Dear Ana, can you tell us please, what is your archi-animals collection?
Archi-animals is the first collection in my new-born design studio Not a Doll House. It is is a creative, playful, architecture inspired collection consists of 5 animal-shape products:
• a crocodile-factory turned into a pencil-box table lamp,
• a lion-ferris wheel lamp,
• a cat-on the roof in the role of a doll-house-lamp-bookshelf,
• a giraffe-crane re-imagined as a table lamp and
• a cow-house as a cabinet
The products are primarily intended for children, but the simplicity of forms makes them intergenerational and decorative objects: both adults and children find meaning specific to their age.
Carefully crafted in a carpenter-workshop, all products are made of certified medium (with low level of formaldehyde), with non-toxic, water-based paint.
Have children been able to play with your playful furniture already? If so, how did they react?
I tested them at home, with my own children (I have three of them), as well as with their friends. Their reactions are very positive, and they find it difficult to choose just one product. It is interesting that a lot of parents would also like to have one in their own space.
Is there something else you want to tell us about your archi-animals?
As I already said, archi-animals are born in design studio Not A Doll House. A studio is a sort of creative laboratory, working on products and education for kids. The architect in me is always looking for design-architecture in-between space, so all products are in some way inspired by architecture.
The approach of the studio can be discerned in its very title. We all know that the doll house is traditionally accepted as the first and often the only image of architecture in childhood.
This studio, through design and educational workshops, wants to open ‘windows’ to architecture in outdoor spaces, and to give it a new, imaginative and metaphorical dimension. Overlapping it with other images, beings, objects and impressions, architecture approaches children in the most immediate way.
This encourages children’s capacity for multi-layered visual perception and metaphorical thinking. It is important to add that Not a Doll House is not its negation, but rather its potential.
Now, your archi-animals collection is still a prototype, but what are your plans for it?
These are the prototypes, and they are not available right now for purchase, but I am working on the production in collaboration with MDF studio, which is one great woodworking workshop in Serbia. The products are coming out soon!
Are there other products that you designed specifically for kids?
Yes, I am also preparing a collection of eco-friendly packaging. I called it “Nature in my hand”. It is a pencil and notebook packaging design for children and adults, in the form of landscape, rainbow and cloud.
And last but not least – tell us something about you Ana and your career. Where and what did you study and what was particularly formative for you?
Well I am a Serbian-born architect and designer living in Paris. I hold a PhD degree in Architecture from the University of Belgrade. After years of passion for emotional and metaphoric resonance in architecture, my present work uses architecture as a tool which gives common objects a different meaning.
I still feel like an architect, but I take it less seriously.
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