Organised by the School of Design, University of Zagreb, Croatian Designers Association in partnership with URIHO and the Association for Promoting Inclusion (UPI) and funded by The British Council, Croatia
The Extraordinary/Design workshop was an outgrowth of the highly successful All Inclusive Sarajevo project held in May 2009, drawing its inspiration from the co-design workshop model trialled then and the new networks formed. In Sarajevo, teams of designers from Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia led by RCA alumni had worked with four sheltered workshops employing deaf craftspeople. The aim was economic transformation for the struggling workshops through the use of design as a business strategy and social and creative empowerment through the inclusive co-design methodologies employed.
Sanja Bencetic, from the School of Design at the University of Zagreb, is a regional leader of one of the teams, created a new network of collaborators. The British Council again agreed to fund this project through their Croatian office. The Croatian Designers Association hosted the exhibition at the end of the five-day event.
Three teams of Croatian designers led by Freddie Yauner, Ian McIntyre and Andrew Walker worked with URIHO , the oldest and largest sheltered manufacturing facility in Croatia who produce garments, metal and ceramic products and orthopaedic goods. Gero Grundmann led the team that worked with the Association for Promoting Inclusion (UPI) at their workshop in Zagreb for people with learning disabilities.
As with the Sarajevo project, the brief for the four teams was to design and prototype new product portfolios and design guidelines for each workshop under the new Design Goods banner developed there to indicate the ethical basis of their origin. The UPI workshop had the added task of creating a stand-alone, flat-pack display kit to be used for different retail environments.
The four teams came up with an outstanding range of new product ideas which were exhibited at the close of the workshop at the Croatian Designers Association gallery space. They were then refined for an exhibition in Zagreb and Tokyo in October 2011. In May 2011, the project won the Grand Prix at D (Design) Day in Zagreb in May (see more images here).