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The New Wave at Milan Design Week

Kristina Zanic – Spaces with stories

Kristina Zanic is founder and CEO of Kristina Zanic Design Consultants, with offices in Dubai and Bangkok. Educated in Australia and having worked for 20 years in Thailand, Kristina opened her Dubai office ten years ago, and has been busy ever since creating her wonderful interiors in luxury hotels and other commercial projects for some very prestigious clients. 

We meet Kristina in the courtyard of the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan’s historic art gallery and home during Design Week to our GROHE SPA launch event. Admiring the architecture of this wonderful building, as well as the wonderful art and artefacts that are displayed here, it is easy to discern the Milanese creative tradition that led to the foundation of Design Week, which is characterized by an openness to all influences from around the globe and founded on a deep knowledge and appreciation of the city’s rich heritage in the creative arts.

It’s a setting that connects Kristina to Design Week, as her approach is all about eclecticism. Her own design education was broad-based and very hands on. And in her working life she has always been prepared to commit totally to the projects she is offered, broadening her own vision in response to the particularities of the setting. She says that her signature style doesn’t rely on one tradition or aesthetic. She likes to be inspired by her travels, which have been and continue to be extensive, and to be led by the client’s wishes rather than imposing her own ideas. She has repeatedly won plaudits for her focus on what is viable and pragmatic for each specific project.

That all said, the end results are always stunning and expressive of a coherent vision. Examples of the projects she’s worked on recently in UAE show beautiful use of pattern and texture, very much in the local tradition, and Kristina’s brilliant eye for colour. Depending on the space, these can be neutrals and pastels or deep saturated earth tones and reds.

Kristina’s clientele, both those commissioning projects and those who will eventually inhabit them, are accustomed to high levels of luxury and service. Buildings in the UAE are the biggest, most opulent and most eye-catchingly impressive in the world. Anyone living there or paying regular visits in recent years could be forgiven for thinking they had seen it all. Kristina keeps her own palate fresh and that of her clients by refusing to be tied down to one way of thinking or doing things. Vastly experienced, well-travelled and comfortable working at an intimate or monumental scale, her attitude is refreshingly can-do. Watch our interview with Kristina where she shares her impressions of Design Week and the GROHE SPA launch.

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