Belgrade design week is a unique, inspiring and one-off design event in this significant geopolitical area. It is the only platform that is really working toward a positive change in the sense of perception and understandings of design profession in countries that formed ex Yugoslavia. I was honored that I was a part of such a beautiful and emotional event.
Product and interior designer Nika Zupanc became a globally recognised name with the launch of the Lolita lamp, her first object to be produced by Moooi.
Zupanc works as an independent designer who is constantly involved in fresh projects that grow out of distinctive interpretations of modern culture, contemporary design and available technological options. Her products are part of the range of distinguished design companies such as Moooi, Sé, Moroso and Nodus and she works with prestigious clients on a specially assigned projects as was her installation Room of one’s own for Dior. Her praised limited edition collections and installations are exhibited around the world, sometimes as part of high-end collaborations like the one with Rossana Orlandi. Along the way, Zupanc continuously produces objects under her own brand Nika Zupanc and is involved in various interior projects.
Besides the Lolita lamp, Zupanc has designed a long line of signature ready-to-use pieces like 5 O’Clock Table and 5 O’Clock Chair (Moooi) or Tailored Chair (Moroso). But it is her conceptual installations that saw her evolving into an authentic global voice – I Will Buy Flowers Myself (2009) and Gone with the Wind (2010) presented a collection of objects inside blown-up doll house structures that became a hallmark of Milan Design Week. The Black Cherry lamp, now one of the iconic pieces of her own brand, also debuted at Milan Design Week. The installations that followed, Selfdiscipline (2011) and Summertime (2012), mark the beginning of limited edition collections in partnership with Rossana Orlandi, where with a stubborn passion Zupanc examines the nature of furniture. In 2012, her hometown of Ljubljana had the privilege to be the first with an interior designed and art-directed by Zupanc personally. The noir refurbishment of As Aperitivo is an introduction to her new venture of designing interiors.
And, last bit not least, in the grand scale of things, in november 2013 Zupanc presented a wooden structure, a pavillion, A room of one‘s own as part of an exhibition Esprit Dior : Miss Dior in Galerie Courbe – Grand palais inParis and created a Collection III. for young London based company Sé. The collection was claimed to be one of the best collections presented at Milano design week 2014 by Dezeen, The telegraph and The Luxury channel to name a few. In 2015, Zupanc has designed an extraordinary range of pieces based around the loose theme of the Olympics and sports clubs, for Sé. The collection was awarded with Editors award for furniture at ICFF in New York. This year also marked a launch ofher capsule collection of 20 piecesfor japan brand Francfranc.
In the recent year Zupanc presented exciting new objects with new internet-based plastic furniture brand Qeeboo, established by a renewed italian designer Stefano Giovanonni. Zupanc also designed a collection, titled Take me to Miami, consisting of 6 brass objects, for new Italian brand Ghidini1961.
Elsewhere, she has continued to build her portfolio to rising acclaim and in the last few years, Zupanc has become one of the most closely-watched designers at Milan Design Week: not just for her stand-alone products but also for her installations, including Love Me More, curated by Rossana Orlandi.
Zupanc’s pieces carry an emotional charge as well as being exquisitely finished, which is why Elle USA characterised her work as “punk elegance”. There’s a touch of theatre and Film Noir in her work, and somehow her pieces make the user feel like an actor. As for Zupanc, explanation is unnecessary. Her visual language comes from deep within and is about “communicating the things that cannot be told.”