Karen Glaser from The Independent wrote last year: „Croatian contemporary design? No one visits Croatia for contemporary design. Not until now – for the new Hotel Lone set in a forest on the Istrian coast, is going to change all that.“ But Karen couldn’t have known that those moments were turning-point moments in the history of modern Croatian product design. A common sense for business and a sensibilized society got married for the first time. These „marriages“ occured in different timelines but each presents a unique storyline that heralds the vision of progress. This two-decades-young European country finally experienced a culmination that gave birth to a design culture that unites business, industry, craft, market distribution and users who buy, love and interact with their products. Although this exhibition isn’t about objects, but common sense & sensibility that resonate from them, it is the only possible future for their creators and the surrounding they originate from.

This is a story about people that invested their goods, skills and passions in various, unknown, therefore risky endeavours despite the recession – believing that their sense will meet the sensibility of many others. We are at a point of time when designers are turning into entrepreneurs (or finally accepting this necessity) and entrepreneurs are getting passionate about design. Frankly, it’s hard to tell which of these situations, until recently marked by predjuce, seemed more impossible. But, here we are, in the age of new poverty, living more modestly and humbly – but we have to start from somewhere and create with more common sense. Because creating and communicating is something we can’t give up, and our love for aestethics is the reflection of the basic human need for harmony.

Design seems like a premise with the necessary empathy for bringing up decisions that make a difference, and this is possible only through creativity merging with common sense in cooperative communities.

Big or small, old or new, everyone equally learns to tread new paths down which nobody has gone before, overcoming their pride and ingrained prejudices. Let’s create a new generation of products and environements that take into account the wellbeing of people and the sustainability of nature. We have to learn that from the beginning, each one of us from his/her starting point.

Tatjana Bartakovic, Curator of the Exhibition