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Ambient Ljubljana - Furniture Fair

10. 11. 2011
With this morning’s awards ceremony, the doors of the 22nd Furniture Fair Ambient Ljubljana officially opened. As in previous years, Top Ten prizes and other awards for best creative achievements in the field of design were presented. This year, the top prize among the 10 was awarded to the Istra cabinet made of solid wood, designed by Toni Kancilja and manufactured by Mitja Bolčič, Mizarstvo Bolčič.

Blaž Kavčič, MSc, President of the National Council of Republic of Slovenia, officially opened this year’s largest international exhibition of furniture and interior design in Slovenia, which presents 297 companies from 19 countries on 25,300 m2 of exhibition surfaces. He described furniture as goods, which accompany us throughout our lives and even influence our personal development and impact our health. »The Furniture Fair is the best opportunity for wishes, ideas, knowledge and development, boldness, creativity and innovation of individuals and companies from various professional environments to meet under one roof. The sector in which Slovenia lacks behind is insufficient control of the comprehensive business process – from design of a product to its marketing positioning, trademark, marketing, manufacture, supply and financing. Particularly in relation to wood products, including furniture, the issue is very pressing and clearly present.« Recent analyses show that the forestry activity of the last 10 years does not contribute to a single percent of the GDP. Additionally, Mr. Kavčič emphasised that we even lost 30,000 jobs in the wood processing industry sector. »It is crucial for our economy to process wood at home to the highest possible added value and to sell it abroad as a high-quality end product.«

In evaluating the quality of design of the exhibited furniture, the international Top 10 jury (Doris Köfer, Austria, Marco Marangone, Italy, Marijan Orešić, Croatia, Vladimir Pezdirc, Slovenia, Jure Miklavc, Slovenia) presided over by Prof. Janez Koželj, Deputy Mayor of the City Municipality of Ljubljana, was guided by the following criteria: simplicity, user friendly and environmentally friendly solutions, incorporation of social, environmental and functional issues in the design of products, technological and aesthetic novelties, and new possibilities the products can offer. »The selected items improve a whole set of functional issues of our daily life and are distinguished by their care for the highest level of perfection and precision in execution. The most prestigious award was presented for the product, which conveys with the greatest conviction the clear and unambiguous message indicating the direction of furniture development and its future«, explained Prof. Koželj.

»The best designed and manufactured product Istra, a solid wood cabinet, proves that wood represents an immense source of inspiration to the designer. Although wood may be used in various combinations and forms, let them be organic or geometric, its natural properties are always expressed. The designer of the awarded product used wood in a manner to preserve its characteristics of a living, organic part of nature, together with its record of life, and thus creating direct and consistently achieved useful form, without unnecessary additions or ornaments«, stated the Top 10 Jury in its explanation.

The Top 10 prizes of the 22nd Ambient Ljubljana – Furniture Fair were presented to:

· Donar d.o.o., chair Sayl, designed by Yves Behar
· Mizarstvo Bolčič, Mitja Bolčič s.p., cabinet Istra, designed by Toni Kancilja
· Mizarstvo Bolčič, Mitja Bolčič s.p., table Privid, designed by Toni Kancilja
· Pohištvo Potočnik, Aleš Potočnik s.p., kitchen Domino, designed by Julijan Krapež
· SVEA lesna industrija, d.d., kitchen programme Morea, designed by Darko Šurin
· Maremico d.o.o., water mattress Aquaspring, designed by Emil and Valentin Marinšek
· Kolpa d.d., Metlika, product Flat Form, designed by Dejan Kos
· TEM Čatež d.o.o., series of switches Pure, designed by Borut Dvornik
· Tapetništvo Novak, Robert Novak s.p., rocking horse Googy, designed by Nina Mihovec
· Brest pohištvo d.o.o., multifunctional programme Altera, designed by Matej Velušček

The multifunctional programme Altera by the company Brest pohištvo d.o.o., designed by Matej Velušček, also received the Golden Plaque of the Naš dom magazine for the furniture of a Slovenian manufacturer, with whose products it is possible to most functionally furnish a dwelling either partially or entirely:

»The multifunctional programme Altera offers particularly thoughtfully designed elements, which may be used to furnish a small apartment. At the first glance a simply designed living room can be transformed into a home office, bedroom or dining room with a minimum intervention; the furniture is modular, elements are multifunctional and compatible. Brest has developed its own lifting mechanisms for raising the table and lowering the bed that function elegantly and smoothly, without any additional force. The programme embodies the essence of the Naš dom Golden Plaque«, stated the members of the jury of the Naš dom magazine from Večer publishing house in their explanation..

At the opening ceremony, the prize for the most innovative architectural solution for a residence for a young family as part of the Architectural dialogue project was presented to an architecture student Manja Bergant. Architectural dialogue takes place for the 4th year and runs in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture of University of Ljubljana, the Deloindom magazine (a supplement of newspapers Delo and Slovenske novice), and GR - Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre.

At tonight's reception for exhibitors, the prizes for the Best Exhibition Space and the prize of the Designers Society of Slovenia will also be presented.

The Fair is not only an exhibition offering visitors an overview of achievements and latest trends in the furniture industry, but has also a rich accompanying programme, which is the result of a cooperation with various experts: Top Ideas – Design Trade Show, Exhibitions of students of various higher education departments from the field of landscape design or planning, Exhibition of the Designers Society of Slovenia.

We would particularly like to point out tomorrow's conference with a round table on the vision of restructuring of the wood processing sector, entitled Slovenian wood processing industry – a look into the future, organised by the Furniture and Wood Processing Association at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.

On Thursday, 10 November, at 10:00 am, Urška hall will host an event entitled Connecting design and industry – cooperation between designers and the industry for better business results and increased competitiveness of Slovenian economy, organised by Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban region.

The Fair is open daily from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, on Sunday, 13 November, the Fair closes at 6:00 pm. Regular ticket costs EUR 7, concessions EUR 5, children up to 7 years of age and the disabled with a person assisting a wheelchair user – free of charge. Each visitor receives a Fair Catalogue and a prize draw coupon for participation in a prize draw for attractive prizes contributed by the exhibitors.