Milan 09: Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc presents an exhibition of her work inside a giant doll's house at Superstudio in Zona Tortona this week.
Called I Will Buy Flowers Myself, the exhibition includes furniture, lighting, children's toys and an electric hot plate.
Above: Konstantin Beta. Below: Mrs Dalloway mini electric hot plate.
See all our stories from Milan 09 MIlan 2009.
Here's some info from Zupanc:
I will buy flowers myself.
Exhibition by Nika Zupanc
Temporary museum for new design,
Superstudio Piu, Via Tortona 27, Milano
Fuori Salone 2009
Precisely measured eclecticism and the intentional search for feminine archetypal elements are the parameters Nika Zupanc uses in her work, although in a notably reserved and occasionally slightly painful manner. Within the exhibition I will buy flowers myself, Zupanc tackles the established attributes which are this time especially inspired by the stories of some of the most famous female literary heroines. Her display space thus opens up through a sequence of spicy comments cast in shamelessly beautiful forms.
The designer announces the basic feature of her exhibition even at the entrance to her pavilion at Superstudio Piu, where visitors are confronted with a black, dotted architectural installation. With its chimney and pearlescent smoke, it works as a monolith that separates the world of objects from the world of forms, thus representing a passage into another dimension. The Doll House was developed together with the company Trimo and Nika Zupanc designed this installation using the numerous architectural and design options provided by the new and innovative modular facade system, Qbiss by trimo.
The pavilion’s interior is suffused with a passionate intertwining of rational and irrational features in a family of six objects that can be read between the covers of The Doll House as the resistance of women chained in Romanticism that prefer to buy the flowers themselves. These are sofas, a table, a toy car, a crib, a feather duster, and , beside that, the Mrs. Dalloway mini hot plate. Nika Zupanc designed this mini hot plate exclusively for Gorenje, an internationally recognized, ambitious, and design-oriented creator of home appliances.
However, this year Nika Zupanc will not be shown only at her own pavilion. The global super-brands Moooi and Moroso will present products with her signature as well: Moooi will present its series of her Lolita lamps, and Moroso will present her Tailored Chair.
The Doll House (above)
AN INSTALLATION by Nika Zupanc
Can you imagine an icon of a house, designed outside of any genre, outside of any architecture? An indiscrete structure standing on the border between the reality of the unwritten agreement quietly signed by the commonly excepted aesthetics and that of the unadapted, wild approach of missed, overheard stories that just have to be told?
An image of a house, where flawless material clashes with a cliché symphony of polka dots. A utopia, where a chimney with pearl-flavoured smoke throws its sticky shadow far away. A monolith keeper of a narrow passage between the world of objects and the world of shapes, making clear that, on the other side, life’s pulse is synchronised to different attitudes.
Here rules are not “selbstverständlich” and offences are regarded as productive. Here the right pose is less certain and difficult issues are served with a smile.
A DELICIOUSLY REBELLIOUS MINI HOT PLATE (above)
Carefully gather all the swallowed words, all the unshed tears and all the suppressed emotions into an elixir of liberation. Then take this dark matter and contain it in a shining apparatus that will do all the necessary boiling and cooking that precedes any decent dethronement of status quo.
Being a single plate, it has a seemingly simple genetic structure. However, this is also all the simplicity you will find. The design and production processes were painstakingly delicate because the “haute couture” approach of paying a dear price for perfection was employed. The mini hot plate now fumes out all the expectations about kitchens and duties and “Hausfrauen”, and redirects your attention to a less obvious intellectual feast. This is an ode to the invisible pathologies of our everyday lives. It is a dedication to our crawling selves that are being lost somewhere between our roles and our images, between what we promise and what we actually manage to deliver.
A SMART TABLE WITH A TWISTED NATURE (above)
Not one, this object has two similarly treacherous sides. One boasts the highest levels of visual existence, but is really all about pure feminine character. On the other hand, this commodity of plastic lineage supports contemporary life with its scrupulous ability to hide and show things at will and, while doing so, to playfully challenge prescribed rules and roles. Yes, for a moment it will be a coffee table or even a reliable tray. But at the next moment – with all decency gone with the wind – who knows?
VLADIMIR, BORIS AND ALEXANDER
A SILENT BROTHERHOOD OF SLIGHTLY ARROGANT CRADLES
Imagine the good old cradle, extinct for a while and now coming back again, stylishly reincarnated in the form of a flawless holding device for ultra-young human bodies. Suddenly all gene sets are displayed with all their deserved respect, and the ever-present issues of love and control are addressed in the most functional way. It will rock offspring gently to sleep, for sure. But this tool will also offer an honourable exit to all the ladies and gents for whom parenthood brought a rude induction into the boredom of visually humiliating options.
AN UNEXPECTED VEHICLE TO DRIVE YOU MAD (above)
Here comes a charming toy-like rollercoaster for you and your delusions. It is actually the compensation for all the things you simply did not do, polished to perfection. Except that it ceases to be comfortably navigable the moment you answer the instrument’s artificial call. There is no serial equipment to be expected, no gloves and no air bags, so caution is mandatory. Although it is an instrument of tiny proportions, this is a poisonous item because it efficiently grooms your vanity into an asset of unavoidable dimensions.
TAPISSERIE AND PHONIQUE
SOFAS IN C MINOR (above and below)
Would you sit down if there were no promise that you would be allowed to stand up again? Well, think twice. A very smooth sitting platform, an entr’acte, is strategically offered to cover the transition from the realities of one act to the one that follows. Its outer boundaries are all hypnotically black, its furnishings are scant and the textiles employed are all flat-liners. But, as so many times before, here these minimal moves are not meant to express humility or even modesty. Less talking is just more told. This is a place where – at last – shines, miracles and virtues play no role.
FEATHER DUSTER ROYAL
The notorious La femme et la maison collection, first and foremost, turned the last sighs of the patriarchy into the cries of the she-almighty. Now comes this shiny noir object, which is ready to offend you with the purity of its ambition. As blunt as a declaration of war and as piercing as beauty can be, it is an announcement of times to come. While it is the kind of news that will cause many things to be reconsidered, it also leaves a little something to be crazy about.
Nika Zupanc is a communicative product designer with a special touch for emotional extravagance. With her diverse range of projects, she extends desires into design through materials, quality and conflict.
In her works, Zupanc deals with everyday subjects and themes that practically iconically personify mediocrity, boredom, and time constraints, and thematize the constructed role of women in modern society with clear and intentional features.
With her design contributions within selected subjects and themes, Nika Zupanc pushes the limits of esthetics and speculates with new visual codes that twist the meanings that already exist or have been defined in advance and, disguised as new technologies, advanced engineering, and an explosion of new materials, lend these meanings completely new understandings in contrast to those they have had so far.
Precisely measured eclecticism and the intentional search for feminine archetypal elements (preferably even those that are considered extremely naive or even frivolous) are the parameters this designer uses in her work, although in a notably reserved and occasionally slightly painful manner. The latter in particular is what lends her creations an original and innovative authorial character that assumed the empty place awaiting it on the international design scene, and that challenges our understanding of modern furniture, buildings, and interior design, and is undoubtedly one of the indicators of trends that will influence the design industry in the future.
She graduated in the year 2000 with excellent grade at the Academy of fine arts and design in Ljubljana. Her diploma work was awarded with the prestigious academic university award Presernova award for students for the highest achievement in the field of industrial design in 2001. After the diploma, she started working as independent designer and today she is a regular member of various product design projects throughout Europe.
In 2004 British Council selected her as a talented young professional in the project Rising Stars of New Europe and in the year that followed she was selected as a national finalist from the field of product design for the International Young designer award IYDEY, organized by British Council and 100% Design.
Between years 2005 and 2007 she was showing her range of works, that have playful yet dark avntgarde edge, everywhere from 100% Design and Designersblock in London , Young talent show in Hong Kong, Review Gallery in Center for arhitecture and design The Lighthouse in Glasgow to Milan Satelitte and gallery shows.
In April 2008, furniture company MOOOI presented a family of her Lolita lamps at SaloneDel Mobile in Milan. In june 2008, Maid chair was exhibited as a part of exhibition Backstage – A side view on Moroso collection in Gallery 113, currated by Patrizia Moroso.
In international press, her work was described as everything from “punk elegance” (Elle USA) and “Techno chic” (BUSINESSWEEK), to “larger than life” (CLEAR MAGAZINE). In 2007, Urbis magazine selected her as one 17 most perspective names in field of art and design. In October 2008, Lolita lamp was featured in the latest design fall 2008 NEW YORK TIMES STYLE magazine as one of the hottest trends in the story House of fun.
Nika Zupanc works and dreams in Ljubljana, Slovenia.