Dora Budor And Maja Čule are not Siamese twins. They’re not even sisters. But last year, they applied for a workshop co-taught by designers James Victore, Jan Wilker, and Paul Sahre by sending a Photoshopped picture of the two of them attached at the waist. In their message, Budor and Čule explained that because they were poor students working on mostly pro bono projects in Zagreb, Croatia, they were unable to afford the $900 workshop fee for each of them. But as Siamese twins, the duo wondered, could they get in for the price of one?
“It was so funny, we said we gotta say yes,” recalls James Victore. The Budor+Čule portfolio demonstrated an offbeat sense of humor matched only by their skill. In 2004, the two designers turned the University of Zagreb’s School of Design into a deranged supermarket where everything was for sale; the classroom windows, for instance, were branded “Reality TV” with too-funny-to-be-real, too-good-to-be-fake logos. “Sometimes, students can pull it off,” says Victore. “But because the professionalism or craftsmanship isn’t there, it just looks goofy. These girls pull it off.”
Budor and Čule have an affinity for film, theater, and event-based projects. “We like that part of design that’s performing something,” says Čule. Their posters for a Zagreb festival were 6-foot-tall photographs of inflatable dolls covered in white paper and chewing gum; they photo-montaged a human hand holding a sign for the copy.
This spring, they’re designing a campaign for a clothing line called Roba. The campaign includes a film that, they claim, has nothing to do with fashion. And they’re learning that they have different strengths. “Maja is better at smashing things up and making them explode,” says Budor. “I’m better at smaller things and better detailed, so Maja throws the plates at the wall and I usually clean it up.”