Vzór is a trio consisting of a young designer, a businessman and a design historian. Their goal is to create a collection of the icons of Central and Eastern European industrial design. Vzór plays three-part pieces, but the final tone is actually determined by the choices of the partner whose project they decide to resurrect.
Vzór stems from the thesis work of Jakub Sobiepanek, which was defended at the workshop of Tomek Rygalik at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. The project envisaged the revitalisation of selected examples of 20th-century Polish industrial design. The idea wasn’t however to simply recreate old hits. Rygalik himself said of Sobiepanek’s idea:
This is a comprehensive project to create a one-of-a-kind brand, an idea for consistent work on the coherency of this brand’s offering in all areas of presentation, and smart planning and development of this brand’s collection and image.
The realization of Sobiepanek’s idea required a certain kind of redesign of the originals, adjusting them to the requirements and capabilities of new materials, as well as conversations about obtaining copyrights. The potential of the young designer’s work was noticed by Michał Włoch, who decided to give business assistance to the project, and by Krystyna Łuczak-Surówka, who made the team complete by contributing her knowledge of design history. Vzór is a young project, created in 2012, and it debuted with the introduction of the RM58 armchair to the market.
Vzór's activity is somewhat curatorial - selecting the right pieces of furniture to become part of the collection is a key element of their practice. Selection is based on the quality of the design and on its technical parameters. Whether these parameters enable the reintroduction of a given design into production is taken into consideration. The team emphasizes, however, that the collection will be built around the profiles of selected creators and the originality and timelessness of these creators’ projects, which render these projects specific “icons” of design.
Vzór chose Roman Modzelewski to be the first to be rediscovered. He was a designer and experimenter, whose innovative armchair RM58, was previously known chiefly by frequenters of the Victoria and Albert Museum, rather than by the general public. Even though this piece of furniture was in a few films from its times, and even though the organic form of the armchair gained the approbation of Le Corbusier himself, the prototype was never put into serial production.
Vzór substituted the polyester-glass laminate used by Modzelewski with rotoform technology and polyethylene. The trio retained the original colour scheme of red, black, white, green and yellow but they altered the finish. Apart from the shiny version of the armchair they also offer a matte one which is suitable for exterior use.
Vzór is working on other designs by Modzelewski - the trio wants to create a comprehensive overview of his output. The team intends to give new life to the models RM56 and 57 and show the diversity of the design solutions used by the artist. The RM57, Modzelwski’s only experiment with an upholstered piece of furniture, features a rather raw frame with sharp angles which contrasts with the warm texture of the material. In the case of RM56, the contrast between the seat and the legs was is less intense. Here, using the flexibility of plywood, Modzelewski achieved a consistency between the oval seat and the rounded silhouette of the legs. RM56, like RM58, will be offered in two versions: one which is faithful to the original and one which is made from a new material – as well as plywood Vzór offers PVC.
Vzór is thinking about weaving designs of contemporary designers into its story about the design of central-eastern Europe. This would expand the narrative line of their unique collection, provoke dialogue between old and new and ask questions about the timelessness of good design. Vzór merges curatorial, educational and creative aspects and remains an intriguing hybrid in the market of contemporary Polish industrial design.
Author: Agata Morka, July 2014
Translated by: Marek Kępa
Selected exhibitions and awards: