‘The Lockdown Dialogues’ explores design in the age of isolation

The series was born out of conversations between Zanat founder Orhan Niksic and international designers including Ilse Crawford and Jean-Marie Massaud

Candle Holders
Designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, the Aurora candle holders are part of Zanat's Lockdown Dialogues collection, inspired by the designers' time in isolation during lockdown
(Image credit: TBC)

Bosnian craft brand Zanat has called upon its international roster of designers to create a collection inspired by the isolation resulting from pandemic-related lockdowns implemented across the world in the past few months. ‘The recent lockdown has been a good opportunity to stay closer to our household members, to relax a bit and ponder about the future, the human condition and what truly matters to us,’ says founder Orhan Niksic.

The origins of Zanat date back more than a century, when Niksic’s great grandfather stumbled on a primitive hand-carving technique that originated near his hometown of Konjic. He established a woodcarving workshop and passed the now Unesco-protected technique down through family generations. Niksic started Zanat in 2015 with the aim of preserving this family legacy and he saw the recent pandemic as a chance to discuss themes of family and home.

A mirror by Monica Förster for Zanat

On the wall, Monica Förster's Eclipse Mirror, part of the Lockdown Dialogues collection

(Image credit: TBC)

Niksic took up discussions with some of Europe’s most celebrated designers, including Monica Förster, Ilse Crawford, Sebastian Herkner, Jean-Marie Massaud and Ludovica and Roberto Palomba. ‘Their enthusiasm about post-Covid-19 future and how Zanat’s vision relates to it was both heartening and inspiring,’ he says. ‘We all agreed that the future cannot look like the past, that environmental sustainability and ethics pertaining to how products are made, brought to market, and consumed can no longer be a matter of choice, but must be a design imperative.’ And so the Lockdown Dialogues Project was born as a way to channel these ideas and create objects that reflect this vision of ethical design.

‘Our aim was to create a collection of functional objects that improve the experience of staying at home and hopefully become heirloom pieces, objects made from responsibly sourced, renewable natural materials that clearly demonstrate the value of craftsmanship.’ The collection includes mirrors by Förster, stools and candleholders by the Palombas, and bowls by Crawford among others. They are small objects whose carefully considered craftsmanship, Nikisic hopes, can enrich our lives while creating employment opportunities as well as preserving important artisanal skills and cultural heritage.

Black boxes with lids

Kioko Boxes by Jean-Marie Massaud

(Image credit: TBC)

Zanat Kioko Serving Tray Chess Board

Jean-Marie Massaud's Kioko trays, displayed on top of a folding table by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba

(Image credit: TBC)

Tray set

Sebastian Herkner's series of trays 

(Image credit: TBC)

Zanat Stonehenge Stool

Also designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba is the Stonehenge Stool, pictured here

(Image credit: TBC)

Series of dark coloured bowls

A series of bowls and platters featuring Zanat's distinctive carved motif and designed by Ilse Crawford

(Image credit: TBC)


The Lockdown Dialogues collection by Zanat is available from Wallpaper*STORE

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.

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