Polish designers have broken yet more records. In the previous year, they were awarded with 15 ‘Design Oscars’ – Red Dot Awards – and 13 prestigious iF Design Awards, one of the most important design distinctions in the world. We’ve selected the 10 most interesting products which grabbed the public’s attention in 2016.
The Life of the Monkey Man by Henryk Jerzy Chmielewski
The most popular comic book author in Poland and father of three famed cartoon characters – Tytus, Romek, and A’tomek – published a new autobiography at the beginning of 2016. Pictures, documents, and fragments of comics in the book tell the story of the 93-year-old master, known as Papcio Chmiel, from the end of the Second World War until now. Tytus himself invites readers:
You will find out where Papcio’s ideas for those poor thirty-one comic books, six albums, and the Elemelementarz textbook for analphabets come from. You will find out what cash and assets this grey-moustachioed artist earned. You will find out how many prime ministers, party secretaries, deputies, and regime storms we survived. I’ll also reveal to you the elaborate secrets of myself and my cheerful old man’s amorous adventures.
Silvia by Marta Gębska for Marmite
For designer Marta Gębska, design engineer Zbigniew Piasecki, and Marmite, a company producing bathroom equipment, the inspiration for the Silvia bathtub was one of the first known terracotta bathtubs, found in the Cretan Knossos palace and dating to 1700BC. Silvia, produced from cast marble, has an ergonomic shape corresponding with the shape of the human body – more spacious in the area for the arms and narrowing in the direction of the feet. Thanks to its reduced form water usage is more than halved: from the standard 280 litres to 130. In 2016 the bathtub received the two most important awards in design: an iF Design Award and a Red Dot Design Award. It also won the international A'Design Award & Competition.
Sopot by Wojciech Guzik
Wojciech Guzik is one of the finalists of the 2016 Make Me! international competition for young designers, which has been organised for the past ten years by Łódź Design Festival. The attention of the judges of the most important design event in Poland was captured by Guzik’s Sopot set of beach accessories. It’s composed of a few elements enclosed in the form of a backpack: a folding screen, a beach blanket, a thermal bag, and a phone case which protects against contact with sand. On the Łódź Design Festival’s website we read that:
The bottom of the backpack is made of netting. After unbuckling the bottom layer, we can empty the bag of sand. The outside pocket has additional space for transporting wet swimwear.
Pico by Konrad Ippohorski-Lenkiewicz
Another finalist of this year’s edition of Make Me!, Konrad Ippohorski-Lenkiewicz designed a prototype for an original electronic musical instrument for children aged from one to five. This toy with connected modules produces abstract sounds, supporting sensorial and motor development of the youngest children. The designer explains:
Products available on the market needlessly imitate the interfaces and sounds of classical instruments. Electronic systems give us freedom in designing. I tried to make the object ready for mass production, the cover is designed for ABS plastic injection. Thanks to this, the product is cheap to produce, easy to recycle, and pleasant to the touch, as well as hygienic for children.
Urban Instrument by Jan Pfeifer
The instrument designed by Jan Pfeifer was awarded the first prize in the 2016 Make Me! competition. As the designer explained, his inspiration was children passing over a bridge in Warsaw’s Bródno Park and hitting the barriers with wooden sticks, creating accidental music. Pfeifer underlined that:
The electronics inside allows for the sound to be corrected, so that the instrument isn’t too loud and doesn’t interrupt the peace of the space around it.
The Black for Renomers by Donata, Maciej and Michał Ruciński
This year, Poles received thirteen prestigious iF Design Awards, one of the most important distinctions in the world’s design considered a certificate for perfection in design. In 2016, the Golden Award was received by the cosmetic scissors for the Renomed company, designed by Donata, Maciej, and Michał Ruciński. The scissors were among several dozen products presented at the famous XXI Triennale di Milano
. The designers inform that:
The carefully produced blade guarantees a safe and precise cut. The tool is handmade, available in black and anthracite, and the entire production process is waste-free.
Tulli by Rygalik Studio for Noti
The Tulli armchairs awarded with a 2016 Red Dot Award are one of the newest realisations of the Rygalik studio and another piece of furniture recalling the times of the communist regime. The inspiration for the seat with arm-rests curved outside was the Tulip armchair designed by Teresa Kruszewska in 1973. Tulli is composed of two parts, thanks to which the user decides whether to have a base in the built-up form (as in the photo above) or in the form of wooden or metal legs.The armchair is available in different colours and can be plastic or upholstered. It’s also designed for both inside and outside use.
Swallow’s Tail by Calipers
Swallow’s Tail Studio (whose name comes from a wooden connection used in carpentry) from Wrocław has been present on the market for just two years but in 2016 received one of the most important design awards – an iF Design Award. Their awarded Calipers table, with legs shaped in a characteristic way, is reminiscent of the shape of a pair of compasses. It’s ‘compact and ready’ as the designers themselves describe it. Thanks to its simple construction it can be easily folded up and unfolded in new places – in the office, as well as in the private space.
Space Classica Piano by Tomasz Miłosz
At the beginning of 2016, the whole world knew that a young designer from Poland, Tomasz Miłosz, had become a laureate of the first edition of the Roland Digital Piano Design Awards
competition for designing the piano of the future. His project entitled Space Classica turned out to be the best among the 128 propositions submitted. Dominika Telega writes on exumag.com:
The Pole’s work is minimalistic with a futuristic form of polished brass and high-gloss black trim and an additional screen with a backlit logo. The icing on the cake is the matching chair. The applied work far exceeds the standard thinking about this instrument, especially when we talk about acoustic systems, interfaces, and, of course, shapes. Maybe one day these concepts will become a reality?
Plan of Warsaw 1912 by Paweł Żelichowski and Paweł E. Weszpiński
The newest plan published by the Museum of Warsaw is the most accurate cartographic depiction of Warsaw from the beginning of the 20th century in a small scale. Developed in 1912 under the direction of William Heerlein Lindley, the father of the city’s waterworks and sewerages, it is also a synthesis of Lindley’s work, which was a project of detailed city plans from 1883 to 1915. The graphic design by Anna Piwowar ‘perfectly shows the atmosphere of the interwar period and is an example of editorial carefulness worthy of the highest distinction,’ wrote the jury of the 2016 Dobry Wzór competition.
Previously published in the series were Plan of Warsaw 1768 by Georges Louis Le Rouge and Plan of Warsaw 1939 by Książnica-Atlas. Each of the publications features a reprint of the plan and a detailed cartographic analysis and historical sketch of Warsaw from the time of its creation.
Sources: organiser’s materials; originally written in Polish, 23rd Dec 2016, translated by BR, 5 Jan 2017.