Niko Kralj is a highly celebrated central figure of Slovenian post-war design. Kralj's modern designs have come to represent a key part of the Slovenian cultural identity. His work from the mid 20th century sits comfortably alongside the most important industrial designers in the world.
If Yugoslavia had five Niko Kralj's, it would become a design superpower.
If you don’t know who designer Niko Kralj is, you can be forgiven. Not many people outside of Kralj’s homeland of Slovenia are familiar with his highly progressive and award-winning modern furniture designs.
In 1960 the Swedish daily Dages Nyheter proclaimed Niko Kralj to be the best furniture designer in Europe. In the course of his professional career he filed and registered 118 patents and models, written 39 research papers, appeared at 94 exhibitions and published over 100 articles on design.
In 1962 Niko Kralj received the highest Slovenian award for culture — the Prešeren Award — for his achievements in the field of architecture and design. Kralj's work has been included in a design exhibition at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and been part of the collection of Design Museum Denmark in Copenhagen, among other high-profile international exhibitions.
Today, Niko Kralj’s design legacy is celebrated and protected by Slovenian furniture company Rex Kralj.