Interview with Metka Javh Hribar, Owner of mjh-arhitekti, SI

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Metka Javh Hribar

With over 30 years of experience in architecture and interior design, Metka is well-versed in understanding how cultures can meld with modern architecture and applying it to the buildings she create.

Author: Metka Javh Hribar, univ.dipl.inž.arh.

Co-worker: Maja Mikuž, univ.dipl.inž arh., Snoj, univ.dipl.inž.arh.

Photo: Škrlep Peter

Interview with the 2019 MUSE Design Awards Winner - Metka Javh Hribar

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
I always make something special for myself to dress. I make jewelry, accessories, cups, draw sketches of Ljubljana (and sell them to tourists). I have a good sense of what fits together. I made many beautiful interiors for both individuals and companies. My job is my hobby! I have 30 years of experience in the fields of architecture, interiors and design. And I love every minute of it!
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
It all started when I was a little girl. I was always creating something, especially unique things. I always think I am special so I try to create something special.
3Tell us about your design process.
There are a lot of small companies for architecture here. So we decided to work together if the project is big.
4What does “design” mean to you?
Everything around us is design. Whether good or bed. And if the customer lets me finish the project, it will always be good.
5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?
My favorite design is timeless. That means, that when you look at it (specifically the lighting) you cannot tell the time of the design. I like those very much.
6To you, what makes a “good” design?
A good design is timeless.
7Describe your design style and its main characteristics.
First I make an analysis of the space “in and out”, listen to the history that it tells. Than try to make it timeless.
8Tell us about your design process.
Design process:
1. For one week I only thing about the problem.
2. Another one drawing sketches.
3. Try to think of a concept.
4. Try to build a story out of it.
5. And merge the two together.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
Of course. Europe and her secret cultural heritage has impact on me, because it has full details, roots, stories .... And I can do best stories in every project. We have Emona from Roman’s time , we have the Middle Ages, Secession time, we have Austro Hungarian buildings - all very Classical. Our history is rich and interesting, whether in the cities or in the country.
10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 MUSE Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Thank you! This was a sign that I am going in the right direction! I am trying to reach the artists that I admire, but till now it was impossible to realize. We hope to get some international recognition.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 MUSE Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
The project was very special and the process was amazing! I wanted to combine a spirit of an old building with heritage protection, new furniture that does not compete with the old but emphasizes it and the modern installation( electricity, ventilation, climate). With the motto, more is less. I was studying it, drawing sketches, listening how the building breathes and what kind of voice does it gives out.
12What was the biggest challenge with this project?
The challenge was explaining the details, colours... but the costumer gave me a lot of freedom. I could do anything I wanted. So I did the best interior in the building with the space given to me.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

It did not have a lot of impact yet, because in our country the award is not well known. On the other hand, I am optimistic, hoping to get similar projects with that kind of freedom.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
Your industry is big and full of opportunities to make something special.
1. Everything is possible.
2. Never say never.
3. You are good and you can be better.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
Because we are small. People are full of energy, so we can push the borders to the sky.
16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5- 10 years?
Evolution of creativity will go to the natural roots. Natural recycling materials, simple shapes. With less is more!
17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Catch everything with open arms!
18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
If you want to be good at your work, educate yourself, look at other cultures and make many mistakes.
19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
I was always asking myself, why don’t people recognize my talents? Also my mentor inspired me to make good work.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
Parents, husband and three children are my biggest inspiration!
21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Do not stop trying and make many mistakes.
22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Thank You.

Winning Entries

Bank in a Coffee shop or coffee shop in a Bank | 2019

Bank in a Coffee shop or coffee shop in a Bank | mjh-arhitekti | Muse Awards
The design idea for the interior was to combine two programs Sparkasse bank and cafe CACAO.
(read more at MUSE Awards)



mjh-arhitekti are a multi-functional company, working on diver’s projects. Some of them small, some of them big.

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