Modern workspaces for millenials

Interview with architect Ivan Jovanovac for the project at Reaktor Ltd. in Croatia

Creating Light Creates Inspiration - Modern workspaces for millenials require a different architectural approach. Zumtobel supports with products such as ONDARIA to improve wellbeing in the office and to boost creativity. Lightlive spoke with the architect and the owners of the start-up Reaktor Ltd. about the general challenges they meet in creating new office environments and especially during the lighting project for their new office in Osijek, Croatia. 

© Samir Kurtagić
Architect Ivan Jovanovac (34) © Samir Kurtagić

Questions for the architect: Ivan Jovanovac (34)

- How do you look at workspaces for younger generations – millennials from an architectural point of view? What are the challenges in creating offices for them?

We witness great changes in the world which comprise technology, lifestyle, the way we work and interpersonal relations, so architecture, i.e. the approach to architectural planning itself, is a part of those changes. Everything got faster, digitalized and overlaps in some way, that is, some new categories, concepts and approaches emerged. The way younger generations do business demands great flexibility and multi-functionality of space. Specifically, in this case, the the task was to design a business space which comprises office area, a workshop and a meeting/lounge room.

- Why was this smart/modern/homely atmosphere of office chosen, instead of traditional type of office? Was it connected to the well-being of workers, was the reason to fit more to the wishes of customers?

The answer is "yes" to everything. The investor wished to have an office which would, regarding its purpose and appearance, overlap with a casual household style. I share his opinion that this combination is excellent for all offices which are involved in any kind of creative process. In moments of creative effort, our mind demands freedom, diversity, rest, so the space should follow up with that, even more because we spend at least one third of our day there.

- What were the main challenges for creating this office?

It was challenging to arrange a contemporary office which will satisfy the needs of its users, reach the highest possible degree of flexibility and modularity, achieve the desired esthetic level as the spatial identity of the office, and, of course, spend as less resource as possible in doing so. I also need to note that the collaboration was great because we were on the same wavelength.

- How would you describe the perfect luminaire for this type of office from an architect’s point of view?

When designing, I find it important to satisfy the need for sufficient light in the working area, designing the light fittings, i.e. incorporating them into the concept of space, and that the lighting itself has the option of adjusting the level of brightness according to the activities in the space. Considering everything mentioned, the perfect light fittings for this office are already here.

The start-up Reaktor Ltd. with an Zumtobel ONDARIA lighting solution. © Reaktor Ltd.
Srđan Kovačević (38), Vlatko Matijević (42), Ivan Jelušić (26) (from left to right) © Samir Kurtagić

Questions to the company owners: Srđan Kovačević (38), Vlatko Matijević (42), Ivan Jelušić (26)

What is your company’s core business?

Reaktor is a creative lab for hardware R&D.

Can you explain your working day?

We typically spend our workdays developing creative technical solutions in order to materialise the products our clients dreamed up. There is always a lot of soldering, fine mechanics, precision optics, and 3D printing, so impeccable lighting is absolutely critical.


What will you use this office for?

The office space that you see is our creative space. This is where the magic happens. We have an additional space which functions as an assembly floor, where various products are manufactured and stored.

Why did you choose this office design instead of traditional one?


Our company is about creating new things. About innovation, and pairing aesthetics with function. Beautiful and unusual environment inspires, and gets ones creative juices flowing. Also, it’s much more fun to fly miniature drones in an office like this.

What are your needs in terms of lighting? What would your perfect luminaire look like and which functions would it need to have?

We need a lot of lux on our desks. Also, because the deck structure obstructs the natural light under the frame, we keep the lights on throughout the day, so the light needs to be energy efficient, durable, and easy on the eye.

At a risk of sounding flattering and insincere, we have to say that ONDARIA is really like it’s been custom made for our space. The round design nicely brakes the sharp angles and squares of the main features and the light temperature blends perfectly with the yellowish brown texture of the OSBs.

Of course, in today's working environment, the company's dog should not be missing in a modern office such like a start-up. © Samir Kurtagić