Dezeen Magazine

5 O'Clock Chair by Nika Zupanc for Moooi

Milan 2010: Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc presented a chair decorated with rose patterns in Milan earlier this month.

The 5 O'Clock Chair, presented by Dutch brand Moooi, is based on Zupanc's memories of retro furniture and English porcelain.

The chair is part of a set for Moooi that also includes a small table.

See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category.

Here's some text from Zupanc:

Five chapters of 5 o‘clock collection
by Nika Zupanc



Tito’s tea house, Belvedere Pavilion, lake Bled, Wednesday, September 2009. Just after 5 o clock.

If a supreme commander of an army has a tea house, than you can imagine it is one of very special architecture. And it is. Presiding over an alpine lake it offers the magnificent view and an interior that is so much more than just charming place to drink a cup of tea. Its retro interior stayed unchanged, frozen in time all the way from the 50es. This place is able to take you back in the fragile times of forgotten values, forbidden loves and secret talks. From up here, you can see battalion of life’s that since silently passed by.

And it was there when I first thought I just had to design a chair.
One that would radiate the beauty and the pain of irreversibility of time.


Boys don‘t cry

Window of any porcelain store, from when I can remember.

Since I can remember, I always just loved the traditional English china. With pink rose patterns. My romantic soul just couldn’t help itself - whenever I passed the shopping window of a store, selling any kind of china with pink roses, I just had to stop. And admire. Desire. Many times, there were also boys accompanying me -(how funny, If I rethink that - all of them described in just few words) always very tall, very handsome, dressed in black (well, maybe also dark grey). As a rule they were all architects by profession, raised by dogmatic form, strictly following the function, in love with Neufert and Le Corbusier  and unable to separate themselves from modernistic fantasias. Yes, they all were blessed with an exceptional taste, of course - but in this case they just couldn‘t go along with my girllie whishfull retro, coded in picculliarites of my mind.
And of course  - if something is anyhow forbidden, it becomes even more intriguing. For me, at least.

So there we were,  my china with pink roses and me.
A pair, that always enjoys to challenge the clean, minimal and - above all - safe choices.


The name of the game

Smarna mountain, just before the sun set

I am designer of a strange. And I almost never sketch on paper. Most of my sketches are mind works, invisible byproducts of walking or running. If it is a hill and a lot of trees around me, the designs usually turn out really good. Smarna gora is a hill just few steps away from my home and is my second and most creative studio. One day, somewhere in the middle of descent - I just new it - this is a 5 o’ clock chair!  A chair with roses, resembling the china I loved so much.

Since I loved the name so much, I took it as an assurance that an excellent product will follow.



Home, after eight in the morning and at 5 o’clock in the afternoon

It is the tea that I drink every morning and every evening or afternoon. Japanese one and green in the morning, the one full of herbs anywhere after 5 o’clock. I just love the combination, the attitude, the imagination Japanese have toward drinking tea ceremonies. Their taste, the one that travels through countless unexpected designs and materials, is so overwhelming. Wood with ceramic, colours, combinations, forms. The chair has to have something of that Japan elegance, an unexpected twist in the mixture of materials.

Mixing Japan with English? Very eclectic, I admit.


Moooi of the hearth

Studio, 23rd of September 2009, 15.10. p.m.

It is a story, this one about Moooi and me. So many details, emotions, small steps, inspirations, and tears -no doubt. Lolita was a big step for me and in some ways even bigger for Moooi. To work on things which are beautifull with an extra o is such a challenge. The standards are  high and the parameters the design has to have in order to fit in the collection so tricky and so simple at once. And there are realities to meet: the tooling, the priceing, the earnings. The beautiful problems of a real product world.
So yes, after Lolita, my personal challenge here was simplicity - a chair, made out of lasting, simple materials and basic technologies. Can I be sincere but new and strong at the same time?

5 o clock seemed as a perfect match.
With one klick, it was sent to the Netherlands.
And it was excactly 2 years after Lolita was born. Coincidence? I wouldn’t say.