As if the duality inherent in the work of designer Nika Zupanc weren't self-evident, the point is nonetheless made in the explicit and enjoyable self-referentiality of the home page image at Zupanc's website, in which she arm wrestles herself beneath the effervescent glow of her Pompon Pendant Lamp. The image not only implies something about inner demons and personal doppelgangers, it's also suggestive of the state of A&D. I might thus summarize the sentiment behind Zupanc's Self Discipline Installation (recently exhibited during Milan Design Week) as the industry's internal conflict between the admirable push for minimalism and the persistent (and right and good) yen for a compelling aesthetic.
Self Discipline Installation. Designed by Nika Zupanc.
A Spare Office Ensemble with a Sustainable Ethos
Self Discipline is Zupanc's showcase of a handful of impressively minimalistic products that cohere into an holistic whole. The five items on display-the aforementioned Pompon Lamp, a pair of Homework Cabinets, the Homework Desk, and the Homework Chair-each display the qualities of what Zupanc refers to as "a monastic asceticism... the installation of a chandelier, desk, and chair provokes the thoughts on today's key values, needs, habits, and the minimalism of life choices we are able to choose from."
Each of the above objects is food for designers' thoughts. That is, they all illustrate how to alter form without compromising function, how to incorporate re-usable materials in a way that reduces resource use without sacrificing aesthetic appeal. The basic feature of self-discipline that makes that objective possible is an accordion-like niche. Collapsible paper pockets figure large in the twin bureaus and the desk, while the bellows-like flexibility of the chair seat give the ensemble visual unity. Topped off with the similar inclinations of Pompon's vertically-oriented ropelike structure, Zupanc's installation exhibits self-discipline indeed-that of an aesthetically coherent grouping of objects that also says a thing or two about how to design for the future.
Homework Chair. Designed by Nika Zupanc.
Homework Table. Designed by Nika Zupanc.
Pompon Light. Designed by Nika Zupanc.
About the Designer: The work of designer Nika Zupanc has won adulation from such dissimilar publications as Elle USA, Business Week, Clear Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal as, respectively, "punk elegance," "techno chic," "larger than life," and "the real deal." Such high praise from such distinct quarters suggests the makings of a true visionary. Zupanc's work bears this out. During the past three years, she's won raves for her Lolita Lamps (Moooi), her Maid Chair (Moroso), and her Tailored Chair. Her pieces possess a whimsical quality that hearkens back to the past, yet their high-functionality and smart design situate them squarely in the present.