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Asobi’s Miha Tursic on the Isle Lounge sofa

asobiTokio_CARBON LIGHT_01

Lighting from Asobi’s own brand, Tokio

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Pieces from Asobi’s Ming line

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Pieces from Asobi’s Quad line

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Milan Preview | Asobi

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Asobi
Design collective

Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Brands: Tokio, Abilo, Movisi, Ritzenhoff, Softline, WMF, etc.
Products: Furniture, lighting, tableware, brand identities

The seven-person team at Asobi made a bigger than usual debut on the international furniture design scene in 2005 with their bigger-than-usual Isle Lounge. They’ve since collaborated on more than 100 projects for dozens of brands in their native Slovenia and beyond, but for this year’s Salone they’re striking out with a furniture and lighting collection for a new brand all their own, Tokio. “It is quite difficult to find a good producer these days that would want to develop your ideas,” says Gorazd Malačič, Asobi’s managing director, “so we decided to use our experience and develop them by ourselves under a new label.”

DB: What was your first trip to the Salone like?
Gorazd Malačič: My first visit was in the late ’90s. It was a big cultural shock for me. I just started with a design course at our local academy of fine arts and I had never before been to any kind of design event. And there I find myself confronted with all the chicness of the Salone, the grand Italian design brands, and great designers whose names are not Philippe Starck… and back then it was pre-Internet and Salone was not nearly as big as it is now. I have been almost every year ever since.

DB: Why does Milan stay so relevant in the design world?
GM: I think the world needs a design capital. I am not saying that other events are not important. But with all these new design related events happening throughout the world it is even more important to have one that is relevant above the rest and where you can in a few days fully grasp the state of the art and future trends.

DB: Do you ever feel competitive when you see the work on display in Milan, like you have to make something even better for the next year’s fair?
GM: An event like this is a great inspiration to us. That’s why we always come for at least a few days even when we are not exhibiting. It is necessary to visit all the biggest venues like the fair at Rho, Zona Tortona, and Ventura Lambrate. And then there are numerous other events and exhibits worth exploring. This is where we get our creative recharge every year, and we are always looking forward to what the next year will bring.

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