Assoc. Prof. Lidija Pritržnik
Lidija Pritržnik graduated with honours in 2000 from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, majoring in Industrial Design, with prof. Vladimir Pezdirec and prof. dr. Stane Bernik.
Even before completing her studies, she joined the team of the Gorenje Design Centre in 1999, which operated under the expert guidance of Assoc. prof. Janez Smerdel until 2009. In 2009, she took over the professional management of the team of product designers of the Gorenje design studio (GDS). This studio was based on a nearly 60-year tradition of designing household appliances for the international market. At the beginning of 2009, she took over the professional management of a design team depleted by retirement, which was then divided into the provision of services for external clients and for the majority client Gorenje. Over the next 2 years, until the beginning of 2022, she re-established a team and transferred knowledge to new employees, most of whom are ALUO graduates and supplementary specialists in knowledge from abroad or from Slovenia.
Following Gorenje’s takeover of foreign companies in Europe (Czech Republic, Netherlands, Sweden, Serbia), in the period from 2015 to 2018, in addition to professional and organisational management of the GDS team in Velenje (up to 20-25 employees), she was responsible for coordination between all three interdisciplinary studies of the Gorenje Group: in Velenje, Sweden and the Netherlands. During this time, in addition to development projects, strategic design projects were created, such as the Renovation of Innovation and Design Process project in cooperation with KCDM 2.0 and the Grow / PARK program. A strategy for the differentiation of global and local brands (BZ) of the Gorenje Group was prepared. For the interdisciplinary team in charge of the development of BZ Gorenje, long-term documents such as the Gorenje brand playbook and Gorenje communication / visual communication design were established, a Product Design Identity manual and a Product Placement and Presentation manual were prepared, and a Service Design manual was set up.
In 2018, Hisense Corporation purchased and became the owner of Gorenje. From 2018 to 2022, Lidija Pritržnik headed the Product Design Department at Hisense Gorenje Europe d.o.o. During this period, her scope of responsibility extended to collaborating with Hisense Design Studies in China. She also took responsibility for the product identity of Hisense brand cooking appliances for the EU and USA markets. In the period 2018-2022, she co-created a strategy for product differentiation and product identity between BZ Gorenje and BZ Hisense.
Her professional and design management experience and commitment to quality, with an emphasis on end-user understanding in a global multi-brand company, is confirmed by at least 11 million products produced annually, sold on 6 continents in 160 countries and marketed under 3 global and 10 local brands (data for 2020).
In 22 years of practice, she had the opportunity to acquire, transfer theory and experience in product design around the world – Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden), USA, Mexico, Brazil, China, Japan, Australia and elsewhere. She has an excellent insight into the theory and practice in the international space of brands, product design, research methods for monitoring the market, end users and other stakeholders, modern design processes and methodologies. She has many years of experience working in international interdisciplinary development teams.
She has been active in various ways in the promotion and importance of design in a company that employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. In 22 years of work in Gorenje’s design team and 12 years of professional and organisational leadership of the team, she has offered employment and the opportunity to gain practical experience to many ALUO graduates who consequently have been able to meet with foreign companies, other experts, external research or design agencies – either in the form of internships, fixed-term employment, but mostly for an indefinite period. During the professional management of doc Pritržnik in the last 12 years, the GDS team has received numerous international and design awards, including 15 internationally acclaimed Red Dot Awards, the iF Design Home Style Award and other forms of recognition and acclaim.
From the academic years 2014/15 to 2021/2022, Lidija Pritržnik was also an external associate of ALUO at the Department of Industrial and Unique Design, where she conducted courses, diploma and master’s theses in Industrial Design Planning at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. In early 2022 however, she joined ALUO as a permanent associate in the Department of Industrial Design.
- Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Ljubljana, 1994-2000.
1999–2008: Gorenje d.d., Velenje
- leading designer
- gaining experience under the expert guidance of Assoc. prof. Janez Smerdelj (9 years)
2009–2015: Gorenje Design Studio d.o.o., Velenje (GDS)
- head of Industrial Design 2008-2010
- creative director 2010-2012 (industrial design, visual communications, architectural design)
2015–2018: Gorenje d.d., Velenje
- director of product design – professional and organisational management of the design team and coordination of global teams
- coordinating role and connecting global design studios Gorenje Group (Gorenje Design Center in Slovenia, Asko Design Department in Sweden and Atag Design Department in the Netherlands)
2018 – 2021: Hisense Gorenje Europe (HGE)
- Director of Product Design for HGE mid-range brands – Gorenje, Hisense, Mora, Upo HGE – professional and organisational management of design teams
- Director of Product Design Hisense Europe Design Centre (appointment 11/5/2018)
- Deputy Director of Design at Hisense International Design Centre (appointed on November 5, 2018)
Awards and recognitions
- 2002: BIO 18 ICSID excellence design award, Ljubljana 2002; Touch the future Gorenje line of household appliances
- 2005: RED DOT winner award 2005, (first Red Dot for Slovenia), Essen 2005; WA65205 AL washing machine Gorenje
- 2011: RED DOT honourable mention 2011, Essen 2011; Oven interface Gorenje
- 2012: RED DOT winner AWARD 2012, Essen 2012; WM SensoCare Gorenje
- 2012: RED DOT winner AWARD 2012, Essen 2012; IQcook Gorenje
- 2013: RED DOT winner award 2013, Essen 2013; Aerogor Heat Pump Gorenje
- 2013: RED DOT winner award 2013, Essen 2013; DSD Descender Anthron
- 2014: RED DOT winner award 2014, Essen 2014; Gorenje built-in oven Gorenje
- 2015: RED DOT winner award 2015, Essen 2015; Gorenje+ hood Gorenje
- 2015: Red dot winner award 2015/16, Essen 2015; New generation of compact built-in ovens Gorenje 45 cm high
- 2016: Recognition of important works of art University of Ljubljana, in industrial design
- 2016: Red dot winner award 2016/17, Essen 2016; New generation of multifunctional built-in ovens Gorenje 60 cm high
- 2018: Red dot winner award 2017/18, Essen 2017; New generation of Gorenje built-in gas hobs
- 2019: Red dot winner award 2018/19, Essen 2018; New generation of Gorenje WaveActive washing machines
- 2019: Red dot winner award 2018/19, Essen 2018; New generation of WaveActive Gorenje dryers
- 2020: Red Dot winner award 2019/2020, Essen 2019; New generation of Gorenje Simplicity 2.1 induction hobs
- 2018: AWE China Best Design Award 2019, Shanghai 2019; Gorenje Retro Special Edition 2018
- 2017: International Big SEE award winner product design 2017, Ljubljana 2017; New generation of Gorenje built-in gas hobs
- 2018: International Big SEE award winner product design 2017, Ljubljana 2018; New generation of Gorenje WaveActive washing machines
- 2018: International Big SEE award winner product design 2017, Ljubljana 2018; The new generation of Gorenje WaveActive dryers
- 2019: PLUS X AWARD 2018/19 – award for innovation, high quality, design excellence, design and simplicity and ranking in the Hall of Fame, Germany 2019; New generation of Gorenje WaveActive washing machines
- 2021: International Big SEE Award Special Commendation of the Jury 2021, Ljubljana 2021; Built-in oven Gorenje Optibake Black
- 2021: Plus X Award 2021/2022 – award for categories: high quality, excellent design, ease of use and functionality, Germany 2021; Built-in oven Gorenje Optibake Black
- 2022: International Design Award German 2022 – excellent Product Design Kitchen category, Germany 2022; Built-in oven Gorenje Optibake Black
Research or work of art
In all fields of art, Lidija Pritržnik has focused on a comprehensive user experience, directed design methodology, practice and the development of a meaningful and long-term product identity, which included:
- BZ identity
- Industrial design
- UI / UX formatting
Management in design:
- differentiation of platform products for different brands
- development of product identities for individual global and local brands
- creating a new holistic identity of the Gorenje brand (2017) – connecting the visual identity of products, product graphics, visual communications, UI / UX areas, the space in which products are presented
- Fair layouts
- artistic management of projects for the design of fair installations in the international space for Gorenje BZ
- Sales points
- artistic management of points of sale design projects for Gorenje BZ