Davor Grünwald received the ULUPUH Grand Lifetime Achievement Award, at the solemn ULUPUH’s Yearly Awards presentation ceremony, held at historic building of Old City Townhall in Zagreb on December 18, 2017. The Association of Artists of Applied Arts of Croatia ( ULUPUH) has given this prestigious Award to Mr. Grunwald for his lifetime artistic work in the field of industrial design which has made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to ULUPH.
The Assembly of the City of Zagreb and the president of the Assembly of the City of Zagreb, Mr. Andrija Mikulic took over the patronage of the Award ceremony. The president of ULUPUH’s Art Council, Ms. Visnja Slavica Gabout introduced Grunwald’s opus in slideshow presentation showing his projects realised in Croatia until 1975 and those realised in Canada from 1975 till 2008. The Award was aworded by president of Assembly of the City of Zagreb, Mr. Andria Mikulic and Ms. Ivana Bakal, president of ULUPUH.
It is interesting that Mr.Davor Grunwald, immediately after his graduation from Academy for Applied Arts in Vienna, became member of ULUPUH in 1968, and in year 1969 he already took part in foundation of the section for industrial design within ULUPUH. It enabled him to obtain the freelance status.
I spoke to Mr. Davor Grunwald after his acceptance this significant and deserving Award which makes feel happy and pleased on being rewarded for the creative and professional work that one does. Mr. Davor Grunwald is recipient of many Awards: Award of City of Zagreb 1974, Golden Medal in Leipzig, Canada Design Award 1982 and so on. So I asked him how did he receive the news that he would be presented with ULUPUH’s Grand Lifetime Achievement Award.
Davor Grunwald: “In my acceptance speech I mentioned…”you who came to share with us that sense of achievement which this event brings with it” …The word “achievement”, I associate with my point of view regarding awards in general. During my short period of activities in former Yugoslavia, respectively Croatia, from 1968 to 1975, I received all awards available of that time, including one of SKOJ (Yugoslav Communist Youth Association). My first prestigious Award in Canada has been Canada Design Award, which I received in distant 1982. Since then I have not competed any more for award, despite the fact that I could do it every two years. I have concluded that the traveling and hotel cost too much for my budget. For me it has been more important to take care about my family and my house located in center of Toronto than to gain glory for myself. I have known that for my employers and clients it has been more important my mechanical-constructive works than collections of my industrial design awards. I have refused to take a risk of losing the jobs because of my, as per them, “freakish” attitude. In that kind of situation I recall our proverb: Don’t fight hornet! My instincts have never fooled me! I knew that the “glory” would happen one day when the conditions mature. And now it is just happening!
Colleagues of my generation as well as the younger ones realised the quality and quantity of my professional opus and they just spontaneously lifted me on the lauerat throne. That is why I am very thankful to them for this sense of achievements.”
Jasna Lovrincevic: “In our conversations before receiving this Award you mentioned that Mr. Ph.D. Goroslav Keller had recommended to ULUPUH’s Art Council your nomination and ULUPUH’s Board of Directors had accepted it. From your Memoirs it is known that Mr. Keller, after your decision to immigrate to Canada, wrote an article, under the title: Why did Davor Grunwald leave? He wrote that working by Calculating Machines Factory in Zagreb, you had possibility to integrate whole your interest in manufacturing industries, your knowledge and talent.
Could you please tell us a bit more about Mr. Keller, about your eventual cooperation with him before you went to Canada! Have you had any contact with him during your stay in Canada and how was looked like your meeting in Zagreb?”
Davor Grunwald: “During my study in Vienna (1964-68) we were in contact. He was husband of my cousin so we knew each other. In that time he already was well known as design theorist and later on he has achieved Ph.D. degree on the same topic. On the other hand, I was and still I am, typical practical designer so we used to complement each other. His article, Why did Grunwald leave, is now classic example of industrial design history in Croatia. In the article he was talking of immaturity of Yugoslav society to accept my approach to design of products which were so important for being competitive in the world market. During my frequent visits to Croatia we sometimes met, talked to each other and went our own ways. For last couple of years he has been the president of ULUPUH’s Industrial Design Section which I established in 1969. Since than we have had more vigorous conversations about what we have accomplished. In September 2017 it was installed beautiful exhibition at Croatian Design Association Gallery (HDD), my guiding trough exhibition and my Monograph promotion. Mr. Keller has participated very actively in discussions through that events. Soon after I returned to Canada, Mr. Keller surprised me by his email informing me that I had been nominated for ULUPUH Grand Lifetime Achievement Award. I thanked him but I did not believe that I would be chosen at the end since there have been many quality members of my generation who deserve that aword. Then the official email from ULUPUH’ Office has come that I have been chosen for main Lauerat for this year (2017). I have not had any doubt; I have traveled for few days to Zagreb to obtain this superb Award in person. It is an opportunity not to be missed!
The experience I obtained through my first workt after my graduation, by the Calculating Machine Factory, as well as my interest in producing industry, my knowledge and talent, all of that have played important role in my professional development in Canada. I have not been afraid of complicated circumstances in different índustries which had not known the meaning of industrial design. I have “educated” them and “forced” them to accept my methods. Trough my constructive – mechanical solutions, which my employers and clients have expected from me, I have “quietly” implemented industrial design elements like: ergonomics, aesthetics, choice of materials and production technologies etc.”
Jasna Lovrincevic: “In our discussions and written exchange before your trip to Zagreb to obtain this Great Award, you addressed the beginning of new activities in Croatia 2015. You mentioned Mr. Boris Ljubicic, graphic designer, who recommanded to Museum of Art and Craft in Zagreb (MUO) to archive your professional opus. Could you please tell more about cooperation with Mr. Ljubicic and how did it came to proposal of archiving your opus?”
Davor Grunwald: “I met Mr. Ljubicic at Third Bienniale of Industrial Design, BIO 3, in Ljubljana, in the beginning of seventies last centuries. Then I received the Awards for my electronic calculators. I have followed the news about his success, as much I could from that distance, from Canada. The news about Mr. Ljubicic success were always prominently displayed in Croatian newspapers. After my retirement 2008, I have developed the digital version of my design presentation. I have sent this to all people I have cared for, among others, to Mr. Ljubicic. Soon after that, Mr.Ljubicic has informed me that he had proposed to Museum of Art and Craft ( MUO) in Zagreb to archive my professional opus. I have come in touch with Koraljka Vlajo, the custodian for design in MUO. That is how my “return” to Croatia has begun.”
Jasna Lovrincevic: “In your Acceptance Speech you have tanked in the name of all winners and also in the name of Mrs. Ana Lendvaj who died 2016. You met her 1988. when she interviewed you for Vecernji list. The interview was published under the titel: Why has fallen the curtain of silence?
It is interesting title, I suppose that the topic was your departure for Canada. Who did initiate that interview since you were in Canada in that time?”
Davor Grunwald: “At that time I already have “made my name” in Canada. I have received the prestigious Canada Design Award for my design of one geophysical instrument and I have designed very successful lines of Fast Ion Deposition Printers for Delphax Corporation. I felt I wanted to „boast“ and to give the message to individuals who prevented me in 1974 in my professional activities, who practically expelled me from former Yugoslavia, respectively Croatia. I went to Croatian daily newspapers Vecernji List office and explained what I wanted. They recommended the journalist Mrs. Lendvaj. She understood why I wished that interview and she wrote the article in that tone.”
The Various Category Winners are Awarded
At the ULUPUH’s Yearly Awards presentation, held on December 18, 2017, besides Davor Grünwald, the various category winners are awarded. Mr. Grunwald was invited to give a acceptance speech in the name of all winners, so in this interview he wanted to mention all significant events in Croatia that preceded to this Aword including people who participated in realization of that events. He believes that those people have contributed to his honoring with Grand Lifetime Achievement Award.
Davor Grunwald: “I would like specially to thank to some people who, with their particular work and their effort, in recent time, have helped to create very positive climate around my designer’s opus that for sure has contributed to this significant Award.
With the recommendation of our distinct graphic designer, Mr. Boris Ljubičić, for archiving my professional opus created in the last half century, by Museum for Arts and Craft (Muzej za umjetnost i obrt in Zagreb), it started my new, vital and inspiring period in Croatia. The beautiful exhibition under the title, Davor Grunwald, Retrorama of Industrial Design 1968-2008 has been organised by Croatian Designer’s Association (HDD). Mr. Marko Golub and Ms. Koraljka Vlajo have been it’s conceptual designers and they have written intelligent accompanying text. The same duo have published my “small” Monograph under the title, Davor Grunwald, Industrial Design, which has been promoted in HDD Gallery. After all, these events have enabled some pleasant encounters, like the meeting with Mr. Goroslav Keller who has suggested my nomination for Lifetime Achievements Award to ULUPUH’s Art Council, which the ULUPUH’s Board of Directors finally have approved. In the eve of the Award Mr. Ljubičić sent me the note: We have not forgotten you!“
Jasna Lovrincevic: “Regarding your exhibition and promotion in Zagreb, in October 2017 you have been asked for many interviews and you have participated in different television programs. What is your impression about that events?”
Davor Grunwald: “Yes, I was impressed with journalists who successfully handled with industrial design, what is far from easy topic. I would like to highlight Ms. Patricija Kiš from Jutarnji list, Željka Laslavić who works for LIDER and Mirjana Zugel Pavličić from Croatian Radio Television.
I met also several young designers who came to me and convinced me with their quality work. They are: Maša Milovac, Morana Matković, Deborah Hustić, Ivan Šantić, Grupa Baluna. From my point of wiew they will be the leading designers of the next generation n Croatia.”
Davor Grünwald Legacy to World Industrial Design
On my last question what would be his legacy to world industrial design, I received the answer related to his theoretical work on industrial design definition. In fact, Davor Grunwald has used to write articles for ICSIDnews Magazine and during the ICSID’s Congress (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) held at Toronto in 1996, he took part as one of ACIDO’s directors (Association of Canadian industrial Designers). At that time he organized exhibions for his colleagues, industrial designers. He has mentioned that in his Memoirs.
Davor Grunwald: “I published an article in 1995 in ICSIDnews Magazine (4/95), under the title: Design of Products of Limited Production and Distribution. In the article I was insisting that ICSID’s (ICSID – International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) definition of industrial design (ID definition) neglected 70% of world products of small series. Those ID definition contained that only mass produced products were being treated by elements of industrial design. I was the first, 23 year ago, who discovered this colossal mistake and injustice and I insisted that two distinguish groups of products, mass and limited produced, should be mentioned in ICSID’s ID definition. I had a good reason for insisting on that since all my designs products were products of small series. For the first time, since 2015 ICSID title changed into WDO (World Design Organization), my proposals have been accepted. Probably, not based on my article, someone has come to the same conclusion but 20 years later. I have asked the new president of WDO to give me some acknowledgement of my “discovery”. She has refused! But it is one other story.”
DAVOR GRUNWALD’S ULUPUH’S YERLY AWARDS, ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
December 18, 2017.
Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen!
Allow me first to thank in the name of all awarded to Mr. Andrija Mikulic, the president of Assembly of the City of Zagreb and to Mrs. Ivana Bakal, the president of ULUPUH, in my case for Lifetime Achievements Award as well for Awards awarded to my colleagues for their, here presented, more than successful, projects.
This is definitive in the spirit of ULUPUH mission to develop, award and stimulate Croatian applied art.
Thank you, friends and families and all of you who have come here to share with us that sense of achievement which this event brings with it. You helped us, supported us in these creative processes which brought us to this today.
I met Ms. Ana Lendvaj in 1988 when she interviewed me for newspaper Vecernji list and published the article under the title: Why have fallen the curtains of silence? I am immensely happy that I found myself today in her company, unfortunately, posthumously. I am confident that I share this feeling with everyone.
I hope that these Awards and all what preceded it will contribute to better understandings in general to industrial, fashion, exhibits and ceramic design creations and to encouraging of young members. The promotions of honorary members make their artistic maturity to be widely known to the public.
These all will, eventually at the end, reflect in economical, social and cultural development of Croatia.
And at the end I would like once more to thank in the name of awarded to Assembly of the City of Zagreb and ULUPUH for these valuable Awards.
THANK YOU ALL