Support Local Designers


In today's day and age, we are constantly surrounded by commercial advertisements of products appearing on billboards through to social media. Yet little do we think of how much work and effort goes behind the design created. What is exactly Croatia's history with product design? To begin with, the most intense modernisation in Croatia was in the period from 1945 until the late '80s. Looking back, design in Croatia throughout the 1950s began to take shape thanks to the lesser pressure of market laws as in other Western European countries. Although under Communism, designers and artists of commercial products had a lot of freedom of expression. The team of artists considered as pioneers in the field included Ivan Picelj, architect Vjenceslav Richter, Aleksandar Srnec and Zvonimir Radić. Companies such as Yugoslav Airlines, the Segestica Alcohol Factory, Kraš, Ghetaldus, Saponija, Jugoton and Pliva were just some of the giants that had their visual identity and product packaging worked on. The 1950s and '60 were fruitful years in the design of furniture with awards received both nationally and internationally. Božidar Murković's sofa in 1957 is now a part of the Museum of Arts and Crafts collection. The 60's and 70's were marked by Bernardo Bernardi and Bogdan Budimirov with the commercial design of the flexible drawing table Moya and Bernardi's armchair to name a few. Bruno Planinšek successfully created a number of practical items for the RIZ Factory (Radioindustrija Zagreb) and in particular his electric coffee grinder Miki. The 80's were marked by the three series of furniture that Mladen and Marijan Orešić designed for the Adriatic furniture factory. There were three series of chairs - Ergoline in 1983, Modres in 1984 and probably the most famous series Uni from 1987 that was made for the Universiade in Zagreb. In the last twenty years, the Croatian design scene has grown significantly with professional associations, academic studies and review exhibitions in existence. Visual communication has grown dramatically whereas in the category of product design, lack of funds has seen growth in the development of own brands, the running of private production and searching for alternative ways of distribution on the international market.

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Design from a different point a view

The Center for Inclusive Work Activities

The Center for Inclusive Work Activities (CIWA) has existed since 2004 with the primary purpose of integrating people with intellectual disabilities into society and helping them with employment opportunities. Helping these individuals immerse into the working world, and having them successfully perform their work, increases their self-esteem and dignity, as well as their financial independence, which leads to an increased level of living satisfaction. The CIWA helps these individuals develop and produce unique textile products based on their artwork and handicraft skills. The work center is located on Bleiweisova Street 13, in Zagreb, and is where these individuals work hard every day from 08:00 to 18:00. Products can be bought at the center or ordered online at

Ratko Koletić & Žiraha

Ratko Koletić
Ratko Koletić, born in May of 1968, grew up surrounded by nature, in the countryside, around the Velika Gorica area, which inspired and encouraged his creative work. Since 1998, he has been part of the Supported Housing program organized by the Association for Promoting Inclusion in Zagreb. Currently, he lives on his own and leads a relatively self-sufficient lifestyle.

About Žiraha...
Žiraha is a zebra-like creature which was created by the artist Ratko Koletić, who is a member of the Association for Promoting Inclusion in Zagreb. The brands Žiraha and JUPI by UPI! were created in 2001 during an internal workshop called, Extra/ordinary Design, which was organized by the School of Design Faculty of Architecture University of Zagreb and the Croatian Designers Society, in cooperation with the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art in London, the Association for Promoting Inclusion (API) and Center for Inclusive Work Activities (CIWA). The Žiraha and JUPI by UPI! designs are available in the following locations throughout Zagreb: Take Me Home - Croatian Design Shop (Tomićeva 4), Ježeva Kućica - the gift shop at the City of Zagreb Zoo (Maksimirski perivoj bb), Animonda Zg- a pet store (Međimurska 19), various fairs and sales exhibitions throughout the year.

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