Our hand-crafted, architectural jewellery is directly inspired by the remnants of a little known and almost forgotten culture and way of life.
In a time when the world was split between the East and the West, a special kind of modernism emerged that fit into neither box. It’s the culture Yugoslavia gave birth to. Often grouped with those of other contemporary eastern European states, it actually drew inspiration from all sides and, in turn, created something unique in and of itself. Its creation was a utopian project of a pluralistic, multicultural society sharing a distinct ideology in a divided world.
This environment we never knew directly, but to understand why this inspires us, we have to go back to the environment of our childhood. It’s a childhood filled with remnants of this culture and the bleakness of a utilitarian architecture that we now find so alluring. Our schools, city blocks, town halls, stadiums, all those disregarded ugly buildings. We’ve come to realise that these old lumps of concrete that we were used to seeing every day are actually astonishing and hugely underrated statements of an architecture, as well as representations of a utopian vision in their own right.
Concrete has always been a very polarising medium: it’s both loved and hated, depending on the purpose it served at a given moment. Often it has no meaning at all and is so ubiquitous we’re oblivious to its presence. And yet, no one can deny its influence on life today; in fact, we take it for granted precisely because it is one of the most ingrained symbols of the modern era.
That’s the real beauty of concrete – it works in two ways. On one hand it’s superficial and functional, on the other it’s loaded with meaning.
The legacy of this past culture has shaped the way we think and feel in many ways – and being what it is, we couldn’t just leave the past in the past. We see too much beauty in it to let it drift into oblivion. Today, its cities are constantly being reinvented, reshaped and reinterpreted. In this environment that’s ever-shifting, in a world that’s increasingly digital, new languages across all mediums emerge. Fuelled by a new generation’s outlook on life, shaped by the collision of polarising influences, we are reimagining and evolving our cultural identity into a new kind of aesthetic vision of the present.
Nina & Nemanja