The future is now

The Future of Living: On the initiative of the Center za kreativnost – the Center for Creativity in Ljubljana – the exhibition on contemporary design from Slovenia is currently touring Europe’s design metropolises. On show are sustainable, innovative, functional but also socially committed creative projects.
by Linda Pezzei | 6/21/2021

Slovenia has declared 2021 to be the "Year of the Creative Industry". And since March has been on the road with this idea: Vienna, Berlin, Zagreb, Budapest and Paris are just a few of the 25 well-known places the traveling exhibition "The Future of Living" has stopped off at or will do in future. The focus is on sustainable objects made from local raw materials from the realms of the home, leisure and lifestyle. The creations prove that despite high design standards creativity and cost-efficiency need not be mutually exclusive. For example, regional craftsmanship can be given a sustainable revival using modern production methods and environmentally-sound technologies.

On display is a selection from the 90 objects that in the last two years received the quality label “Made in Slovenia”. They include furnituremaker Donar, who specializes in sustainable (office) furniture, the interdisciplinary creative team Grupo H as well as Mashoni Design Studio that places the focus on product design and brand development.


With its chairs, “Nico Less” and “Collodi” being prime examples, Donar seeks to free the world from some of its plastic waste. All their chairs are a response to the need to reduce CO2-emissions and understand waste as a resource for industry’s future use. As they see it upcycling is a fundamental part of a responsible and sustainable design process: “We are strongly committed to a well-thought-out design and ethical production methods whereby people, our planet and the future of our society are truly at the center of things.”

Chair "Nico Less" by Primož Jeza for Donar
Chair "Nico Less" by Primož Jeza for Donar

This attitude is realized in such successful designs as the chair “Nico Less”, which is made of recycled felt. For the series in the spirit of the post-corona era, in which a stationary workplace seems to becoming obsolete, the designer Primož Jeza came up with a multi-functional rucksack. It also doubles as a folding chair that is easy to assemble and can be used either inside or outdoors. The “Venice Sofa” is another of his brainwaves. Customers can create their own composition in a playful manner from modular elements with an adjustable backrest.

Armchair "Collodi" by Andraž Šapec for Donar

By contrast, the chair “Collodi” – designed by Andraž Šapec – is intended to be a response to the ever-greater problem of plastic pollution worldwide. According to Donar, the design proves that when it couched in a good design sustainability improves the ergonomic and aesthetic qualities of a product rather than impairing them. The shell that rests on a metal frame is made entirely of industrial waste and is 100 percent recyclable.

"Alley" stool and side table by Grupo H for Linden

Grupo H

The creative team at Grupo H likes to roll out its design approach from behind: “In order to make progress it is sometimes best to begin at the end. That’s why we always concentrate on things that are really important to us.” The overriding aim is that of value creation because for Grupo H design per se is useless if it doesn’t work. The solution: simple but effective functionality. Or to cite the designers: “A solution so simple that you really have to say: I can do that myself.” This is reflected in such minimalist and aesthetic designs like the stool and side table “Alley” for Linden. The manufacturer of contract furniture places great importance on supplying furniture that not only offers a high degree of quality, design and functionality but can also be customized to suit individual needs.

Rocking chair "G" by Grupo H

The “G” rocking chair was realized by the design studio itself. In keeping with its purpose, the tubular steel frame, it features is bent into elegant curves while the cozy and flexible seat is made from ropes. And a great advantage of the chair that is truly sustainable is that every part can be replaced or repaired easily by its user.

Ambient luminaire "Vitka" by Mashoni Design Studio
Ambient luminaire "Vitka" by Mashoni Design Studio

Mashoni Design Studio

The interdisciplinary working design team at Mashoni Design Studios relies on well thought through and innovative solutions to meet the complex challenges of the future: “We design solutions that make people think, are attractive and striking and leave a lasting impression.” And they accompany their customers from the concept through to realization – regardless of whether it’s a product or a brand.

"Stellar" by Mashoni Design Studio
"Stellar" by Mashoni Design Studio

The “Stellar” luminaire collection and the “Vitka” ambient luminaire will also be featured in the “Future of Living” show. The latter, seemingly effortlessly, unites functional aesthetics, graphics and poetry in one single luminaire: the slender sculptural body conceals a highly powerful light source that can be dimmed and regulated using a sophisticated sensory electronic system so as to provide the ideal amount of light. The design from the “Stellar” series combines any number of modules with two types of LED units – a spot and a glass sphere with a soft, scattered light. There is also a module in the guise of a vase that turns a plant into a part of the luminaire.