Hybrid Solutions for Modern Life, Work, Exchange, and Play
The exhibition “Young Balkan designers: Here and Now” – in cooperation with one of the euPOLIS partners, the Mikser organization, and the furniture manufacturer NUNC from Slavonia was held in mid-October at the Faculty of Forestry hall in Belgrade, as a result of the competition that Mikser announced at the beginning of October, inviting young designers to explore new furniture functions and space for areas that overlap between everyday worlds: home, job, school, public spaces, entertainment, intimate and communal areas, urban and rural environments and static and mobile experiences.
Photo: Vanja Piroški
The competition received more than a hundred innovative, sustainable, flexible solutions for spaces where the worlds of living, working, playing, and interacting increasingly overlap and change dynamically, and the international jury consisting of Marva Griffin, Henriet Val, Nikola Radeljković, Jelena Matić, and Maja Lalić, selected 60 projects from 14 countries of the region, which were given the chance to cooperate with the private sector.
Considering new or re-examining existing design ideas, observing unique, hybrid functions of pieces of furniture, modular systems, or other service objects, from the perspective of different users (adults, children, different sexes), elderly people, disabled people, etc.), different weather scenarios (by night, by day, season…), environment and social context (open, u closed, private, public), etc., young designers offer future users multiple functions and experiences, support different life scenarios, hybrid and nomadic models of work, they make it easy to create “third spaces”, transform every place into a playground or informal education and much more.
This unique example of cooperation between the creative, educational and economic sectors in the region compensates for the lack of institutional support for young talents for further training and employment in the sector, but at the same time significantly contributes to the regional exchange of young professionals and their visibility on the international scene.
The expert team of the Nunc company among the exhibited works has chosen five projects that will develop the product in the next few months and present the most suitable ones among them at the International Furniture Fair in Milan in April 2024. as part of their regular production program. His witty and refreshing approach to design is now due to cooperation with new designers from the entire region, many of whom have made their debut on the international scene through the Young Balkan Designers platform.
The Nunc’s selection looks like this:
(student project at Academy of Fine Arts, Sarajevo)
COCOON is a product made for pets, but also for people. The goal of the project is to enable people to transport the cat more easily, through the design of a transport bag that would satisfy both the aesthetic and functional aspects by turning the bag into a house or sleeping pad. This act, in addition to the problems of transportation and places to sleep, would also solve the problem of the cat’s sensitivity to changes in the environment, where it would now always have its own corner, wherever it is. It’s a product that brings cats and people together.
FLIP – Folding Side Tray Table
The main idea behind the Flip Folding Side Tray Table is to bring new perspectives to the table folding system. To activate the folded state when the product is not in use. The folded product, with its easel construction, can be easily folded and moved, or just displayed in the interior leaning against the wall when “not in use”. When the product is not folded, it serves as an ordinary side table with the additional function of a bearing.
Pinna’s light collection consists of hanging, wall, and table lamps. Initially, all three lighting fabrics are made from an identical product with integrated LED lights in different positions, different electro-plugs, and accessories for each type of assembly. Apart from aesthetics, the design aims, with its shape and fabrics, to raise awareness of the importance of preserving “Plemenite periske” (Pinna nobilis) – the largest Mediterranean shell, which is currently at high risk of extinction in the entire Mediterranean Sea.
3M Open Space Divider
As companies continue to adapt to new ways of working, the creation of flexible and adaptable workspaces becomes increasingly important. 3M is a modular, multifunctional, and mobile open space barrier. It has three types of interchangeable and rotating modules that can be arranged in many ways to create different zones within the open space. The possibility of selecting the configuration of modules that correspond to the needs of the user makes the product very versatile.
Project Kozlik is a modern version of a fast wardrobe. Ovo je komad manješta koji kombi vešalicu, policu i malo sesto, The Kozlik project is a modern version of a quick wardrobe. This is a piece of furniture that combines a hanger, a shelf, and a small seat, and it also has a hook for an umbrella. The basic idea that you have every day is to use the bag, sweater, or jacket that you wear when you leave the house. You can half sit on a small cushion to put on your shoes. On the small shelf, you can store necessary things, such as scarves, gloves, or dog leashes. The goatee also has a small umbrella hook on the right side and mini notches on the side for a key or smartphone. The seat is unusual. It is impossible to sit completely on it. But you can lean comfortably while standing. Under Kozlik’s main body, there is a shelf for storing shoes.