focus on: Weaving Stories from Balkan Heritage

co/rizom incubator is guiding amazing artisans, designers and business professionals in developing their collections for a global audience.

 focus on series will allow you to get to know better the people behind the PODs.

This edition is dedicated to Weaving Stories from Balkan Heritage. This POD draws upon the rich history of Balkan tapestries and investigates how immaterial heritage can coexist with contemporary design. The collection is a series of rugs combining functional design and contemporary art, contributing to preserving local narratives and generating a cultural mix between old and new.
Georgeta Mitroiu from Comarnic, Prahova, learned to weave woolen rugs from her grandmother. Now she shares her craft with the next generation of weavers.
 Sebastian Pren is a locally and internationally recognized graphic artist, known for his minimalist style.

How did you start working as a designer? 
I started drawing when I was young, and I was pretty good at it (or at least, that’s what I thought). That got me into studying art and later on, design. I guess I was one of the lucky ones who found quite early what to pursue as a career. 
What is the biggest challenge in the design process?
I would say that trying to understand and determine the limitations of the medium and working around them. This is probably one of the most critical challenges in the design process. 
Describe the co/rizom incubator in 3 words:
Collaboration, contrast, opportunity.
What is an emotion connected to this collection?
Excitement! I can’t wait to see the final collection. 

What does the word ”craft” bring to mind?
Calmness, stability, process, exploration. It is about exploring imaginations and inspirations to create handmade objects or artwork, using traditional techniques and materials, that are not just functional, but also beautiful.
Room 21 is a local store of curated goods, highlighting Romanian products, as well as the designers, studios, small manufacturers, or artisans who make them possible. Maria Neneciu and Ioana Pîrvu are the women behind this awesome project.
How did you start working as a business developer? 
We started room21 after more than ten years in which we developed and worked together on various projects in the area of ​​creative industries. Room21 is about optimism and personal choices somehow.

What does the word ”craft” bring to mind?
When we think of craft, we think of traditional methods of processing materials, but above all of a type of intelligence, both an intelligence of understanding and carrying out processes, as well as of linking manufacturing processes with the ecosystem itself.

  What attracts you to the material you chose for the process?
Wool is first of all a very warm material, literally, but also symbolically, and metaphorically. We like it a lot because it is versatile, natural, and spectacular in terms of resistance and possibilities.
Wool is an underused material in Romania, today: there is a lot of waste around it because it is not properly integrated into local products and because the processing from raw wool into yarn misses critical infrastructure.

  What is the biggest challenge for your profession in the future? And the biggest opportunity?
The most complicated thing for the design profession in the future will be to define its approach and thus its role in society, as design practices will probably approach service design and social design more than product design. For the craft area, however, the biggest challenge will probably be financing, since the number of hours these processes involve is reflected in the price of the products. This requires the development of a market that understands its value, and this can only happen through platforms that aim to develop this market and the relationship between users and makers.