The Slovenia Times

New design centre to pool creative talent


The idea to establish the Design Centre in order to restore Slovenian design to its former glory, was conceived by Zavod Big, a non-profit organisation which has been organising the Month of Design in Ljubljana since 2003.

The centre is to open in April or May 2016 in the main building of the Mesto oblikovanja venue, in the former printing shop of Mladinska knjiga in Dunajska Street. Financing will come from membership fees, subsidies, sponsorships, and open calls.

In the past few decades, humanity has jumped into a hyper-connected world, says Zmago Novak, the director of Zavod Big. "In 2004, there were no social media or smartphones. The general know-how has been upgraded," he said.

According to Novak, designers today emigrate to places where it is not enough to be average and where they are encouraged to be critical, solution-oriented, and creative.

Novak says that even though many companies have their own design teams, the country does not go the extra mile any more and is content with preserving the existing achievements, which does not give designers much room for improvement.

He believes the country should first become familiar with all global trends and challenges, and identify potential talents in order to improve the position of the design profession. But because it does not, it has satisfied itself with the status of a colony, he said.

An initiative to establish a design centre already appeared when Slovenia was gaining independence in 1991, but it was not supported, due to biased interests and the political situation of the time which overshadowed the activities of the artistic milieu.

As a result, those "from the bottom" had to establish it themselves, said Novak. He believes that the country should stand behind such initiatives and that establishments like the design centre are the driving force of a country's economy.


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