Selfdiscipline by Nika Zupanc 19.08.11

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Nika Zupanc's latest collection, Selfdiscipline, is rife with the difficult balances the Slovenian designer likes to set up. It's ascetic with overtones of luxury, and elegant and feminine while keeping an unblinking eye on function and purpose. Unveiled during the Milan Furniture Fair in April, the collection comprises a writing desk,
a chair, a wardrobe and a light.

The Homework desk and chair are serious-minded task furniture, however much a first glance might suggest a dressing room. "I have a problem with the look of an office chair," Zupanc says. "[They] are really very rational. When you want a work chair, and you want to have something that is not so aggressive and is a little more elegant or restrained, you are left with not a lot of choices.

"So I wanted to create a chair that would have all the features of a good office chair – it could be moved and the seat could be adjusted – but to do it in a very subtle, elegant way."

The concertina motif from the chair seat is carried over to the desk, which has an integrated, pocketed folder in place of drawers, and the cabinet, which expands and contracts like a squeezebox. Golden handles, feet and castors add a luxury accent to styling that is otherwise restrained to the point of fetishism.

This tension between elegance and abandon reflects the thread of social commentary Zupanc has woven through the collection. "I was trying to see why in history so many female artists and creators failed, like Camille Claudel or Virginia Woolf," says Zupanc. "Male artists always managed to put their profession first, so that no matter what happened in their personal life they always passionately followed their profession." Female artists find it harder to put their work first: "There is no way but self-discipline ... You really have to sit down and work, no matter what."

Overhead floats the more flamboyant Pompon light. "The light acts as this escape from self-discipline," says Zupanc. "The lamps are the jewellery of the exhibition – they are something out of the concept in order to underline the concept." The Pompon light will be produced for sale by Zupanc's own company, La Femme et la Maison. The other pieces are available only as a limited edition for the time being, and are still on display at Spazio Rossana Orlandi in Milan.







William Wiles

quotes story

The lamps are the jewellery of the exhibition – they are something out of the concept in order to underline the concept

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