Manulution is the Washington, DC based subsidiary of Rukotvorine (Eng. Handcrafts), a family-owned furniture and accessories manufacturer from Bosnia and Herzegovina, founded in 1927 by Adem Niksic. Today Rukotvorine is well known in South East Europe as the producer of heirloom quality hand-carved furniture in solid European hardwoods (primarily walnut, maple and cherry). Several pieces of its furniture are under the state protection as part of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national cultural heritage. Its products and the woodcarving technique perfected through four generations of carvers were featured in a UNESCO publication on exceptional craftsmanship in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
While the company’s long history and the use of traditional carving techniques may classify it as traditionalist, its passion for innovation and modern design have recently placed it on the front line of contemporary design. It continues to espouse the hand-carving techniques developed by Adem, but in cooperation with some of the most talented designers in that region, it is developing some of exceptionally unique and authentic designer furniture.
Manulution is not only its subsidiary and brand name. It is the term coined to express the approach to furniture design, one that promotes synergy between modernism and craftsmanship. Manulution espouses the ideals of modern design, in particular freedom of expression and experimentation, but rebels against the current paradigm in evolution of design, which is almost exclusively driven by capital-intensive technologies, and that results in product homogenization and displacement of skilled workers. Manulution integrates technology and craftsmanship. It exploits the abstractive transformation potential of traditional hand-carving and its integration in modern design form. It results in unique and authentic, but undeniably modern products. It also provides gainful employment opportunities for skilled craftsman.