Vuk Dragovic was born in 1986 in Belgrade, Serbia. He graduated from Megatrend University, Faculty of Art and Design in Belgrade, with a major in Industrial Design. He primarily focuses on the functionality of an object, and then on the search for innovative forms and the solution for people’s needs in terms of the interaction with the products they are surrounded and come into contact with on a daily basis.
Last year he established the “Nera Design” studio with a university colleague – Mladen Milosevic, and the young designers have since created various products and chairs, such as “ays” and “puppo chair”.
In 2009 he received an honorable mention in the “tea off” competition in Chicago, for his Dione tea set. However, his design of the Atreides Yacht, has been the real crowd pleaser – the mentioned project receiving exposure in many magazines and local newspapers. The Atreides Yacht was his graduation project at University.
Vuk is planning postgraduate studies in Industrial Design or Nautical Design.
Q. You are pretty young, you are get graduated in Industrial Design, yet have a lot of experience in this field. When and how did you decide to become a designer?
A. Art has always been a passion of mine, and something I knew I would be doing. I grew up with a mother who is a graduated painter, so from a very young age I had access to her paints, papers and canvases. I spent many years searching for a sphere of art which completely fulfills me – when I was young it was painting on canvases, then when I started high school (specialized high school for woodcarving) I came into contact with 3D forms and sculptures made from wood. While I made these sculptures and objects from wood, I always tried to make things that are practical and can be used in some way. I suppose that was my first from of creation in terms of industrial design. After high school I enrolled in the Art and Design University, at the Faculty of Industrial Design – and this is where I found what I had been searching for.
Q. A couple months ago you came up with the critically acclaimed Atreides Yacht project, can you tell us a bit more about this and how did you get the idea?
A. The Atreides Yacht design was my graduating work at University. For this piece of work, I had to choose whether I wanted to design a chair or a yacht – I chose the latter. Because I had previously designed a chair, a yacht seemed like a perfect challenge, so I started ambitiously and spent the first month coming up with concepts and sketches. The actual idea came to me while I was thinking about people’s fear of the deep – I don’t think anyone is comfortable swimming in an ocean surrounded by deep blue nothingness. A lot of people also fear sharks, stingrays and other sea creatures. People have become accustomed to having something underneath their feet, so when they find themselves in the middle of the ocean, a fear of something lurking beneath them arises. That was the beginning of the idea about a yacht that has a portable pool. I wanted to solve the problem of the fear of the deep and allow people to swim freely and without fear, far from the shore, in the salty sea and enjoy their privacy.
Q. What inspires your everyday use objects, such as the Puppo Chair or the Dione Tea Set?
A. It sounds like a cliché, but I truly am inspired by everything that surrounds me. I don’t purposely look for inspiration for a certain product, it comes naturally and spontaneously. It could be a movie, or music or a book I’ve read. Lately I have been very inspired by conversations about products with my university colleagues. I believe inspiration stems from one’s individuality, or rather their lifestyle, their way of thinking. Industrial design, and art in general, is primarily a way of life, not just a profession, it’s a hobby and a profession at the same time, which occupies your thinking on a daily basis. By studying objects, nature and people, I come to specific ideas which I turn into projects.
Q. What do you aim to achieve?
A. Of course I have ambitions and goals, but I do industrial design because the creation process fulfills me. I get complete satisfaction when I work and when I finish a certain product. At the moment I aim to get into postgraduate studies in industrial design or nautical design. My main ambition, of course, is to do what I love and enjoy, but to be able to live from it at the same time.
Q. Do you have a secret project you would dream to realise?
A. At the moment it’s a yacht I have started working on about a month ago. It’s still in the sketching phase but I’ll be moving onto the 3D modeling of it very soon. Usually how it works is that when I think of something I end up realizing it through 3D modelling and rendering. The dream of any industrial designer is of course the actual production of a project, so I wish to see some of my designs produced.
Q. What are you currently working on?
A. At the moment I’m working on several projects which will be disclosed very soon. I’m working on the yacht I already mentioned, and I’m also working on a chair with a colleague from university, which will be finished by the end of the month. I’m also designing a napkin holder for DuPont, which will be made from Corian as part of the Mixer festival in Belgrade.
Q. What are your plans for the rest of 2010?
A. Since I will be graduating this month, and I’ll have a lot more free time on my hands, my plan is to devote myself to all of the projects I have been working on for the past year. I sounds funny, but I always carry a notepad and pencil with me, so that I can sketch out ideas as they come in my moments of inspiration. I also plan to thoroughly search for an international college where I can apply for postgraduate studies and hopefully go there by the end of the year. If I don’t enroll in anything, I will probably try to find work or an internship.
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the future and how do you feel Pelime might help facilitate this?
A. What I would like to achieve is to get some of my products produced so that I can present them to the market. Pleime is a platform that connects creative minds, and it is an honour to be able to showcase my work here, because it will be seen and commented on by industry professionals and people who are experts in their fields.