Wind from the East: the story of Zanat, a refined design brand that comes from Bosnia

20 September 2021


Its roots lie in an ancient and noble manufacturing tradition that today is renewed through the creations of successful designers

Eastern Europe is a breeding ground for unprecedented creatives and companies on the rise. In this creative nouvelle vague, Zanat stands out in an interesting and sophisticated way, a brand born in 2015 but anchored to an ancient family tradition of furniture production. Over a century ago, Gano Niksic, the great-grandfather of the company’s founders, came across the specific wood engraving techniques of Konjic, a village south of Sarajevo. At the time the territory was under the Austro-Hungarian rule and this type of processing was encouraged and supported. Gano learned these techniques and teamed up with a number of established producers in the area who were already participating in international exhibitions. The processing techniques were passed on to subsequent generations, who gradually adopted an increasingly entrepreneurial approach to production, focusing heavily on exports and always keeping an eye on foreign countries.

igman by zanat
Igman chair by Zanat

Thanks also to their work, in 2017 Konjic’s engraving techniques became part of the UNESCO cultural heritage, and many examples of the company’s production are now part of the permanent collection of the museums of Belgrade and Sarajevo.

Meanwhile, at the end of the war in Bosnia in 1995, the company began to transform. The idea was to explore the world of contemporary design, strengthened by a deep knowledge of the raw material: wood. The goal was to demonstrate that ancient manufacturing techniques could mix with modern style. In 2013, the time was ripe for the birth of Zanat, a company that brings together ancient craftsmanship and a modern vision of industrial production with particular attention to social justice and the environment.

Kalia Chaise Longue by Zanat

After all, the name Zanat, in Bosnian means craftsmanship, precisely to bring forward a historical aspect of the local culture and merge it with contemporary design. The company tells us about a new face of this territory: a sophisticated and exclusive face. The style of Zanat furnishings is essential, enriched with discreet and elegant decorative details. Drier than the Italian style, warmer than the German or Scandinavian style: it is a unicum that reflects the stylistic influences that have followed one another in its country of origin over the decades.

koam by zanat
Koam sideboard by Zanat

The furnishings are produced in Bosnia but the design contributions come from some of the most prestigious international studios. A few examples? The Touch collection of tables, sideboards, coffee tables is by Ilse Crawford: the main feature is the treatment of the wood surface, studded with a series of measured incisions with a tactile and visual consistency reminiscent of that of a precious fabric.

Jean Marie Massaud has signed, among others, the project of the Kalia chaise longue. An apparently simple piece of furniture created by the skilful processing of about 50 pieces of wood, connected at a 45 ° angle to create the perfect curve of the chair. A work of the highest craftsmanship and silent elegance.

touch by zanat
Touch table by Zanat

Harri Koskinen, Finnish designer, is the author of the Igman seating line. Here the structure enhances the versatility of wood, combined with the leather of the seat. In addition to the dining chair, the collection also includes the armchair and the footrest.

Touch table by Zanat

Among the other designers who collaborate with the company there are also Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, Sebastian Herkner, Monica Förster: suggestions from various European countries, each with its own history and style but all united by a deep respect for the artisan production process. . The Zanat house is therefore a cultured and refined house, full of refined details and stylistic awareness.

Zanat Igman Mini Lounge Chair
Zanat Igman Mini Lounge Chair
Zanat Touch Sideboard
Zanat Touch Table
Zanat Kalia Chaise Longue

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