DESIGN INSPIRATION FROM IRENA KILIBARDA: Co-Founder, dsignedby
By Linda Parker
The architect Irena Kilibarda is one of the co-founders of dsignedby and uses Blum hardware for a lot of her furniture designs. So we decided to find out a bit more about her creative processes…
Irena Kilibarda: For more than five years dsignedby has used BLUM hardware in its furniture production. She explains: ‘Most of the BLUM hardware we use are the hinges and drawer mechanisms, primarily for the kitchens we produce and design – due to the longevity, reliability and aesthetic appearance of each component. The design of the Legrabox drawer mechanism complies well with the high end and luxury furniture pieces we make, and we know that anyone using that furniture will be able to see the elegance of the visible components, as well as appreciate the way each drawer glides perfectly, open and closing exactly as it is supposed to
… We need to have confidence that every item we design and make is constructed using the highest quality components, and that we can specify with the knowledge that the kitchen, or any other piece of furniture will perform exactly as we want it to – for many years to come. Above: Cooklab kitchen, with fronts in veneer and natural oak.
Serbian designer Irena Kilibarda gained a degree from the Belgrade Faculty of Architecture, and initially focused on interior and lighting design. However, through her studies she developed an expertise and enthusiasm for product design as well, and with the help of her sister Iva, Irena founded her own product and design studio, dsignedby. in 2008, and has since established herself as a well-known, innovative and respected designer. Above: Interiors in natural oak and Corian©
Dsignedby specialises in highly advanced LED and OLED technology, producing interesting, unique and stand-out furniture and products. The use of OLED light technology and Corian© intertwines unconventional materials with unique styles that are as aesthetically beautiful as they are impressive in terms of their technology. With an architectural design background, dsignedby has mastered the art of combining simplicity with classic influences before adding the final high-tech touches. Above: Kitch’T® compact kitchen with flush hob and downdraft extractor, plus shaped chopping block
Q: Do you believe that design should always be both functional and beautiful?
I think that if design is just beautiful and it doesn’t have a function, it is then more an art object, or a sculpture. Design should be functionable to be able to attain success in today’s world market – which can, of course, be very difficult to conquer since there is a lot of good stuff out there! Blending the two factors of design and functionality to obtain the right proportions and the perfect harmony, as you say, is really the sign of success as a designer. To overcome these challenges, we are always aware that we have to be informed of what exists already in the world of design, and also that it’s necessary to be patient and pay attention to details, and also, to be a little bit creative in your engineering to get the most successful end results. So … design should always be both functional and beautiful. For me, the two factors should never have to be mutually exclusive. To achieve both, I have to be patient, detail oriented and creative in the engineering processes, and that is how we approach each and every piece. I take inspiration through current projects, new materials and lifestyle trends and forecasts to create diverse and challenging designs, which have been recognised worldwide. Above: TableT® from Dsignedby
Q: What are the essentials of good design?
The essentials of good design are quality, durability, function, beauty. It’s also important, I think, to be able to analyse the situation and the period of time you live in to catch and interpret the right moments, attitudes and feelings to embrace the designs that people will admire. Above: Kitch’T® compact kitchen.
Q: How is the relationship between architecture, design, individuals and the resulting end product meant to work?
As I trained as an architect, I am very aware that people need architecture. And architecture is usually the combination of design, fashion and art. I believe that everything you do in life can only be good if you love what you are doing and if you are 100% devoted to it. So my designs encompass everything for living spaces, from products to interiors and lighting. Above: Cooklab kitchen
Above: Little Black Dress kitchen
Above: Oak kitchen
Above: Detail, Cooklab kitchen
Above: The Cooklab kitchen project