Svjetlana Despot

Svjetlana Despot is a prolific Croatian designer with more than 25 years of experience in a variety of design fields, from interior design for private and public facilities in Croatia and abroad, to product design. Her collaboration with the furniture industry and carpet factories, during the transition period in Croatia, made her a pioneer of Croatian product design.

She developed a range of unique products for well-known clients in Croatia and abroad, as well as products made on a mass scale by the Croatian furniture industry. She designs promotional products for renowned companies and has also authored many exhibitions.

She participates in domestic and foreign design exhibitions, winning multiple prizes for best product design. Her work is regularly published in contemporary design magazines.

• in 1992 she founded Data Decor, the company where she works as a creative director. The company's main interest has been designing and producing everyday items using textile.

• She founded Interior & Product Design Studio as a special department within the Data Decor company.

• In 2004 Svjetlana started her own brand, Data by Despot. Using her knowledge of technology and materials, she organized her own production and distribution, following the DIY (Do It Yourself) model. Today, the brand features 6 collections with over 100 different products. From the very beginning, Data by Despot has been characterised by its innovative approach to both design and production. Svjetlana's approach is most non-typical in terms of today. Every project and every detail simultaneously combine high-tech technology and already forgotten manual techniques in line with the brand's motto: 'high-tech technology – hand-made'. Designer's main interest lies in research of surface structures and reinvention of traditional craftwork through modern processes and materials. She is inspired by nature, ethnography and urban waste. Data by Despot was selected and exhibited in world-renowned museums during contemporary design themed exhibitions. Brand's items and collections are award-winning designs, which resulted in Data by Despot breaking foreign markets.

Designer's attitude is based on respecting the client's needs and still breaking free from stereotypes and clichés in terms of design. Simple, yet visionary approach is practiced. Svjetlana uses language of extremes, freedom and imagination to create her innovative products and interiors. She manages to produce hybrids of design and manual craftwork. She blurs the lines among disciplines and overcomes manufacturing constraints. With her never-ending lust for life, adventure and new experiences, Svjetlana is never a slave to trends. She wishes to contribute to evolution of design in her own way.

"In my opinion, the reason why design exists is its communication with humans. My design is not primarily functional, but personal and humane. When you are hiding behind rationality you cannot achieve humanism. Items I design are meant to awaken human senses."