Either Excellent or Exceptional Design?


Perhaps this article’s title should have been an exclamatory sentence “The Grupa Has a New Product!” We were of two minds as to what title to go with, but one thing is sure without any doubt, the new product of the product design trio of the Grupa is on the path to become an even bigger hit than all their past products.

It’s about a series of lamps named ILI-ILI (EITHER-OR), a new product designed by this creative team, its first prototypes probably already flooding your Facebook newsfeed and notifications, as the product is a finalist within a competition released by a Croatian bank.

ILI-ILI  brings a completely new concept of the DYI approach to the Croatian lighting-fixtures market, i.e. design hanging fixtures, considering that their project enables the buyer to mix and match both shapes and colors. The designers created a concept that’s based on six fundamental modular elements, different dimensions and diameters that can be mutually paired and combined, thus providing unlimited possibilities.

As the designers explain in their own words: “It’s possible to assemble six different elements through the simple act of linking them together, hence creating various lighting fixtures. The forms are adjusted according to dimensions, so they fit each other, while the elements are mutually connected with carrying clasps.”

In addition to matching and pairing various elements it’s also possible to combine several color modules. The designers selected a specter of blue, green, yellow, and gray, through three shades of each. As the very photos illustrate, the color shades and their mutual combinations, with the six abovementioned forms, offer solutions that can be applied and used in various situations. The final choice of the product’s elements can lean towards either one color or be complemented in a multi-colored combination, always varying in form and shape.

This innovative approach towards the flexibility of the product and one’s own choice, along with the constant possibility of “upgrading” or change, already known to the international market, conceptually aims at a wide specter of application and provides the user with a product that’s all but run-of-the-mill and boring.

As far as the technical aspect of the lamps is concerned, the designers state: “With the help of a recognizable manufacturing technique of metallurgy grinding and the traditional manufacturing art, the product is handmade from aluminium and matte plasticized in twelve different shades. Combining the traditional production technique with contemporary design opens up the possibility for users to design their own ideal combination, the choices are extensive, and as the name of the product states, it’s possible to mix and match them EITHER this way OR that.

The Studio Grupa is well-known to the Croatian (design) public, a trio consisting of Tihana Taraba, Ivana Pavić and Filip Despot have presented several products over the last few years, presenting exceptionally good design with reasonable prices, thus creating original yet affordable designer products. Every yuppie worth their salt has ‘Model’ lamps in their living room or space, the Grupa’s bar stools 7 are increasingly seen in café’s even outside Croatia, while their sofa 3angle is slowly but surely becoming a icon of contemporary Croatian design.

As the title itself states, it’s indisputable that this is a matter of either excellent or exceptional design, whichever term one prefers, and if you like the product and would like to see it in production as soon as possible, visit the Grupa Facebook page to find out how you can help them in their endeavors.