Ikon Arts Foundation

Ikon Arts Foundation is presenting a selection of contemporary product design to showcase Croatian design creativity and talent during New York Design Week, 2015. The presentation embraces design professionals creating everyday objects, homewares and furniture, who have been selected to demonstrate the craftsmanship, production experimentation and diversity of contemporary product design practice in Croatia.

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Grupa – Model Light Series

“Croatian contemporary design showcases a unique creativity, giving poetical narrative to a utilitarian, functionalist core that is grounded in the tradition of high modernism. The selected designers show a high appreciation for local materials, traditional techniques and classic folklore, yet remain puritanical in form, and clear in their intention and execution. Their use of technology is minimal, and the focus is predominantly on local craftsmanship and manufacturing, bringing resourcefulness and production experimentation into the core of these products. As a result, these works are truly a contemporary expression of Croatian heritage and tradition”, curator Mirna Morphis.

Ruđer Novak – Mikulić & Marija Ružić – Shift Lamp

Established in 2013, Ikon Arts Foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit cultural organization headquartered in NYC. “Our mission is to inspire engagement with Croatian creative culture by offering insight and exposure to Croatian, artists, designers and filmmakers. We achieve this by way of our online and offline programming that is aimed at creative culture enthusiasts and creative industry professionals”, director Linda Mateljan.

Participating designers are:


Filip Despot, Tihana Gotovuša and Ivana Pavić founded Grupa design studio in Zagreb in 2006. The trio has achieved their Master’s degrees in Product Design from the Zagreb School of Design, University of Zagreb.


Grupa’s product design projects are playful and functional. While having a clearly utilitarian goal, Grupa cultivates an insightful approach to projects, exploring the possible purposes, typologies and materials. The studio has been represented at a number of Croatian and international exhibitions, and product design projects have received several awards in Croatia.

Numen / For Use

Numen / For Use is a collective working in the fields of conceptual art, scenography, industrial and spatial design. Since 1998, the trio – Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler and Nikola Radeljković – have been designing furniture and other objects for Italian and German brands (Cappellini, ClassiCon, Desalto, Interlubke, Magis, MDF Italia, Moroso, and Zanotta).

Ikon_Numen web

In 2008, the collective turned its focus towards configuring objects and concepts without a predefined function, an activity resulting in more hybrid and experimental works, such as the N- Light series and Tape Installation.

Ruđer Novak-Mikulić & Marija Ružić

Ruđer Novak-Mikulić & Marija Ružić began collaborating on projects while studying at the Faculty of Design, University of Zagreb. Their work has been featured at exhibitions around Europe.

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In 2011, the pair partnered with solid wood manufacturer Artisan, producing the duo’s Neva chair, Luc table, Bloop coffee table and Shift floor lamp, for commercial sale. As a design studio, Novak- Mikulić & Ružić are involved in industrial and graphic design, interior and multimedia design.

Miro Roman and Luka Vlahović

Miro Roman and Luka Vlahovic,́ are Roman Vlahović, a Zagreb based duo who deal with design and research within the field of architecture and design. Both are qualified architects having graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb. For Roman Vlahović, the design process is viewed as an “open field of possibilities that do not only question physical boundaries of space, but also provides answers to the phenomena of contemporary society and culture”.


In their approach, they use techniques in which they replace one-way architectural concepts with a series of parallel narratives, thereby provoking new and unexpected situations. Their interest lies in juxtaposing various fields of human knowledge, especially architecture, culture and information sciences.

Ljiljana Kolundžić

Ljiljana Kolundžic
́ is a designer focused on product design, interiors and scenography. Since graduating from the Faculty of Product Design, at the Zagreb of University, she has designed for furniture manufacturer Inkea and founded design studio Milimetar.

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As a designer, Kolundžic values craftsmanship and handmade techniques, local materials, and the relationship between the traditional and contemporary.

Sanja Rotter

Sanja Rotter is a designer specializing in wood and wood-processing technologies. She graduated from a Masters degree from the Faculty of Design, University of Zagreb, where she produced her award-winning Thesis “Wood:Material / Intangible“.

Ikon_Sanja Rotter_web

In her work with wood, she abandons solely rational design methods and embraces the irrational, intuition, chaos, thus dealing with symbolism of form, natural structures’ geometry and order/chaos relationship. In December 2014 she’s been listed Forbes magazine’s “3 need- to-know Croatian designers“.

Svjetlana Despot

Svjetlana Despot is a prolific Croatian designer with over 20 years of experience in a several fields. Her view of design is fun, artistic, and inventive, focusing on eco-friendly materials and styles. In 2004 Svjetlana founded her own brand named Data by Despot.

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Her main interest lies in research of surface structures, and the reinvention of traditional craftwork through modern processes and materials, resulting in timeless design and exceptionally effective user-centric features.