Niko Kralj: The King of Chairs


On the Implicitness of a Legendary Slovenian Designer

The Skica, Slovenian cultural-information centre in Austria in cooperation with the Museum of Architecture and Design will present during the Vienna Design Week the exhibition of the legend and one of the pioneers of Slovenian industrial design – Niko Kralj. The exhibition comprises the retrospective overview of Kralj’s work, his design career and role that he played in the development of design in contemporary Slovenia. It presents his archives, sketches, photographs, various prototypes and final products from the MAO collection. The most important among them are Rex armchair, Lupina series, 4455 and modular system furniture Futura if we list only the most known.

Niko Kralj has been one of the most important industrial designer in Slovenia and former Yugoslavia. He is one of the most important 20th century industrial designers in the world. His career as a designer is long and apart from several versions of the famous Rex armchair, it encompasses many other chairs, living room sets, wardrobes and furniture programs. Innovative solutions used by Kralj in the design of furniture and other products have contributed to the recognition of Slovene furniture industry and development of the culture of living in Slovenia. They are proof of the designer’s vast knowledge and the social aspect of his work. Because of timeless design, many of Kralj’s products are considered the Slovene classics of design.

Apart from the planning of products and product programs that have marked the homes and offices in the second half of 20th century, the broad range of his work includes continuous attempts at rationalizing production and pioneering achievements in the education of designers. After the successful work in Stol Kamnik he founded and managed Design Institute at the Ljubljana Faculty of Architecture until his retirement; there he carried out several dozen research projects and contributed to the development of the theory of design. He is the author of over a hundred patents in Slovenia and abroad and a prolific writer of many articles. His work has been honored with many awards.

The exhibition at Architekturzentrum Wien is an adaptation of the extensive retrospective overview of Kralj’s work and design career that was displayed under title Niko Kralj: Unknown Nnown Designer at the Museum of Architecture and Design in the end of 2011 and in the beginning of 2012.

At the opening of the exhibition in Vienna the English edition of the catalogue will be published. The catalogue has been written and edited by Barbara Predan and Špela Šubic, the authors of the exhibition.



Architekturzentrum Wien – Hall F3, Vienna, Austria


Wednesday, 3 October 2012, 7 pm

Speakers: Dietmar Steiner, director Az W and Matevž Čelik, director of MAO.

Lecture ond Design as Part of a Cultural Identity: Thomas Feichtner, professor of industrial design at the Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel.

Guided tour of the exhibition by: Špela Šubic and Barbara Predan, curators.

Working hours

daily, 10 am–7 pm

Entry fee



T: 00386 1 5484 270
E: infobio@mao.si