“This year the quality of exhibitors is the best we’ve seen so far, since those who have applied are well-perfected prototypes whose production is about to start. What is also noticeable is greater tendency toward new technologies,” explains Ernest Nograšek, organiser of the Top Ideas section in its 7th edition as part of the Ambient Ljubljana furniture fair at the Gospodarsko razstavišče exhibition centre.
Among 24 exhibitors - also the largest number in the event’s history - the two most interesting are a wall-installed module that allows the light to be switched on without a touch or a switch and a special chair cushion. The latter informs the user via an app on a smartphone if they’ve been sitting in a bad posture or for too long, and advises on when to stand up to get some exercise.
Top Ideas are primarily intended for young, unacclaimed designers, architects and design amateurs who would like to present their work to the public or come in contact with potential investors and buyers. This year’s participants have offered fewer artisan works than previous years but better perfected products.
The event’s expert jury (Branko Močnik, Dejan Kos and Ernest Nograšek) rewarded three products and one exhibition area as the most innovative solutions: a multifunctional clothes hanger called Kolmio (Simon Bregar), the Homework work desk (Maja Repotočnik), and the Harmony acoustic guitar stand (Tadej Juranovič).
Top Ideas also invited a special guest: Mag LEV Audio, the world’s first floating gramophone designed by studio Desnahemisfera and Topsol company. Its main designers - Dejan Kos, Klemen Smrtnik and Damir Islamović, have also presented Goat Mug, a cup in the shape of a goat’s horn, and had been a Top Ideas exhibitor in 2009. “This is a very good platform in Slovenia, comparable with Salone Satellite in Milan. It’s a good opportunity for young creators to present themselves to the public,” explains Kos, adding that the secret ingredient of their speedy success is persistence: “It’s important for the young to develop their style and stick to it, since that’s how recognition is built.”
Katja Štok, MMC; translated by K. Z.