Jovana Bogdanovic, a Serbian designer now living and working in Hangzhou, China, has created the “Low Chairs Family”
Jovana’s design works are an exquisite voyage of their own. A native of Belgrade graduated from the city’s university in the faculty of Applied Arts, Jovana lived and worked in Milan with Studio Patricia Urquiola until the end of 2009. Since then she has embarked upon the adventure of INNOVO DESIGN, a studio co-founded with fellow designers ZHANG Lei from China and Christoph JHON from Germany. INNOVO DESIGN has its headquarters near Shanghai in Hangzhou, a city renowned for its astonishing amalgamation of ancestral scapes and modern city comforts. Once capital of the Southern Song dynasty (960–1279 AD), Hangzhou still retains today the solemn beauty of its ancient palaces, gardens and slow-paced lifestyle. As the studio is committed to a research-oriented practice spanning from design for mobility and transportation to lights and home appliances, it distinctively feels inspired by a homegrown sense of matter-and-body searching through the design of objects to yield a better and smoother interaction with our environment.
Jovana’s work is indeed imbued with a spirit of real life experiences and cultural generosity, which informs a personal practice of technical acuity and relational character. The Low Chairs Family series, one of her first realizations after moving to China, plays out the positive contradictions inherent in cultural encounters often, albeit ingenuously, predicated on mutual stereotypes and misunderstandings. The series is itself a response to the misconception Jovana had about Asian seating privileging low and crouching postures, an expectation proven wrong by her actual experience in China. These deceptively ‘low-rise’ chairs and tables are made appealing and genteel in their solid largesse by a scheme of pastel colors and matching sets of soft cushions. Technical and aesthetic refinement are the product of both skill and sensitivity, one that makes itself recipient to the invisible, ordinary trafficking of symbols and objects.