In May the best Slovenian furniture, wood and interior designers were represented in a one-month exhibition called the Slovenia Design Showroom in Italian Milan. The exhibition, organized by SPIRIT Slovenia and the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology with partners, showed both the vitality and freshness of contemporary Slovenian design and a long tradition of making furniture and other wood products.
The Slovenian designers did not only put emphasis on pleasing forms. Unique and aesthetic design was only one element of the integral and innovative solutions combining elements like ergonomics, sustainability and innovation while integrating modern technologies. Many of the presented products belong under the called smart solutions umbrella. Donar studio presented an original sound station chair called Beatnik: an ergonomical chair adapted for audiophiles: it connects directly to modern digital audio equipment. Apart from ergonomics it offers both visual and aural pleasures.
Another innovative solution from Donar studio is Chat Loop: a simple wooden form which could be used as a hideout for receiving phone calls, providing privacy in open spaces. The Chat Loop is partially made from the recycled plastic bottles, offers features like charging any device and provides an option for a simple login phone call with traditional hand set.
Smart Bench from Aklih Design Studio combines elegant lines and sophisticated technology: the bench has integrated LED lights with touch controller and offers wireless charging for mobile devices like laptops or phones.
Mali Studio presented a set of handmade wooden cutlery called Noshi – the shape of each piece is adapted to the pattern of the wood used in order to reduce the amount of waste. Another »zen« product from Mali Studio: handmade wooden bowls. Takete designs and produces innovative lightning systems which combine high tech and original minimalistic deign. EOS LED circular lights from Led Luks and Kubus Interier's Pine Cone and Vita wooden veneer lamp shades also aim at visually pleasing and healthy lightning. Gonzaga Pro's UP table is an ergonomical table with electrical height adjustment. Barbara Prinčič's Cogito Design presented chairs constructed from xilith: an extremely hard material which is a waste product in coal lignite mining.
One of the few »pure« design solutions was Mosquito chair by REX Kralj design. Niko Kralj is a legend among Slovenian furniture designers: his minimalistic Rex chair created in early fifties is part of the exhibition in New York's Moma. Mosquito follows a basic philosophy: simplicity and elegance. A similar philosophy is also embodied in Murales 1560 dining room chair: an example of a simple and ergonomic chair made of high quality solid wood.
Novak Living Design studio »reinvented the wooden rocking horse«: their Googy is soft, well cushioned and extremely difficult to overturn. It combines attractive form, fun and safety. A small town called Ribnica has been known for its distinctive wood products like spoons and spatulas and other kitchen utensils for ages. Design Studio Mashoni & Ribnica Handicraft Centre created a new minimalist version of this traditional product offering both enhanced functionality and modern, elegant form (Ribrand). Another example of a traditional object reinvented: Ziba is a modern rocker bassinet made of thin birch plywood. It is a product of Maechtig Vrhunc Arhitekti studio – one of the most acclaimed designer studios in Slovenia.