the ‘Best Youngster’ special category for designers aged under 18. The presentation in front of an expert audience represents only the first important step towards the professional future because the young designers not only get the renowned ‘DORTEX Design Award Winner’ title but also prize money of 10,000 euros for the further equipping of their studio or creativity workshop. The exhibits can be viewed on stands 4.F88 and 7.D84 after the award ceremony.

The colourful variety on the activity stages
The DORTEX Design Award is only one of the many programme items on the large activity stage. Fashion and textiles traditionally play a major role on the stages of CREATIVA. The speakers and Fashion Shows in 2018 prove that classic handicraft is becoming increasingly popular. Claudia Pfeil will therefore present the worldwide premiere of her ‘Scrapology’ show quilts and six far-travelled top-class show quilts that have received several international awards. And Gabriele Moosa will show why Tunisian crochet with its play of colours and ingenious patterns is having a brilliant comeback.

The visitors can also look forward to further extravagant shows and demonstrations for the various creativity topics on all days of the exhibition. For example, the ‘Tanz auf Ruinen’ (Dance on Ruins) shows live and in interaction with the audience how quickly apparently worthless things can be turned into stylish upcycling objects and transforms crown cork bottle tops into keyring pendants. Also on the stage: The ‘concrete expert’ and inventor of modelling concrete. Modelling, punching and engraving, Miled Ben Dhiaf will show the visitors what is possible with the product and present for the first time a worldwide new product, the ‘Modelling concrete ultra-concentrate’.

The topic on the stage in Hall 8 is completely in line with the art and craft motto: marbling, paper work (punching and embossing), design with decorative shrink film (e.g. LED timer lamp, egg, bottles, etc.) and the manufacture of textile and bead angels are on the schedule and aimed at giving the audience ideas and creative inspiration to take home.

For creative jugglers: Huge choice of workshops
Visitors who want to participate in designing should make a stop at the stand of the ‘Bastelzirkus’ (Art and Craft Circus) in Hall 8. Renowned suppliers from the creativity sector, e.g. Posca, Edding and Glorex, will be there on five exhibition days and show visitors in numerous workshops the trends and latest products of 2018 in the painting, handicraft, art and craft, paper and scrapbooking areas. In a Bob Ross Workshop by the Lukas company, visitors will be able to watch how a romantic oil painting is produced on a canvas in only one hour or participate and create individualizable stamps themselves with Efco Hobby.

Handmade Market: Individuality instead of mass products
The large market for individualists is also represented at CREATIVA again this year. Independent labels, young creative persons, designers, producers of handmade products will present themselves with fashion wear, children‘s clothing, home accessories, paper articles, jewellery and accessories that are anything but ‘usual’ on the homemade market in hall 7. The ideal market for DIY fans and those who love unique products.

Exclusive marketplace with selected designers, artisans and freelance artists
Sought-after, high-quality, and unique products and exquisite handicraft await the visitors in the ‘fokus.kreatives.handwerk’ area that has a focus on creative handicraft. A highlight example here this year is the range of exotic products from The company mainly works with materials like silk and ikat with which it makes very colourful and imaginative handbags, shoes, coats and jackets with elaborate embroidery and traditional Uzbek patterns of the Shakhrisabz embroidery style.

The ‘BE CREATIVE in your region!’ (Regional KREATIV SEIN!’) name describes the programme: This is where associations and clubs from Dortmund and the surrounding area will present themselves with creative and sustainable networks. An example here is ‘Dortmunder Herzkissen’ which will offer various small sewing projects: heart cushions, stomach cushions, port cushions and belt cushions for DIY stuffing and finishing. The Unna StrickCafe embroidery club, the German Origami club, the German Patchwork Guild and the DO-Scharnhorst hobby club will also be there.

Upcycling Area – New area for sustainable products
The new Upcycling Area in hall 4 is where ‘creative minds’ will show how brand-new products can be made from apparently useless materials. Visitors can test their own skills at the stands in one of the numerous Upcycling Workshops and find out which daily life products can be upcycled. Mustergültig will show how ornamental plates can be converted to tiered cake stands and vansten-design will show how modern handbags can be made from old coffee sacks. Also there: Upcycling Lights upcycles all types of everyday items into lights.

Queens’ Battle: Live competition for the most beautiful edible dress
Eight competitors, seven female and one male, will make a life-sized dress in this year’s ‘High Rococo Period’ style from coloured sugar paste icing before the eyes of the visitors on all exhibition days. The live baking and cake decorating competition, unique in Germany, is very popular among all visitors. A live video transmission projected onto a big screen on the activity stage in Hall 4 will take place at CREATIVA every day for the first time to ensure that all the visitors can see the participants and how a perfect life-sized work of art is created.

An international jury composed of fashion and cake decoration experts will judge the quality of the sweet works of art. The two jurors from the cake decorating scene are well-known faces. Jens Oprzondek, jury chairman and Head of the Cake Academy will get support from Rome this year, i.e. from the consultant and teacher for sugarcraft professionals and amateurs, Kristina Rado. The freelance costume designer and makeup artist Katharina Kraft and the designer Sky Lange-Ford will come from afar for the ‘fashion’ assessment. Important assessment criteria include the use of the materials, proportions, conformity with the fashion style. And: Would the dress be wearable? The winner will be announced around noon on 18 March after a short look back on the works of art of the previous years.

CREATIVA professional
The ‘Textile Handicraft Forum’, the ‘Playing, Learning & Experimenting’ activity area and the ‘Startup Day’ are traditionally firm parts of CREATIVA professional. The comprehensive, free-of-charge programme is aimed at teachers, educationalists, trainers, therapists and persons with a healing, caring or helping profession and persons who are interested in becoming self-employed in the creative sector. Creativa professional gives the opportunity of meeting and obtaining advice from professionals and experts in theory and practice. Numerous workshops with expert instruction also await the visitors.

‘ACTIVITY’ stage of CREATIVA professional: Lecturing is a matter of the past
The activity stage in Hall 6 has got a facelift: Visitors can now take a seat at the table on the modern and creatively designed stage and participate in discussions on diverse creative work topics in a relaxed atmosphere. The topics range from the ‘one-man / one-woman studio’ to the new digital technologies and include of course discussions about how to make the creative passion a career. The audience is firmly invited to participate in the discussions and ask questions at any time on an equal footing with the exhibitors on the stage.

StartUpDay: Becoming self-employed in the creative sector
Make the hobby a profession, sell creative products online as a side-line or found your own company after getting your design degree? Everyone who wants to become self-employed in the creative sector must first get answers to many questions in order to ideally exploit opportunities and take into account the associated risks. The aim of the CREATIVA StartUpDay is to give answers to persons who are considering a creative self-employment. This day, jointly organised by DORTEX and Messe Dortmund GmbH, is very popular and will therefore take place on the Saturday of CREATIVA for the third time.

The Germany-wide unique concept for persons interested in becoming self-employed in the creative sector offers a whole day of concentrated knowledge of experts from the creative sector who will inform the visitors on the activity stage in Hall 4 and in the afternoon in Hall 3A during lectures, topic discussions, workshops and personal talks on such important topics like compatibility of family life and self-employment, law aspects, marketing possibilities and part-time self-employment. Experts will also share their own first experiences and the path to success. Keynote speaker this year is Ina Fischer, founder, managing director and friendly face of pattydoo, one of the most popular websites on sewing in the German-speaking region.  She will also offer workshops on the JUKI stand afterwards. Stefan Niehues-Ellermann, not unknown in the creative sector, will also participate: He has modelled prototypes for renowned companies, like Ferrero (surprise egg figures) for some twenty years.

Textile handicrafts: Between tradition and modernity
The demand for unique handmade products is large and, at the same time, the trend is shifting to ‘real handmade’ and high quality. The Textile Handicrafts forum in Hall 6 will show that tradition and modernity are compatible. Martina Wolter-Kampmann, initiator of the Lacemaking Network, will inform visitors about the career potential of the lacemaker with education and occupational training for children, adolescents and adults. Teachers will also get suggestions for their own tuition. Visitors who want to gain their first experience in lacemaking or want information on course instructor training should stop at the stand of the Lacemaking Association of Saxony and the Iron Mountains (Sächsisch-Erzgebirgischer Klöppelverband). Under the ‘Dance of Threads’ title, visitors can have a go at making lace flowers and bracelets under expert instruction.

A popular field of the textile handicraft is the quilting and textile art. Renowned artists also offer further training courses for course instructor qualification in this handicraft. A further main aspect is the work with children, adolescents and young adults.

Visitors to the German Embroidery Guild await workshops on spring topics. The schedule includes the making of picots, freehand embroidery and creative eyelet embroidery. The homely furnished Shepherd’s Wagon of the Hand Spinning Guild is traditionally a popular stopping point at CREATIVA professional. Information on wool types, spinning equipment and wool dying can be obtained there. The guild members will show the workshop participants how they can teach spinning to a child or beginner.

The ‘Tuchweberey Widmann’ company specialises in historically authentic fabrics and cloths and want to encourage visitors to participate. Visitors will experience how a tapestry is made on a vertical loom and try out their hand on a horizontal loom and a small weaving loom.

‘Playing, Learning & Experimenting’ for young and old
Besides classical games, visitors will also find the latest products in the ‘Playing, Learning & Experimenting’ area. The FamilyGames club will present interesting board and card games and numerous activity games that can be tried out in Hall 6. Whether it be Adlung card games for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, traditional string games from Aboinudi or challenging games from Erdwind, there is a game suitable for every age group that can also be quickly and easily learned with the help of a trained ‘learning by playing’ educationalist. Visitors can also participate in game contests and a daily lottery with fantastic prizes.
Furthermore, the European Game Collectors Guild will be represented with an exhibition titled ‘Creativity in Play’ and offer diverse workshops with modelling clay games.

A visit to PerlenExpo in Hall 5 is a must for bead and jewellery lovers. A special highlight awaits visitors to this theme world this year: The ‘Wanderlust’ exhibition by SWAROVSKI Create your Style.
Visitors to this exhibition will be able to take an early look at the spring and summer trends in 2019. The company proves once again how sparkling SWAROVSKI crystals can be creatively used in different ways to make brilliant pieces of designer jewellery.

In the Designer Village, internationally renowned bead artists will showcase all types of jewellery and offer exclusive workshops. Antje Hornig (BeadAdventure) and Vera Baumeister (Allerlei Frickelei) are two of the top jewellery designers who will be guests at the Designer Village of PerlenExpo. Vera Baumeister specialises in bead techniques and will present her products with beaded closures and a special three-dimensionality. Antje Hornig, instructor at the Bead Academy, will present her jewellery produced with the freehand bead weaving technique.

A further eye-catcher at the exhibition: The PerlenExpo Workshop Area powered by PADICO. At ‘Jewellery to Go’, participants can create their own, unique necklace pendant or ring in 20 to 30 minutes thanks to a new UV resin from the Japanese PADICO company. The extremely quick-drying resin encapsulates tiny metal flakes, stars or beads that appear to float without gravity and thus create a magical effect.

The LandGarten market in Hall 5 attracts visitors with a wide and diverse offer ranging from plants, accessories for the home and life in the country, design ideas for your own garden or balcony, classic decorative arts, rural delicacies and even rural fashion.

The exclusive supporting programme offers not only best entertainment in the form of demonstrations but also inspirations for the design of the ‘green living room’.  The highlight this year is the master florist Brigitte Heinrichs. With her ‘Masterful Flower Arrangement’ demonstration, she will present diverse creative possibilities with flowers and plants and also reveal exciting secrets of florist work. In line with the Easter days, Heinrichs’ workshops offer many creative and inspiring ideas that make you want to conjure up something special for your home with your own hands. A meeting place to let your creativity in the garden run free.

Puppen & Bären
A unique offer of artist dolls, collector dolls, baby dolls, teddy bears and accessories awaits fans of dolls and teddy bears in hall 7 on all exhibition days. Impressive exhibits here will make the hearts of doll and teddy bear fans beat faster. Visitors can look forward to Bettina Dorfmann from Düsseldorf again this year. Bettina, who is in the Guinness Book of Records with more than 7000 different Barbie dolls will give a free-of-charge value estimate to visitors who bring their Barbie dolls with them.

Keeping in mind all CREATIVA highlights
The overall offer of CREATIVA is distinguished by the huge number of workshops and DIY activities. On the Teslamat stand in Hall 4, visitors can, for example, let themselves be photographed, like in long past times, in the nostalgic photo cabinet. Fans of textile handicrafts can knit socks with the Youtuber and creative author Sylvie Rasch on the stand of the OZ publishing house. In the workshop of ArtNight, known from the German ‘Lions’ Den’ TV series, visitors can be artistically creative, get to know new people and afterwards go home with their works of art in a good mood and with wonderful memories. A must for all (Sewing) Rally fans is the ‘Get READY at the sewing machine, STEADY, GO!’ competition in hall 6, in which a defined running distance must be exactly sewn to qualify for one of the great prizes from BERNINA and the yarn manufacturer Amann Group Mettler.

Visitors who still need a little orientation help for their day planning schedule because of the numerous workshops and programme items at CREATIVA 2018 can get a brief summary of the workshops and stage programme on stage 4 and 6 in the morning of each exhibition day. Besides the Visitor Guide, the CREATIVA App, which can be downloaded free-of-charge from the usual App stores, is also helpful.

Basic Information on the Exhibition at a Glance

Messe Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH

Visitor Target Group:
People who do creative work as part of their leisure time or profession or who want to buy individually designed items.

Occupied Halls:
Halls 3A, 4 to 8

Opening Times:
09:00 – 18:00

Programme (Excerpts):
CREATIVA – DIY and Individuality at Europe’s Exhibition for Creative Design, Halls 4 – 8
DORTEX Design Award, Halls 4 and 7
Activity stages, Halls 4 and 8
Bastelzirkus (Art and Craft Circus), Hall 8
Handmade Market, Hall 7
fokus.kreatives.handwerk (Forum for Arts and Crafts), Hall 4
Regional KREATIV SEIN! (BE CREATIVE in your region), Hall 7
Queens’ Battle, Cake decorating & design, Hall 4

Teslamat, Nostalgic Photo Cabinet, Hall 4
Knitting with Sylvie Rasch, Hall 4
BERNINA Sewing Rallye, Hall 6
ArtNight, Art Workshops, Halls 4

CREATIVA professional, Job, Career, Start-Ups in the Creative Sector, Halls 4 and 6
Activity stage of CREATIVA professional, Hall 6
StartUpDay – Expert Forum for Founders in the Creative Sector, Halls 4 and 3A
Textile Handicraft Forum, Hall 6
Playing, Learning & Experimenting – FamilyGames e.V., Hall 6

PerlenExpo – The Whole World of Bead Jewellery, Hall 5
Exhibition by SWAROVSKI Create your Style: ‘Wanderlust’
Designer Village
PerlenExpo Workshop Area powered by PADICO ‘Jewellery to Go’

LandGarten – Horticulture and Rural Lifestyle, Hall 5
Demonstrations of ‘Masterful Floristry’ with Brigitte Heinrichs

Puppen & Bären – Salon for Doll and Teddy Lovers, Hall 7
Free-of-charge value estimates for your Barbie Dolls

The online adult ticket price for CREATIVA is 11 euros,
The online concession ticket price for children aged 6 to 13 is only 4 euros.
Ticket purchase at
2 in 1: Weekend admission tickets for CREATIVA include admission to the new CAKE DREAMS exhibition, which will take place at the weekend.

CREATIVA is a climate-friendly event.
Climate-damaging emissions are not only caused by air flights. It goes without saying that the holding of an exhibition also involves the consumption of electricity, fuel and materials. The CREATIVA exhibition is setting an example because Messe Westfalenhallen Dortmund GmbH in its capacity as organiser supports energy projects of the ‘Klima-Kollekte’ Initiative, a carbon-offsetting fund. About 13 tonnes of CO2 are offset in developing and newly industrialised countries as a result and the sustainable development of the local population is promoted at the same time.