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24th Ambient Ljubljana Opened, Awards Granted

1. 10. 2013
The biggest furniture fair in the region from Milan to Vienna, where 209 companies from 21 countries are represented, was officially opened today at 2 PM by Janko Veber, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia. At the opening, the fair’s Top Ten awards for designer’s achievements were granted, and the Top of the Top Ten award went to the company Pohištvo Potočnik, Aleš Potočnik s.p., for the kitchen Les (Wood) by the designer Julijan Krapež

In his opening speech, Mr Janko Veber pointed out that revival of wood-processing branch, furniture manufacturing included, should be one of Slovenian priorities if we want to end economic crisis. ‘This branch, too, needs investments in infrastructure capacities, in development and appropriate promotion of end products and last, but not least, in the creation of such business environment which will enable opening new workplaces with high added value. Good cooperation between profession, economy and politics is a pre-requisition to reach that goal.’

Undoubtedly, Italian design is an example of success and good practice, and it is presented at the fair within the festival Made in Italy 2013: today at 5 PM in a round table discussion Experience Italian Design with the renowned designer Simone Micheli and with a special exhibition of well known Italian interior designers’ brands until the last day of the fair. ‘To tell what Italy really is and what it stands for, we feel proud to relate to products of the furnishing and interior design sector: one of the many faces of Italian tradition stemming from knowledge, and of Italian creativity stemming from innovation; one of the spearheads of the “Made in Italy”. This sector, on its own, accounted last year for more than 8 billion euro in our foreign sales. In Slovenia, we rank second as a trading partner, with a market share of 14.5% and a widespread presence in the territory of many Italian trade-marks. We think that there is room for more,’ said H.E.Rossella Franchini Sherifis, the Ambassador of Italy in Ljubljana, on behalf of the honorary sponsor of the fair, Italian Institute of Foreign Trade - Agency ICE - the Department of the Italian Embassy for economic promotion. 


Top Ten Awards

For the eighth year in a row, the GR grants the award TOP TEN for products or systemic solutions which most successfully combine functionality with technological and/or aesthetic quality. The products were selected by an international jury consisting of Doris Köfer, Austria, Marco Marangone, Italy, Marijan Orešić, Croatia, Vladimir Pezdirc, Slovenia, Jure Miklavc, Slovenia, and honorary chairman Professor Janez Koželj:

  • MAROS d.o.o., for the sofa Natuzzi Forma, designed by Claudio Bellini
  • ETIS d.o.o., for the extractor hood Bora Classic, designed by Willi Brucbauer
  • SVETILA STRLE d.o.o., for the lamp Juuyo, designed by Lorenza Bozzoli
  • POHIŠTVO POTOČNIK s.p., for the kitchen Les (Wood), designed by Julijan Krapež
  • INFINITY by OMP GROUP, for the chair Callita, designed by Andreas Ostwald
  • PRO-TIM d.o.o., for the Cubit modular system, designed by Minou Farkhondeh
  • M TOM d.o.o., for the sofa Prime, designed by Design studio Desnahemisfera
  • INKEA d.o.o., for the piece for a monitor with a shelf LIR.A, designed by Darko Špiljarić
  • UPS! ATELJE, for the Domek (Little Home), designed by Matic Treven and Daša Šmid
  • DONAR d.o.o., for the chair Beatnik Open Source, designed by Gigodesign

The jury decided that the best of these ten is Pohištvo Potočnik, Aleš Potočnik s.p., with the kitchen Les designed by Julijan Krapež. ‘The manufacturer has the courage to invest in good presentation at the fair. For many years now, he has collaborated with the designer Julijan Krapež who has given the products a distinctive character. His products show that he understands the highest quality in working with wood and other local natural materials. The jury is aware of the fact that his yearly projects belong to the highest price ranks and are therefore not meant for the broadest spectre of customers but only for a small segment of the market.’
The winners, Aleš Potočnik, director of Pohištvo Potočnik, and designer Julijan Krapež, commented on the highest prize of the 24th Ambient Ljubljana: ‘The award is a confirmation and a strong impetus to continue our designers’ work ... The basic idea was to make a kitchen as a composition of two local woods, accentuated with local stone. We used natural ash and steamed acacia. At the moment, both woods are neglected and kept in the background. We wanted to confirm the hypothesis that compositions of autochthon types of wood can be visually interesting and functional. When we refine their surface by hand brushing and oiling, their structure is accentuated and gets a new, richer look. Ash’s gentle and clear structure is complemented by mosaic-like glued board from acacia.
The cubic construction of the kitchen island follows the surface structure of the counter-top which is based on free construction. Stone inserts were used as a composition “spice” which is a finishing element and upgrades the two basic woods. The beauty of wood and stone stems from their natural look and primeval structure. Natural materials and hand treatment provide a specific note. Here natural beauty meets our rich artisan tradition.’


The exhibitions at the 24th Ambient Ljubljana

Tastes, trends and combinations can be compared at the exhibitions where the past, eternal classics and latest creative trends meet:

  • The exhibition of Italian design Made in Italy
  •  Top 10 - the exhibition of awarded products, selected by a special international jury, which can boast of extraordinary designers’ achievements in functional, technological and aesthetic quality.
  • Top Ideas - the exchange of design – the exhibition of imaginative, innovative and creative designers’ solutions by promising young architects and designers.
  • Niko Kralj – Teak Furniture.  The Insight in Slovenian Furniture Design in the First Two Thirds of the 20th Century - the exhibition of Slovenian furniture by Jože Plečnik, Viktor Naglas, Niko Kralj, among others, in collaboration with the Department of History and Applied Arts at the National Museum of Slovenia and Designers Society of Slovenia.
  • The exhibition by the Department of Wood Science and Technology at the Biotechnical Faculty, the University of Ljubljan

Professional meetings

  • Possible Improvements in the Traceability of Wood and Safety at Work, a professional lecture, Urška Hall, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 10:30 AM, Organizer: Association for Wood Industry of Ljubljana
  • The Strengthening of Development Activities is a Precondition to End the Crisis, a conference, Urška Hall, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 at 12:.00 AM, Organizer: Wood Processing and Furniture Association at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry with partners
  • 3rd Development Day of the Forest-Wood Sector, a conference, Urška Hall, Thursday, 3 October 2013 at 10:30 AM, Organizer: Wood Processing and Furniture Association at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry with partners

The cost of a regular ticket is EUR 9. Visitors who buy their tickets at the box office of the GR get the fair’s catalogue which is not only a guide throughout the fair but also good reading.


The fair is open:
From Tuesday till Saturday: from 10 AM till 8 PM 
On Sunday: from 10 AM till 6 PM 

More: www.furniture-fair.si