“India's urban centres are exactly the type of market we are aiming for”
“India's urban centres are exactly the type of market we are aiming for”
May 23, 2021
By Anurag Yadav
Croatian designer Darko Spiljaric has created a kitchen that takes innovative design to new levels and now he wants to add the same innovation to its outreach.
In 1990, architect Darko Spiljaric founded the Inkea company that changed its name to Dizzconcept from January 2016. As a designer, he primarily engages in developing furniture and lighting fixtures. He examines the needs of contemporary man and develops innovative solutions in the area of residential and business spaces while keeping track of new materials and retaining high standards with regards to ergonomics and ecology.
An innovative concept of unique space-saving dimensions for the kitchen was introduced a few years back by a kitchen designer who himself launched his brand that interestingly presented the kitchen as a hidden space inside a cabinet that even had a TV on its exterior. This made the kitchen establish itself in those rooms where it was always added as an adjunct and a separate space. Right from living rooms, offices, student accommodations, dorms, wellness areas and bachelor apartments and a host of other spaces where measurements were a consideration and space utilisation was a priority.
The PIA kitchen was designed to preserve space by maximising its usability, thus making it a compact substitute for a classic kitchen that is smart in looks and practical for guests, even in service apartments. Occupying merely 1.6 sq m of space, the fully functional kitchen which also serves as a space divider and TV cabinet, is an award-winning innovative solution.
Darko Spiljaric, Founder, Dizzconcept (erstwhile Inkea Company)
The company recently announced a crowdfunding project to take marketing to a new level and to a wider consumer base across the world.
Kitchen Ideas spoke to Darko about the uniqueness of the innovation, not only of the design but also the methods of the company’s outreach to a wider international market. As the kitchen business leads towards maturity in India, Darko dwells on possible plans for this part of the world as well.
What is the PIA design for kitchen and how relevant it is to modern living?
There is a great demand for rationally furnished flats in big cities. Our primary market is young people, young career builders, not only young couples but also older people. We are offering a new concept for changing living habits. PIA is the result of years of our research on how to resolve future challenges of living in urban areas. While developing PIA concept, we have taken into account issues such as urbanisation, rising prices of m2 in big cities, rising energy consumption and ecological aspect.
Is it a replacement or alternative to a regular kitchen or it is just an interesting element for small spaces?
PIA is not only a kitchen, PIA has two main functions. There is, of course, the kitchen function and there is the TV cabinet function. PIA can be a substitute for a standard kitchen but it can also be an additional kitchen for a guest room or it can be placed in a recreational room, even offices.
What made you resort to crowdfunding to make PIA go global?
When we present our PIA kitchen on various fairs or web pages, people all around the world from many different cultures and ways of living all agree that this is a great concept that they haven't seen yet. The reactions are always extremely positive. This way we want to make PIA more accessible and globally available. As a small company, we find the crowdfunding platform a great tool for a global reach. We hope that both investors and customers will recognise our effort.
Can designers successfully take recourse to crowdfunding to establish their businesses? What were your experiences in this regard?
Yes, platforms like Indiegogo are dedicated to innovative solutions for the people that like to be ahead of their time. This is our first campaign of this sort, so we cannot talk about our previous experience. We notice that many great solutions successfully penetrated the global markets through this platform.
Occupying merely 1.6 sq. m. of space, the fully functional kitchen which also serves as a space divider and TV cabinet, is an award-winning innovative solution
What is the idea behind designing the kitchen concealed behind a TV cabinet exterior?
Configuring small flats usually implies a separate location for the kitchen in a separate space often while the TV cabinet is in the living room. In front of the TV cabinet and the kitchen, some free space is necessary. The PIA concept fuses these two functions into one (kitchen + TV cabinet) which results in a massive saving of the available (and often expensive) space. Watching the TV and cooking is not usually done at the same time, but even when someone wants it, we have a solution that enables it. This type of solution is very interesting for architects as it enables a new approach in designing small spaces.
What are the technical details you considered while designing the kitchen? How has been the response from the consumers so far?
There were a lot of technical challenges to resolve during the years of perfecting various technical details and solutions. The issue of safety was met with a safety switch that turns on/off the power for certain appliances upon opening /closing doors. It was not easy to find suitable appliances for some markets but we have overcome this problem as well. We have developed the cabinets in a way that it is easy to transport and to fit in a typical elevator. We have also optimised PIA folding in a way that it maximises the container space for overseas shipping. The smart way of folding PIA on a pallet makes the installation simple and quick (up to two hours). The response so far has been great! Our customers are very happy and we have successful cooperation with investors from the US and all over EU.
We also have projects in US (mostly NY) and EU (mostly in Italy and Switzerland) where we directly worked with the building company and installed PIA in dozens of flats. Our individual customers are also an important factor for us and they are most satisfied with the space-saving concept while retaining the great interior design.
What markets do you reach out to in your global outreach? Is India a part of your plans for marketing?
During the period of development and perfecting our product, we have come to realisation that the PIA concept is suitable for all major cities worldwide no matter the continent. So far our buyers have used PIA kitchen in small apartments, offices, tourist accommodation, aparthotels, as an additional kitchen for a guest house, etc.
We have delivered PIA kitchens according to their specific habits and plans of living. We have developed 6 PIA models based on the feedback from our customers. India, as a developing country is very interesting for us since India's urban centres are exactly the type of market we are aiming for and where PIA concept comes to full fruition. We welcome our India partners both for retail and for building/architect companies that find our concept interesting. We would like to use this opportunity to invite our India partners that are ready to join efforts with us and offer the PIA concept to Indian consumers.