Her work has been described as "punk elegance" and "techno chic" and makes references to the household, especially boudoir and nursery. Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc creates collections that are a mix of La Femme et la Maison and Ordinary Life, Disturbed. Her most recent offerings were shown within an installation entitled I Will Buy Flowers Myself. Can this designer's work be classed as feminine or simply everyday?
Your designs are unabashedly feminine and you draw inspiration from women's roles both in real life and in literature, such as the Mrs. Dalloway hotplate. Can you give us more details about this type of influence?
Actually, I am most inspired by everyday basis: by most ordinary things, small thoughts, which seem unimportant at first sight, clichés, fragments, drop of memories, also those very personal ones, concerning my family and people I love. But than again, I also find the inspiration in subjects or themes that are considered as taboos, things that yet have to be told, issues with delicate meanings. Femininity can be part of my inspiration, as was also very present in this year's collection at Superstudio Più, but not necessarily or always. Everyday life, which has the biggest influence on my work, is absolutely not a "woman-thing." So the intention obviously is not to create a so-called "feminine" design, but the opposite - the intention is to articulate visual elements, which are being seen as feminine and make them expectable and desirable. In other words, I am just designing things that have a restrained, articulated touch of femininity because I am convinced that this is a topic which still is considered as "no go" in the mostly boys' club of the contemporary design industry
The Doll House with Qbiss by trimo modular facade system
The Doll House installation in Milan was very elegant, but seemed to have a touch of the foreboding. It felt as though something "evil" had just happened or was about to - was this intentional? And if so, how was this achieved?
With my works I prefer to ask questions rather than to give answers. The doll house was there for particularly that kind of reason. I just used emotionally strong and visually iconic elements to address specific themes that I questioned inside my work and to make people ask themselves about all the aspects of themes that were opened with the designs, presented inside the house. This black, dotted architectural installation with its chimney and pearlescent smoke worked as a monolith that separates the world of objects from the world of forms, thus representing a passage into another dimension. And of course, this has nothing to do with evil, but you could agree that people are always scared of new things, which are questioning their understanding or opinion.
Constantin Beta Car
Do you intend your toys, such as the Toy Car or the Dolls, to be seen as sculptural accessories? What statements are you or the users making with these?
There is a big difference between the dolls and the car. The first were created as limited edition collection pieces and could be seen as an example of emotional ergonomics in contemporary design. At that time, I began with the idea of reinterpreting my grandmother's doll and I ended up with a collection of identical plastic dolls, which were both high tech and high touch in terms of what they have to say and what they express. I tried to put the statement "meaning determines use" into three dimensions. This work, however, was not just about reinterpretation; it began as a critique on the current state of furniture design. With the collection of dolls, I felt that I was questioning the emotive ergonomics behind all functional objects and furniture.
On the other hand, Constantin Beta is a car, designed especially for the children, but not forgetting their parents as well. The same as my cradles, it is introducing a new level of esthetics into a very traditional and conservative market of children's furniture.
What are some of the upcoming themes in your work?
Currently I am of course working on new projects, but it is far too early to give out any more specific information.