“The fact is that we cannot rely on the outside world to make us happy and that nurturing our homes, our bodies, and our minds at all times is what makes the necessary foundations for a prosperous life. Therefore, surrounding ourselves with collectible items that keep us excited and inspired is what we should all be aiming for…”
– Anja Radović & Urška Krivograd, co-curators of “VOYAGE”
All images courtesy of the designers; 3D renders by DA GHORABEKA, styled by Martin Clausen.
Piled high and set askew in a reflection of our contemporary experience of self-isolation, “VOYAGE” visualises the adjustments we have made to our living spaces over the last year to function for a variety of needs. This inaugural collection from Slovenia is based on Xavier de Maistre’s 1790 novel, “A Journey Around My Room”, in which the author makes the best of a 42 day confinement by exploring and documenting his room as a travel journal. In a similar manner to de Maistre’s experience, our homes have become hybrid spaces – where we have worked, learned, lived, relaxed, exercised, socialised, and much more – addressing needs normally accommodated elsewhere. Our journey through these adaptations has been individual, revealing our personal necessities for wellbeing, enjoyment, and familiarity during this time.
Through the work of eleven established and emerging makers, curators Anja Radović and Urška Krivograd, of the Centre for Creativity and Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO)‘s Biennial of Design/BIO27, draw attention to how our relationships to home and the objects we surround ourselves with have changed over the last year. Whether playful, spiritual, contemplative, or purely functional, these pieces tell a range of stories about the investigation of processes, materials, forms, functions, and aesthetics. In their creation, their makers have honed in on process, embracing their own journeys through the use of hands-on and small-scale approaches. In selecting pieces for this collection, Radović and Krivograd emphasise that “[they] wanted to focus more on the bright side of the experience we went through: to embrace what we already have, [celebrating] and [finding] inspiration in the objects that decorate our homes and [made] it easier for our minds to relax, wonder, and travel”.
The curated selection of Slovenian collectible designs was created as a collaboration between Center for Creativity and the upcoming Biennial of Design/BIO27, both under the auspices of MAO/Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana.
Interview with co-curators Anja Radović & Urška Krivograd
Which three words would you use to describe the contemporary collectible design scene in Slovenia?
Playful – We were looking for designs that play with form, colour, are fun, and offer various possibilities for interaction.
Young – By mapping a collectible design scene in Slovenia, we decided for this collection to present younger generations of designers.
Diverse – The designers we selected work with a variety of techniques, materials, styles, and approaches, creating objects that would be a great addition to any interior.
How have you approached the curation of “VOYAGE”?
In the last year, we have had to satisfy our longing for travelling and getting to know new places and people by exploring more and less familiar spaces within ourselves and our homes. Although words such as ‘lockdown’, ‘quarantine’ and ‘self-isolation’ have a negative connotation, we wanted to focus more on the bright side of the experience we went through: to embrace what we already have, [celebrating] and [finding] inspiration in objects that decorate our homes and are making it easier for our minds to relax, wonder, and travel.
Gašper Kunšič, “AWKWARD SILENCE (CLOCK)”
This collection reflects the realities and uncertainties of the last year and how our living spaces have been transformed. In what ways are these themes illustrated in the pieces presented in the collection?
In each selected item, we recognised a story or motif that evokes feelings of domesticity, cosiness, and familiarity and [that] this last pandemic year has shown us how incredibly valuable and necessary those notions are. The fact is that we cannot rely on the outside world to make us happy and that nurturing our homes, our bodies, and our minds at all times is what makes the necessary foundations for a prosperous life. Therefore, surrounding ourselves with collectible items that keep us excited and inspired is what we should all be aiming for: fill your vases with flower bouquets and bring the season into your home; expand your book or plant collection with a shelf unit; keep warm with a rug, pillowcase, and blanket made from organic wool; and stage your culinary achievements or fruit compositions using a totem. Bon voyage!
Your curatorial statement references a turn towards more hands-on and small-scale processes. From your point of view as curators, how has this last year affected how designers in Slovenia approach their practices?
Designers spent more time experimenting, developing new or realising old ideas, planning for the future, and dedicating more time to production. Physical events they had planned were mostly canceled and they spent more time developing digital strategies and communication.
From the traditional ceramic form of Kolektiv DVA’s “Vase No. 16” to Brajak Vitberg’s polychromatic “Isola Console Table” to the texture and tactility of Kobeiagi Kilims’s “Baja Kilim”, there is a range in style, technique, and use of material in this collection. Which aspects of “VOYAGE” are you most excited to share with the Adorno audience?
We are most excited about the fact that this is the first Adorno online exhibition representing Slovenian collectible design, as one of the main activities of the Centre for Creativity and MAO is to give our designers working in this field international recognition and support to further develop, produce, and exhibit their work.
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