Design without a Mediator

architect Oleg Hržić
project Exhibition Libraries, Academy Glyptotheque, Zagreb, Croatia
written by Sandra Križić Roban


Nothing is the same as it once was. Accordingly neither books nor libraries are what they used to be. In the spillover from the general “depreciation” of reading, libraries started to lag behind helplessly confronted with the flood of books of the same size. They became places where we can hardly find the expected “lived experience”, they became places where we rarely stop because we have got used to transience and are not willing to look for a title through the dusty covers. 


Libraries by Oleg Hržić is inevitably connected to the attitude towards books. Some books will be displayed, by mere chance, in an adequately designed environment following market forces and “refined” by contemporary design. Authors are liberty to perform formal experiments in the context of a space that is no longer understood as a shelter or a shrine. Hržić readily responds with his series of products made of the industrial material – steel plate and metal rods, open structures united by the idea of the library. Formally, it a question of a system of elements that can be interpreted according to the author’s interest. It was formed at a certain moment and based on the aesthetics of the Russian Constructivists. Another basis for the work of Oleg Hržić was perhaps the applied arts design formed during the 50s and 60s, such as the rounded designs by Arne Jacobsen and Eames.