AU Press Releases

Croatian-Austrian artists in five-week residency

Two members of the Croatian-Austrian artist collective Numen for Use, one of the most innovative and interdisciplinary design studios in Europe, are currently in residence through mid-March at Alfred University (AU) to work with students, teach, present their work, and create a new installation artwork on campus.

The Numen For Use visit is coordinated by Marketa Fantova, associate professor of theater design. The residency is a collaboration between the Division of Performing Arts and the School of Art and Design with funding from the Miller Endowment for Excellence in the Arts. Fantova notes she is grateful this residency is bringing together students from the School of Art and Design, Performing Arts, and IART (interdisciplinary art in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences).

Numen for Use, established by Sven Jonke, Christoph Katzler, and Nikola Redeljkovic in 1999, adopted the name “For Use” to emphasize their belief in the utilitarian and the functional core of product design. In addition, inspired by German Bauhaus, Russian Constructivism, and European Abstract Art, Numen’s work covers a wide spectrum of the applied art forms: interior design, industrial design, scenography, interactive site-specific design, and installation art.      

Originally the Numen Studio centered its work on commercially successful products in the areas of industrial, interior, and furniture design. Establishing “Element,” its own contemporary furniture line, products quickly grew in popularity in Italy, Austria, and Croatia and has led to exhibits in numerous major cities in Europe, from Copenhagen to Prague, Paris to St. Petersburg, and Berlin to Belgrade.

At the same time the group began scenographic experiments. These included the manipulation of space and objects that led to staged public events, installations, and design for opera, theater, and large, site-specific performance art events.

Numen For Use received the Prague Quadrennial Gold medal in 2011 for the Best Scene Design and a Gold medal for the Best Use of Theater Technology.

For more information on the Numen For Use visit call the Division of Performing Arts Office at 607.871.2562, or on Numen For Use, visit the group’s website at