Perfect and in harmony with the environment
Photos: Nemanja Knežević
Photos: Nemanja Knežević
Zoran Jedrejčić is a designer, industrial designer, art director, and man with a vision, born in Split, educated, and professionally established in Italy. He has been living and working in Belgrade for ten years. A seven-year partnership with well-known designer and architect Ettore Sottsass signaled the beginning of his career, after which he established his own design studio in Milan and later in Belgrade. Zoran is our close collaborator with whom we worked on the creation of the entire Volumen brand, and he designed for us eleven seating collections with which we launched our beloved brand.
How long does it take to develop a product?
In the field of upholstered furniture, product development itself, provided you already have a clear idea of what you want, does not take too long, maybe four or five months. What is always desirable to have in any case is the luxury of time, so that the idea itself and then the prototypes would “age” and mature for some time and be seen by all the experts involved in that process and from all aspects of the development of this type of product, and these are comfort, proportions, the fight for every detail, modularity, the choice of colors and textiles, and finally the production processes themselves. In some other products and segments, this process takes much longer. It’s like when you want to make good wine, you need to know how to make it, and then you need to leave it to mature and turn into magic.
What is the most exciting part of the whole process for you?
I must admit that I equally enjoy all segments of designing: the creation of new concepts, their development and design, the creation of various prototypes, the industrialization of products, and finally, monitoring the zero series of products.
When I stop to think about it, however, I have always found production, factories, engineers, and craftsmen to be fascinating, and I am most focused on that second stage of the process when it is necessary to foster an alchemical environment among all the experts involved in the development process. If magic happens there, then it is a sure sign that you will do something good.
In order to say “This is a great sofa”, what should it be like?
As with all furniture, it depends on the context and space for which the furniture is intended. I often have conflicting views and criteria for the useful objects that surround me. Sometimes I really like unobtrusive objects with classic proportions and purposes; when you notice them, it seems to you that they have always been there, perfect and in harmony with the environment, and sometimes I really like objects charged with some dominant personality, culture, removed from function, comfort, composition, at first glance provocative, and unique.
If, on the other hand, I manage to find both of these opposite criteria in a sofa or armchair, at least in some segment or detail, then I can describe it as excellent, provided that it doesn’t hurt my ass. After all, it’s about a sofa, and I hope that we have achieved that, at least with certain Volumen products.
How would you describe the cooperation with Volumen?
Now it is already a long-term, layered, and well-coordinated collaboration, where I concentrated first of all on the work of the art director and only later on the actual design and development of the product. I must admit that I like the positive vision and atmosphere that we created together with all the people involved in the development of new strategies and products. When you work with conscious businessmen who understand the importance of design thinking, everything is easier, and the Cejic brothers certainly are.
You have designed 11 large collections; which one is your favorite at the moment?
Oh, it’s a bit too much to start with, I admit… but I think that one of the first ones we started developing, which is the Dolmen System, is the one closest to my heart, precisely for the above-mentioned reasons of simplicity, flexibility, comfort, and impact…
As a market, Bosnia is already recognized for its wooden furniture and the processing of massifs in general. How do you think Volumen will fit into that picture?
The Volumen is a continuation of stories from BiH and the surrounding areas about how people, space, and nature are connected. It also shows how natural materials can be made better by using a mix of old-fashioned handiwork and modern technology, all while keeping our regional cultural heritage and traditions in mind.
More or less all design brands from the region are also producers, while with Volumen, in some segments of new products, they would also like to be design editors.
Five years from now, where do you see Volumen?
I see it where it should be, considering the amount of positive energy, knowledge, passion, and economic resources invested in the creation of the brand itself, which is side by side with quality design-oriented brands from the region and the world, recognized by an international audience and architects… Of course, we also need the goddess Fortune to take a look at us.