Luxury of freedom


3rd BIG BERRY Mastermind 2018: Tomaž Aupič

Credit: BB team

We were very pleased to welcome the creative Tomaž Aupič, our 3rd BB Mastermind host, at BIG BERRY Kolpa River on the 17th of May 2018. He took the time to visit us, to share his experiences with the young student designers from the Faculty of Textile Industry of Zagreb from the Design Year Project and to talk about the path ‘From design to sales’.

‘Don’t wait for people from your home to agree with you or your idea, go into the world and push your idea forward’

Tomaž fell in love with architecture when he was attending civil engineering school in Novo Mesto. He went to the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana to pursue his dream and while studying architecture, he worked as a graphic designer and project manager for marketing companies . During his final year, he got a great opportunity to work with a young company from Bela Krajina - Starkmat s.p. He took part  in a very innovative project: the Active Chair Project. At first, he was mainly involved in the industrial design and visual communication design, but the brand started growing and since they were a small team, he became their business partner and project manager. It’s already been two years since he became a proud member of this interesting project!

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Credit: BB team

Active Chair project started two years ago, and Tomaž and the two other members of the team were working on this project exceedingly. After some ups and downs, they finally created a prototype of their Active Chair, so they decided to go to a design fair. During the five days of the fair, they had the opportunity to show their work but also to sell it. They sold around 70 chairs, which helped launch the Active Chair Project!

‘Sitting is the new smoking’

On the afternoon of May 17th we were sitting comfortably around the BB barbecue house when Tomaž started his talk by asking us a simple question: ‘What are the steps, from the beginning to the end, of designing something once you already have the design/the idea?’. After some reflection, he resumed his talk by making a comparison between artists and designers: ‘designers are not artists, because designers make objects that one can use’’. The purpose was to demonstrate the reality of being a designer, designing objects and making a living out of it,  to help the student designers who were assisting get a more clear picture of their professional future: ‘Think of selling while designing’. He then asked the first question again, but now with a task to convince someone to buy their design. After that, Tomaž shared his personal experiences with the students. He talked about his current project, the Active Chair, and differents steps and some crucial points in a designer’s professional life such teamwork, listening to people, the ability to sell the product - not only the design but also the experience, while answering the customer needs at the same time- and finally the customer. Those were the things he didn’t learn while at the university, but through experience. It was a great sharing moment, especially for the student designers who gained more confidence and knowledge for their professional future.

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Credit: BB team

‘I know about BIG BERRY for 2 years now, I really like it because they involve many different people in the project. They really made something new in this area. They are special here in Bela Krajina, even in all of Slovenia.’


4th BIG BERRY Mastermind

Mireille Van Bremen will be our fourth BB Mastermind of the 2018 season. We are glad to welcome her to the following two sessions, the first starting on 29 May. The communication trainer and coach will share her knowledge on the topic ‘Building trust in personal and business relationships’.

Click here for more pictures!

By Augustin Martinez