Institute lab Laar was founded by two creative woman who both loves beautiful things and appreciate the handiwork. Valentina Vovk, an art historian who is always looking for young talents and Maja Korun Hočevar, cultural anthropologist who is interested in the application of old craft knowledge into modern design. That being said they mostly work on projects actively for promoting of Slovenian craftsmen and young designers. These projects are sustainable and are meant to encourage new economic opportunities for young artists. The two ladies also run a small online shop where they currently represent carefully curated Slovenian brands, but they have their eyes wide open for others, mostly Eastern European, young designers.
Maja lives in Ljubljana with her husband and their dog. Valentina lives in a small family house in the suburb of Ljubljana, together with her man their two sons and three pets, dog, cat and a turtle. Read about their summer(s).
1. Describe your dream summer holiday!
We both love to travel and explore the unknown and we both love hiking in the mountains.
Maja: I spent my student years in Paris so my dream holiday would be to spend at least two weeks in France, traveling around with my man and meeting my friends again. After that I would love to have some quality time alone with my man. A week in a lovely mountain cottage, where we would plan hiking trips from, or just reed and do nothing.
Valentina: My dream holiday would be a road trip with my boys. We are planing a trip from the north to the south of Italy, where we would love to climb to Etna. My little boy is talking about volcanoes all the time, so we looked for the closest one and started to dream about our next trip. We would sleep in lovely small hotels, enjoy Mediterranean food, visit beautiful old towns and end this trip in Sardinia, where we would just relax and enjoy nature for a while.
2. Where do you really spend you summer holidays?
Maja: Every summer is a new story. I married Andrej in the beginning of this summer. The ceremony was on a meadow at the beautiful Lake Bohinj. We spent our holidays right there in a cottage by the lake, surrounded by mountains and beautiful nature.
Valentina: I usually spend my family summer holidays on the Croatian island of Hvar and this year was no different. I love Hvar and especially a little town called Vrboska, where we stay. We feel almost at home there, we have a lot of friends among locals and moreover, is not too crowded which suit us and not to mention all the beautiful beaches Vrboska has.
3. Do you cook or eat out? Love to cook but also love to eat out
We both love to cook very much but when we travel or are on holidays we love to eat out and taste local specialties.
4. Fav summer food?
Maja: My favorite summer food is raw food and a lots of salads and fruit.
Valentina: I love to eat sea food and barbecue food. In summer time there is more opportunity for outdoor hanging with friends.
5. Is it party, party, party or catching up on your reading? Reading, party is for winter
Maja: For me winter is more party time and summer is time to relax and read a lot.
Valentina: Usually I have more time to read during our summer holidays, so I try to catch up with my reading list then.
6. How about festivals?
Maja: I don’t like festivals so much, for me they are to crowded.
Valentina: I rarely visit summer festivals because I’m usually on Hvar or somewhere in mountains.
7. What is your summer guilty pleasure? Ice cream
Maja: Ice cream.
8. Where was the best summer holiday you ever had?
Maja: Ironicly (as I don’ like sea side), but at Olib in Mediteranean sea.
Valentina: I love all my summer holidays so far and love to think the best one is jet to come.
9. Favorite summer spot in Ljubljana?
We both like the same places in Ljubljana, TOZD, Kino Šiška and Metelkova mesto. We usually have our meetings in cultural centre Kino Šiška, like to drink our coffe in TOZD wich is in old part of Ljubljana and when we want to party and dance we meet with friends at Metelkova Mesto.
10. Cocktail or lemonade?
Read the whole Lazy-Crazy-Hazy Interview Series!