11 February 2011

Kontrastika- Slovenia

This Balkan state has largely been neglected in the month since this blog started. It is finally being recognized.  Finding product design in Slovenia was no easy feat.  I navigated a dozen design reference sites until I found a company that fit in the theme this week.  CEE is all about perserverance.  (Don't forget that FASHION WEEK starts Monday!)

Kontrastika logo (kontrastika.com)
The design firm of interest is Kontrastika.  It is based Ljubljana with Mojca Janželj Tomažič (graphic/spatial designer and photographer) and Matjaž Tomažič  (graphic designer, illustrator, and information architect).  The breadth of their skills allows them to do more than simply design things like furniture.  They also offer visual arts and design.  Their logo is a mystery (which is acknowledged on the website), but the company jokes that no one gets what is means, so they will reveal it at a big party.  I like their style.  

CD case for children (kontrastika.com)
They also have a portion of their site called "Studies and Experiments", which has some interesting projects that are not necessarily products or ideas for sale, but show the creativity of the designers.  The photo to the left is an example of one of their experiments called, "Trashtoys".  They took a book for storing CDs and created a children's book out of it.  I love the idea and have already stored it away in my "for future use" file because I have no nieces/nephews or children of my own.  The experiments are a clever use of trash for children's play.  The designers write: 

"We started creating Trashtoys in the spirit of creative recycling. Polystyrene protecting laptops against damages can be thrown away, or it can become a sail that will make children happy. A no longer useful CD case can be turned into a picture book, which is due to its shape and tactility particularly attractive for one-year olds. We even created a popular Memory game by gluing illustrations on the interior side of old corks. It's not exactly about saving earth from global warming; it's more about our own joy, innovativeness, and the attitude towards the materials that randomly come to our hands."

Kitchen towels (kontrastika.com)
The rest of these toys are very cute and quite practical.  This is trash that any household can collect and transform into something new.  If nothing else, I find the products to be a source of inspiration for post-consumption recycling.  The series of painterly kitchen towels is also beautiful.  I love the idea of making such a mundane object a canvas for art.  I do realize that kitchen towels get filthy and stained, but it's very pretty and would like nice hanging from the oven door rack.  I could go on about their clever and lovely designs and products, but I'm going to let their website do the talking.  If these pictures interest you, check out more on Konstratika's website and recognize the Slovenian design talent!

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