The Centre for Design of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, in association with Tatjana Bartakovic, the author of the exhibition, is organising the exhibition SOLID ACTS – Design from Croatia, in which Croatian product design will be featured collectively at the Milan Design Week. The exhibition will be held in Superstudio Più – The Temporary Museum for New Design 2013 (Zona Tortona) from April 9 to April 14, 2013.

The exhibition “Solid Acts” presents the new design scene in Croatia, one that has been formed since the transition of the 90s. The solid ground in common to the design stories highlighted in Solid Acts imparts new life to craftsmanship, to the use of local materials and manufacturers, thus giving Croatian tradition a contemporary expression through its new design, marking a perspective for sustainable development.

“Solid Acts” will highlight 30 Croatian designers and 32 of their works, classified into 9 thematic units: Born of Architecture, Characters in Solid Wood (Elementary, Tactile, Sensible), Everyday, Forms of Lights, Handcraft Pure, Interplay, New Forms of Known, Sleeping is also Living and Tradition Revisited.

Participating designers: Nina Bacun, Ivana Borovnjak, Lidia Bosevski, Roberta Bratovic, Svjetlana Despot, Filip Gordon Frank, Grupa (Filip Despot, Tihana Taraba, Ivana Pavić), Tea Jankovic, Zoran Jedrejcic, Nikolina Jelic, Luka Jelusic, Iva Frank, Ksenija Jurinec, Ada Kezic, Krunoslav Kovac, Redesign (Neven Kovacic, Sanja Kovacic), Maja Mesic, LHBB (Maja & Mejra Mujicic), MVA Architects (Marin Mikelic, Tomislav Vres), Numen/ForUse (Christoph Katzler, Sven Jonke, Nikola Radeljkovic), Rudjer Novak-Mikulic, Marija Ruzic, Ana Tevsic.

The exhibition has been devised by Tatjana Bartakovic, editor-in-chief of designagenda.me. As well as writing about design, she has long experience in design advocacy and cultural management, as practised in Narativ Ltd.

Exhibition design was realized by Neven Kovacic of Redesign, and visual communications by Hamper Studio, Ivana Vucic and Tom Jurica Kacunic.

The background of the Solid Acts

Tatjana Bartakovic, who devised the exhibition, presents its concept:

Croatian product design is today much more substantially grounded in production than it was just five years ago. In fact, it was during the time of the economic crisis that the key breakthrough of internationally notable projects occurred. They became, as it were, icons of the renaissance in Croatian design.

“Involved at the macro level were three scenarios or design development platforms, which had not previously been in existence to any great extent. One of these consisted of architectural projects that set off the creation of original Croatian product designs for their interiors; the second was the furniture industry; the third was independent designer production in limited editions.

However, a common denominator is the high percentage of handcraft involved in the production, with, in most cases, only a minimum of technology, the place of which is taken by design.

The works, divided into the 9 thematic units, communicate the Croatian natural and cultural heritage – including the tradition of producing furniture in solid wood, the use of local resources, inspiration by natural and cultural motifs in the form of contemporary objects and finally architecture, which generates new products to support its own basic qualities.

SOLID ACTS brings together these common grounds of the works, communicating Croatian knowledge and production culture through new Croatian design.” 

Luka Mjeda, Director of the Croatian Centre for Design, that organizes the exhibition in Milan supports the main concept: “As Croatia went through the transition from a centrally-planned to a free market economy, design emerged as a useful and indeed essential tool in the creation of new products for the global economy. The newly established School of Design produced numbers of highly-trained designers, who proved to be market-oriented, free-spirited, alert and, we believe, worthy of international recognition in the design community. In 2013, the year in which Croatia is joining the EU, our designers will show that the European Union is our natural environment.”