Named after Slovene architect Jože Brumen (1930–2000), a pioneer in modern design and a professor at the Department of Design, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, the Brumen Foundation was initiated in February 2003 by six designers: Petra Černe Oven, Radovan Jenko, Žare Kerin, Matevž Medja, Ranko Novak, and Peter Skalar. The mission of the foundation is to promote young professionals in terms of practice and theory, and to inform and guide designers, clients, and customers, outlining the importance of quality design.
The Brumen Foundation is headed by the management board, comprised of seven members including the president of the Foundation. Since 2015, the role has been performed by Radovan Jenko. The board of trustees is comprised of representatives of the Brumen Foundation, the founding company Riko d.o.o. and two independent designers.
The Foundation’s main focus is organising exhibitions and publishing catalogues and monographs relating to exhibited authors. The exhibitions are regularly accompanied by lectures and various round table discussions.
Significant achievements of the foundation include an exhibition of Croatian graphic design 040506, an exhibition of the Type Directors Club from New York TDC52, an exhibition of members of the Art Directors Club of Bosnia and Herzegovina ADC BiH, and an overview exhibition of contemporary design in the Czech Republic and Slovakia e-a-t. As a supporting programme of the 4th Biennial of Slovene Visual Communication the foundation held the international event Poster Festival Ljubljana in 2009.
Brumen Foundation’s exhibitions are accompanied by catalogues that visually present the exhibited works. The forewords and other accompanying text offer further insight into the works of authors, the festivals or the biennial. For study and research purposes the foundation builds up a physical archive of all works exhibited at the Biennials, presenting them in a virtual gallery as well.
With the Brumen Award — the highest national professional recognition in design — the foundation awards excellent Slovenian designers, quality visual communication and clients that recognise design as an important competitive advantage.
Several other exhibitions and discussions are organised by the foundation each year in order to establish the criteria of excellence in visual communications design. Among many of them were, for example, the exhibition Designing for the Country in 2008, which enabled a comparison of images of eight European countries and was accompanied by a discussion panel to draw up proposals and recommendations for improving Slovenia’s visual image; and Brumen X Plaktivat: Design that changes society in 2019 (co-hosted by Tam-Tam mestni plakati, Kresija Gallery, and Municipality of Ljubljana), which called upon designers to think about and discuss their role as activists in a time when design is inextricably intertwined with the most critical issues of the society.