Pop-up Home

What could be more pleasant than to sit in an old renovated upholstered armchair which holds numerous memories and feelings?

How can design be presented to an average person so that it is understood and appreciated in all its dimensions? How can correct attitude to objects that surround us, to furniture, lamps, dishes and small decorative pieces be established? How can a sense for the beautiful and the unique be developed? How can we avoid the banality and devaluation into which we are forced inexorably by globalism and the current global crisis? The many questions that young designers address and put to the world at the beginning of their professional careers... And answers.

What are their answers?

Studio Oblique

By providing added value, their creative potential that needs to be absolutely respected and evaluated accordingly. ‘Everything can be bought in Ikea or Rutar, but those are low-quality bulk products, while we offer unique solutions’, they reply uniformly. And they ask themselves again: ‘Why determine beforehand the life span of a product that is just being designed? Why follow the idea that a new product must be made every month at any cost?’ The concept that as many as possible products of low quality must be made in the shortest time possible, and at the lowest price possible, is strange and unacceptable to these designers. This is the thinking of mass production, which offers no true satisfaction and no true joy.

‘Our products are intended for sustainable use. After you’ve bought it, you take care of it at home; you become attached to it, and you form a certain relationship with it. What could be more pleasant than to sit in an old renovated upholstered armchair which holds numerous memories and feelings? Can anything similar be experienced with a piece of mass-produced furniture? It cannot; it is one hundred times more comfortable to sit in an old upholstered chair than in any industrial chair. It is better to buy one good chair than fifteen bad ones. We are not rich enough to buy cheap things, so we always follow quality, not quantity. As designers, we naturally produce small-scale products. Only when connected to a product in such a way, one can feel permanent satisfaction. With this approach to our work, we also address environmental issues, as we do not engage in hyper production. We want to show the world what we are capable of.'

And a comparison between domestic and foreign designs? ‘Domestic design is fully comparable and competitive with foreign ones. We are a nation of superlatives in design.'

Pop-up Home in Ljubljana

Studio Oblique

And thus, in the light of such thinking and beliefs, an old, three-hundred-square-metre middle-class apartment in the centre of Ljubljana was for one month turned into an environment for the unconventional ideas of young Slovenian creators, the most promising Slovenians designing production and unique items, fashion, food and even works of art. With various daily events taking place until 18 November, the Home stimulated and upgraded the creative potential of Ljubljana.

This temporary home, also named the Pop-up Home, had the same living spaces as other apartments – a dining room, a bedroom, a living room, etc. The central spot in the living room was taken up by an innovative lamp by Tilen Sepič which creates light with a magnifying glass. The main item in the bedroom was a comfortable bed by Nuša Jelenc , with unique soft foam collar-like sides that can be rolled up or down, which impressed the Italian producer Lago so much that they have included it in their programme. The walls were decorated by Mina Fina ’s drawings; the clothes folded in the pile belonged to Nika Ravnik  and Kristina Lovko . Various ceramic items on the shelves were by Studio Oblique , which includes Katarina Müller, Anja Radović and Katja Špiler, and ceramic products by Dan Adlešič and Dijana Šmigoc.

'The entire installation represented a home in which products were placed in an actual environment', says Marko Orel, one of the coordinators of the event, who is also a member of the group Creative Zone Šiška. The original idea for this pop-up originated several months ago with a group of designers united under the name Rompom, who set up a shop for one month in a middle-class apartment.

Craftsmanship is very important in creation. Unfortunately, the attitude to the process of making creations in our society is negative, unlike abroad – in Scandinavia, for example – where craftsmanship has its value and tradition, according to designers.  Such a sales exhibition is certainly useful for designers’ visibility, to be noticed and to attract attention. Only few people visit an art gallery, primarily scarce art lovers and experts, and thus the idea of relocation from a gallery to an apartment, as in this case, is more attractive to the broader public. The designers are striving to bring design to users; that is, to bring it to the average person. Hallways, pavements and vacant buildings are becoming more and more frequent exhibition venues in the world, although in Slovenia, this kind of presentation is still in its early days.

Text by Vesna Žarkovič
Photo: Studio Oblique