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DESIGN DINING: Slovenian Tableware Design

DESIGN DINING: Slovenian Tableware Design

Take part in the culinary experience of the Design Dining programme and create a limited series of tableware design pieces.

Every culinary experience is in one way or another related to design – it is a perpetual ritual, a part of our everyday existence and something that brings together everything from the growing of ingredients to the preparation and presentation of food, thus exerting influence over the society and environment. Both food and design are recognized as sources of the same values, namely local, sustainable, sensory, and ritual, all of them serving as the basis on which we wish to produce a new place setting design for a new multi-course menu created especially for this purpose by a renowned Slovene chef. It is our firm belief that gastronomy is a sensory and romantic experience and therefore in need of a combination of design and culinary mindset to fully combine the stories of design and dining.


This open call is launched under the programme DESIGN DINING: Slovenian Tableware Design, which is carried out by the Museum of Architecture and Design and the Centre for Creativity under the auspices of EU Distributed Design Market Platform. We will select up to 10 designers who will receive financial incentives to design a new product, to be used as a table setting, and also produce it (as a limited series). The selected tableware series will be presented at pop-up dinners and exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad.


The theme linking the selected products to each other and to the menu, which is to be created by Jakob Pintar, the visionary and multi award-winning chef of Ljubljana’s Tabar restaurant, is the ritual. We are looking for different views and concepts that highlight the ritualistic nature of dining, contribute to its maintenance and veneration, but are at times also disruptive and experimental, thus making space for the creation of new rituals.


‘Being a chef myself and always on the lookout for new ideas on how to present my dishes, I am very much looking forward to this project. Instead of once white dinner plates we now have unique design products of ceramic artists, carpenters and other craftspeople. I think it a brilliant idea to give an artist the opportunity to feel unencumbered by how their products will end up being used. This is the way to make products that transcend the boundaries of what is commonplace, expected or comfortable. I look forward to unusual designs and unusual materials that will allow me, too, to take that leap into the unknown’ – Jakob Pintar, chef

What we are looking for

We are looking for design concepts or prototypes of products constituting a place setting which are new or have not been put to production yet. We encourage boldness and experimenting within the given theme, however, the functionality and marketability of the product, as well as the use of sustainable production methods and sustainable materials, should be maintained. As an inspiration or starting point for their designs, designers may also use design pieces held in the Museum of Architecture and Design.


Each product in a category will be produced in a limited series of 100 pieces. MAO and CzK will use them for the purpose of presentation at pop-up dinners and in exhibitions. Individual pieces will be added to MAO collection. After the presentations at various venues, the author will be allowed to use 70 pieces for own purpose.


Product categories:

  • plates
  • glasses
  • cups
  • cutlery
  • textile


The jury reserves the right to select a random number of designers within or outside of given categories or reduce the number of pieces per category.

What we offer to designers

  • Professional mentoring for a limited series production of the new product, whereby designers retain all personal and economic rights and may produce several series on their own at a later stage (after September 2021).
  • Cooperation with Jakob Pintar, a renowned Slovene chef, in the creation of a place setting for the new culinary experience.
  • Financial incentive: each designer will receive EUR 1,500 (incl. VAT) for the design of a new product. Designers may contribute their own financial means to the project but have to specify this in the application.
  • Individual consultations and training workshops with Veerle Wenes (owner at Valerie Traan gallery, Belgium and art director at the design label Valerie Objects) and general manager of The House of Culinary Arts Jezeršek Martin Jezeršek, the purpose of which is to improve skills and give direction in the area of tableware marketing. Both mentors will monitor the project development process.
  • Wide recognition at home and abroad through pop-up dinners and exhibitions. We will liaise with our partners from EU Distributed Design Market Platform and appear in Vienna Design Week, Zagreb Design Week and BIO 27.
  • The experience of being part of a group process in which a concept design or a prototype is developed into a product but ultimately becomes part of a whole and as such finds its way to the user.

Selection criteria

  • Design: to strengthen and enrich the ritualistic experience of dinning and in harmony with the chef’s vision.
  • Production: a realistic design given the financial framework and the timetable, with local production facilities, intertwining of traditional and new methods, and with principles of sustainability in mind.
  • Materials: local and sustainable, the use of new and in particular biodegradable materials is encouraged.

Participation criteria and how to apply

The call is open to legal and private persons having their registered seat or domicile in Slovenia and working in the field of design.


Application is open to individual designers (for one or several categories) and to groups of designers who jointly develop an entire place setting, whereby the designer of each individual piece should be clearly indicated. The jury reserves the right to select from the products of one group a random number of pieces for production.


Applications are made via the online form on our website, by clicking the ‘Apply’ button in the upper right corner, for which you need to create a user account. In the case of a group, the application should be submitted by one member of the group. The application must include a link to a folder (uploaded to a server of your own choosing) containing the following items:

  • concept design or prototype (drawings, renders, photos, etc. )
  • at least three reference projects
  • the breakdown of the funds needed for the production (indicate whether you intend to invest your own funds and include their estimate)


Also, the application must include a concept prototype or a scale model to be delivered either to the Museum of Architecture and Design, BIO Office (ground floor, to the right), or sent by post to: Museum of Architecture and Design, Rusjanov trg 7, 1000 Ljubljana, bearing the inscription DESIGN DINING.


  • Application submission deadline: 18 May 2021
  • Announcement of results: by end of May 2021
  • Production: 10 June to 30 August 2021
  • Pop-up dinners: up to five days in September 2021 (exact dates will be determined later)
  • Exhibitions: BIO 27 accompanying programme, May–September 2022 (other venues will be determined later)


Submissions will be assessed using the above criteria, by a jury composed of:

  • Digna Kosse and Lucas Mullié (Foodcurators)
  • Jakob Pintar (Tabar Restaurant)
  • Andreja Japelj (Atelje Japelj)
  • Ana Kerin (Kana London)
  • Maja Vardjan (MAO)
  • Urška Krivograd (CzK)


After reviewing all submissions, the jury will carry out a pre-selection of candidates and then conclude individual contracts with selected designers.

About Distributed Design Market Platform

The Distributed Design Market Platform is an exchange and networking hub for the European maker movement and the outcome of the intersection of two global trends: the Maker Movement and the digitisation of the design discipline. Joining together 18 European organizations working in the field of design, distribution and production, the platform is a four-year project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.


More info at www.distributeddesign.eu


Centre for Creativity, Museum of Architecture and Design, Distributed Design Market Platform


Up to 1.500 EUR


18 May 2021