Life September 1, 2017

On My Desk: Ivana Babic

Design Group Italia grey logo
Design Group Italia
favorite objects of Ivan babic

In this new series, we snoop around our office and raid our co-workers’ desks for tools, materials and other inspiring objects and stories. First up, we popped by our Lead Product Designer Ivana Babic’s desk. And here is what we found:

Blue foam model for a current bionics project

In our work, ergonomics, functionality, technology, and aesthetics should come together in balance and synergy. Creating models comes early in the process, but I enjoy the whole journey from analysis and sketching to models and 3D development. For me, it is really important to work with my hands, since we create objects, which are almost always touched by real human hands. The objects should thereby be created by hands, too. By hand, you get the possibility to search for the right form, and it’s easy to see and build all sides and angles.

Erba Volant, Imparare l’innovazione dalle piante by Renato Bruni

I’ve been reading a book about discoveries in technology that were made thanks to analyzing plants and nature. It is about biomimetics, and it is really inspiring to see how nature has helped us to resolve certain human problems. I find nature the best inspiration we can have for both form and functionality.

MP3 Player

I’ve used my old MP3 player for 10 years. I like objects that last, both when it comes to function and aesthetics. Our objects change with time; we leave our footprints on them. Think of a leather bag, for example. The material will change and transform in use, but it doesn’t make the bag worse. On the contrary, the bag becomes personalized by you, in a way. I find it sad that today we live in a world in which everything changes so quickly that we cannot see this nor place value in these little signs of life in the objects we use. We replace everything so fast. If objects are designed and made well, from good materials, they will age well.


I row in my spare time. This photo is from river Ticino, where I was rowing as part of a ​500-kilometer trip on rivers and canals from Lake Maggiore all the way to Ravenna. I like to row on a team. I see a lot of analogies in rowing together towards a shared goal and in teamwork here at DGI. It’s very important for me to share the work and collaborate and to learn from each other. We all do our best, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Serbian coffee

I’m originally from Serbia, and we have a totally different way with coffee. Here in Italy, you drink an espresso while standing at the bar and go on with your day. In Serbia, it is more of a social ritual. You make the coffee fairly quickly but consume it slowly, while enjoying a conversation. The coffee is a lot like Turkish coffee, so you need to wait for it to settle before drinking, so the time aspect of the experience is very different. My co-workers like Serbian coffee too, so I make it here at the studio sometimes.