During my visit to Salone del Mobile 2018 I strolled through many impressive booths but the chair series called Igman designed by Harri Koskinen for Zanat especially caught my eye.
Even from a distance I could sense the quality and character of the chairs. The matt wooden frame and the removeable soft saddle leather seat and backrest appeared elegant and unbiased to me. The additional hand carved details on the ﬂat cut surfaces of the armrests and back beam completed the stylish and modern look.
Harri Koskinen, the highly renown Finish designer who has already worked for such brands as Alessi, Artek, Issey Miyake Inc, Muji and Iittala created the Igman series along with others for Zanat.
After my initial attraction to this lovely furniture I wanted to learn more about Zanat’s touching family history. They only launched as a brand in 2015 but their roots begin more than a century ago when the great grandfather of Zanat’s founders learned a wood carving technique from pioneer wood carver entrepreneurs. These skills were passed down to his sons and and inﬂuenced several other furniture workshops in the peacetime period between the First and Second World Wars. And so it came to be that Konjic, the Bosnian hometown of Zanat, became a popular centre for hand carved furniture and local hardwood decorative objects.
But this was not without its challenges. The World Wars, the advent of socialism and a series of wars thereafter forced the woodcarvers to close their businesses in 1995. Luckily, they always believed in their craft and restarted and continued their work whenever conditions allowed.
Zanat’s foundation is based on a legacy that has spanned more than four generations. With the aim to use old craftsmanship to show how traditional handcraving techniques can seamlessly blend with modern design they are opening new possibilities and contributing to sustainable socioeconomic development.
The speciﬁc heirloom woodcarving technique from Konjic practised by Zanat was inscribed into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 6, 2017. Now, at a time when Bosnia is suffering one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, Zanat is creating opportunities, hiring and training young people and breathing a new life into this UNESCO listed hand-carving technique.
The Igman Dining chair and the companion Lounge chair and Ottoman are deﬁnitely three of my favourite pieces from the whole faire and have remained on my mind and on my own apartment wishlist ever since.
Igman Chair: height 76 cm, depth 60 cm, width 55 cm | Igman Lounge Chair: 75 cm, depth 75 cm, width 93 cm | Igman Ottoman: height 40 cm, depth 56 cm, width 60 cm
Thank you Zanat for providing the press material. Credit: www.zanat.org