Barbara Princic

Professional in Lighting Design.

About Barbara Princic

Between lines the personal philosophy tells much about the designer and her life orientation. The text below therefore explains her attitude toward design for all, the design for environment and the inovative design. By focusing on the end user to make his daily life and work easier, design is put in a social context. Good design of any product is to be essential for each end-user without any social, age, gender or cultural discrimination. Design for all. Objectives, standards and strategies for environmentally friendly design are recognized as a challenge for the design process which considers the entire life cycle of the product from the cradle to the cradle. Design for environment. It is important to understand the pluralism of life choices and the immense possibilities of contemporary technologies, and to combine them as an inspiration for new, visionary solutions. Innovative design.

  • Winner of Lighting Design Award.
  • Specialized in Lighting Design.
  • 2 Featured Original Designs.
  • Highly Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Lighting
  • Furniture
5x5  LED Lamp

5x5 LED Lamp

Lighting Design

5x5 Chair

5x5 Chair

Furniture Design


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Interview with Barbara Princic

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I always knew I would be doing something creative in my life. When I needed to make a decision I was hesitating between industrial design and architecture and I finally choose design.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
My design studio works for different clients on different fields. In Slovenia it is impossible to be specialized just for one field because we do not have a strong industry. I mostly work with furniture companies.
What is "design" for you?
The essence of design is an innovation. The innovation either in function, structure or material innovation. A great deal of knowledge and skills are necessary within so called the scientific part of design, that you can develop a product which incorporates an innovative approach. Furthermore it is an art and knowledge again how you combine all other aspects that are important in design like ergonomics, user friendliness, secure use, ecology, semantics, semiotics etc., all these with the aim to get a product that reflects a complex quality. The role of design is social, to serve people, to design products or services for people without any age, sex, religious or other kind of discrimination. It is easy to say it and it is difficult to do it.
When do you feel the most creative?
When I forget all around me, when I am not aware of the world that surrounds me while working. This is so called the most democratic phase in the design process.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
There are many of them like ergonomics, safe use, semantics, user friendliness, simple structure but at first I try to filter all of them through ecological aspect.
What makes a design successful?
Good idea, perfect technological realization and well done marketing and other post production activities.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Designers are more responsible than we are usually aware of that fact. We create material world which uses resources, energy, pollute the environment during production processes, during use phase and at the end of the product life span each product turns into waist. The designer's responsibility is to design a product according to the existing environmental strategies (design for 3R) or even better by the cradle to cradle principle. There are other professions that believe and pose the strong hope on design as a profession that can change our too material culture.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
There is one inevitable future fact which is dematerialization. That is why service design is more and more getting its position among different design approaches. Products are more and more hidden behind the service.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
My last exhibition was last September in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I hope my next exhibition will be in Como, Italy.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
My design style is something close to the word timeless, classic, no exaggeration, and minimal simple structure with a strong emphasis on detail.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
A complex question. I live in Slovenia. I agree that the cultural heritage can be important for design because it can be a focal point for innovation. And if you design out of your national identity you can be unique. It means you do not copy others and other designers can not copy you. My country is facing with the economic crises so it is not easy time for designers.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
My design process is a lot of thinking, and a lot of experimenting with simple 3D models. I draw design on a computer when I know how it should look like and when I know what I want. For me a computer is a tool.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Positive: not boring, creative, always something new, different, always up to date with lifestyle trends. Negative: stress
What is your "golden rule" in design?
Be honest. Try to develop your personal design ethics, keep it and follow it.
What was your most important job experience?
Living and working in Taipei, Taiwan, where the design serves to national economy and commerce.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
It depends on a complexity of the project. Usually I develop it myself then I check it with my design colleges.

Extended Interview with Barbara Princic

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
I graduated from industrial design (BA) at the University of Ljubljana, Academy of Fine Arts and Design. A half year later I got the opportunity to work in Taiwan, in Taipei, at the Design Promotion Center CETRA. It was a unique experience for such a young person as I was in nineties. There I met several distinguished designers like Alexander Manu, Jean-Marie Massaud, Gad Shannon, prof. Stefan Lengyel, naming just few of them. After spending one year in Taiwan I had returned to Europe and the same year obtained a scholarship from the Dutch government for a post-graduate study at the European Design Centre in Eindhoven. There I got acquainted with environmental issues in design. I decided that this would be my future orientation. I followed environmental and ecological themes for the next decade and in 2007 graduated on MA level with a theme on Sustainable use of water when washing small children’s hands.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
In a past I did a lot of chair designs. One of them, the 5x5 chair, was also awarded with a silver A’Design Award. I did other projects too, for furniture industry. But know I focused on children’s playground equipment. So in a future I want to do more designs made from wood for children.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
Beside hard work it is necessary to follow your own dreams, to believe in what you do, to walk along your own way regardless what others say or think.
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
In the Guardian I red an interview with the performance artist Marina Abramović recently and she said: ‘’ Good artists have one good idea in their life; great artists might have two. I have produced just one good idea. My good idea is working with the body.” How could this be applied to design field is left to our personal interpretation.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
I evaluate good design by certain criteria which are so called objectively measured parameters. Within those function and aesthetics are taken for granted as nobody expects that someone will design and produce a product that is not functional or not aesthetically satisfying. In addition those criteria are product’s ergonomics which is not only physical but psychic too, simple construction and form without overdesigned elements, useful value, optimal use of technology, environmental soundness, the relationship between the entire product and its details, durability of construction, product semantics and semiotics, the stage of invention, user friendliness, safe use and viability for market.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
For me it is a project which means a shift from design into art. I dream about 3D ‘’pictures’’ made of discarded fabrics. Up till now I have not found time for this project yet.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
With success in design is the same as with success in any other profession. At first knowledge and skills are needed. Than hard work, a lot of patience, endurance, fair attitudes toward clients. And all mentioned sometimes don’t help if you do not have a bit of luck. Sometimes you have to be at the right time in the right place.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
I find my 5x5 chair as my greatest design. It was about the idea to design a chair from little squares made of material called xilith which is co-mined with a coal from the 300 meters beneath the earth’s surface. It was about the courage that I dared to try to realize this idea.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
I will focus on a development of the set of children’s playground’s equipment for private use, i.e. the use on home gardens mostly made of wood in order to replace those low-quality plastic houses which unfortunately break in three or four years and represent huge plastic waist. Plastic products should have a long life span as plastics is quite durable material. My first product, the house in the shape of mushroom has already been designed.
What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
My ultimate goal is not only to design a certain product but with my idea and through design that I do to spread the environmental awareness among the wider population. I want people to think about the products that they buy and use, to consider how they manipulate with them, to maintain them, to be aware that products have certain value not because of the price but because of the material, its development and production processes incorporated within them so they should not be discarded easily.
How does design help create a better society?
Design profession as one of the creative industries is definitely put in a social context. When designers search for inspiration they can find it everywhere; in the nature, culture, in surrounding society, in art, food, wherever. But design also contribute a lot to that society by solving men’s, societal and environmental problems. With proper design and services design should make people’s daily life and work easier. Good design of any product is to be essential for each end-user without any social, age, gender or cultural discrimination.
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
I would like to see design industry to be aware of the consequences that the results of our work pose to the environment and peoples’ health. From this point of view we caused a lot of harm in a past. So a kind of paradigm shift is needed within design industry to be able to give overall right solutions that fit within so called circular economy. Maybe a word good design should be replaced with responsible design which would incorporate all complexity of attributes those of good design plus those of environmental design strategies.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
Definitely it is a service design which is coming in the front of the design profession. In terms of dematerialization products are more and more hidden behind the services. Today many of the product and service design solutions are somehow connected through smart phone applications.
Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
Things run in both ways. Designers who are capable of observing the world and analyzing societal behavior and changes, those designers are able to set trends through their innovative design solutions. On the other hand there are designers who observe more material world than society itself. Such designers follow trends and influenced by them develop interesting design pieces.
What is the role of technology when you design?
Technology enables materialization of my idea. But it is also true that I might be challenged by specific technology when developing my idea. This depends on the fact if I am the one who defines and choose a certain technology or it is a given predisposition for example if I work for furniture industry.

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