Slovenian Manufacturers Hold Design Roundtable
Apr 11, 2005
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Slovenian manufacturers could boost their value and make their brands more recognizable worldwide by paying more attention to industrial design, according to participants of a round table on industrial design.

Organized by the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics, the round table focused on industrial design and the feasibility of establishing a center of excellence. Attendees included company chief executives and industrial designers.

According to a Slovene Press Agency report, participants agreed that few manufacturers of textile, leather, or household products are aware of the importance of industrial design in increasing their competitive strength.

Franjo Bobinac, chief executive of appliance maker Gorenje highlighted that a center of excellence could help manufacturers of mass products raise their prices. Referring to Gorenje, Mr. Bobinac said that innovation and a recognizable brand are key elements for remaining competitive, as low prices no longer suffice.

Gorenje has been able to increase its prices 25 percent by offering products boasting top design, which, according to Mr. Bobinac, plays a crucial part in brand recognition.

Vladimir Pezdirc of the Ljubljana Academy of Fine Arts said that cooperation had been modest between industrial designers, and companies were not interested or did not know how to use industrial design.

According to the Slovene Press Agency, the participants of the roundtable agreed that Slovenian companies, now past the transition period, should invest more in research and development, with special attention to be paid to industrial design.

Participants also agreed that a center of excellence could play a crucial role in design development by helping companies follow new trends. (Slovenia Business Week)

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