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Naslovnica arrow English arrow Ijuju! and OSH? – design brands for social entrepreneurs
Ijuju! and OSH? – design brands for social entrepreneurs
Author: Saša Bajamić. Translated by: Makso Herman   
Ponedjeljak, 02 Travanj 2012
Preparations for the exhibition

What happens when thirty or so designers join forces with two organizations that employ people from marginalized social groups, and use their capacities to create new and exciting products within just a week? This question was answered at the exhibition that marked the end of Extra Ordinary Design Osijek – a one-week workshop of inclusive design held at the NEOS Society from Osijek and the Zvono Association from Belišće.

The exhibition represented the culmination of a week-long brainstorming which was followed by the creation of products with the added quality of modern design, whose purpose was to help the two organizations working to assist people from marginalized social groups (The Zvono Association offers assistance to children with developmental disabilities, while the NEOS Society employs rehabilitated drug addicts) find their place on the market and secure enough funds for new programs and employing their current staff. 

Slap, British Council and CDS for social entrepreneurs

“These two organizations are great examples of how successful social entrepreneurships can be and we thought we could provide them with our small assistance in creating a good foundation for strengthening their income activities,” said Sonja Vuković, president of the Slap Association, which, along with the British Council and the Croatian Designers Society, co-organized the event.

Visitors of the exhibition enjoyed designs varying from handbags, T-shirts, watches, vases, badges, wallets to numerous other products that symbolize the first ever items of these newly-formed brands. The designing team that worked with the Zvono Association combined the power of Slavonian tradition with modern materials, thus creting the IJUJU! brand. The team crafted a wide array of IJUJU! products and presented the Belišće-based Association with guidelines for designing new ones. For Zvono, creative design is no longer a mystery.

Ijuju! and OSH? – new Slavonian urban brands

“We’re already working on the market placement of our creations, handcrafts and souvenirs through the Mivaart Society. New IJUJU! brand products will definitely contribute to increased sales and raising funds for our activities here in the Zvono Association.

The process of their creation was an excellent opportunity to learn, both for our members and for the designers who worked with us throughout the entire week,” said Mira Anić, president of the Zvono Association. The visiting designers will certainly cherish the hospitality they received from the members of the Zvono Association, and thanks to the culinary skills of Zvono’s female members, one of their memories came in the form of a couple of extra pounds.

The team that worked on products for the NEOS Society decided to utilize words from Osijek’s local slang and tried to relate to younger people. Thus, the OSH? brand was created. Its image and message are aimed at provoking people to take action and putting a smile on customers’ faces.

This project is not a firework

“Some projects are like fireworks: they shine, spark, draw attention, but soon afterwards they burn out and have no lasting effect. This project is quite the opposite. What we’ve accomplished here is just the initial step in a process which will now be controlled by the organizations for which we ventured into this project in the first place.

Their future work will reap the fruits of this project for years to come,” said Julia Cassim from the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre, who headed the workshops which included fellow designers from Croatia, Great Britain and Macedonia.

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