Edgy Car Designers from Poland
small, Ford GT, which goes into production in 2016, as it is displayed during the first press preview day of the North American International Auto Show in De, ford_gt.jpg
A Batmobile-like supercar, an uber-stylish BMW coupe and the most aerodynamic SUV ever created have one unexpected feature in common: they were created by Polish car designers.
You may not have heard much about Polish car design – but it does exist! The 2000s have seen a veritable explosion of quality design in the quaint Central European country, and the automotive industry is no exception. Since Polish car designers are being recruited by foreign companies, this is a discreet trend, but remember the names below: you’ll be seeing a lot of their art on the road in the near future.
Jaguar admirers are probably familiar with his style already ‒ Jelec is Design Manager at the well-known company. One of his most interesting designs is the body of the flashy F-type coupe which was unveiled in 2013. During his 27 years with Jaguar he created the shape of the 2004 S-type model and designed several interiors, among other projects. Jelec was born in Giżycko, northeastern Poland, and studied at the Royal College of Art in London. He also created designs for other brands including Mazda and Volvo.
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This graduate of the Silesian University of Technology is most commonly associated with BMW’s uber-stylish Z4 coupe, which he designed. He also contributed to the company’s X3 and X5 models. After the Z4 took the market over by storm in 2006 he was asked to design more prototypes for BMW. Sycha, who has been working at Bavarian Motors for 20 years, also has ties to the Munich University of Applied Sciences, where he supervised studies in the field of transportation design.
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A Pole who grew up in Canada and studied at the Detroit College for Creative Studies, Bazydło made a name for himself by working for Peugeot, where he designed the interiors of the 508, 208 and 2008 models. Rumour has it that Bazydło once discarded a rough draft in his dustbin, only to find out later that his boss had retrieved it. Bazydło’s superior was so happy with the find that he had the 508’s interior created on its basis. In 2013 the Pole began to work for Ford, where he has overseen the design of the new Ford GT’s interior.
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Even though he studied architecture in Toronto, Maurer made a remarkable career designing cars rather than buildings. He is best-known for his work for the Italian company Alfa Romeo, which he joined in the mid-90s. He co-designed the firm’s classic 156 model, a mid-size car with rear door handles hidden in the window trim, and the stunningly beautiful sports car 8C Competizione. Maurer also teaches exterior car design at the Polytechnic University of Milan.
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In 2004 he revealed his take on the classic Polish car FSO Warszawa, drawing much attention. It wasn’t long before Łabanowicz got a position at Audi, where his first job was to co-design the eye-catching R8 TDI sports model. Recently Łabanowicz became head of the firm’s design studio. 2015 saw the unveiling of the Audi E-tron Quattro, a concept car designed by the young man. This electric SUV not only looks great but with a drag coefficient of 0.25, it is the most aerodynamic car ever made in its segment.
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Originally from Gliwice, Sokołowski co-founded a Turin-based firm, Spadaconcept, with the noted designer Ercole Spada. The Pole co-designed the company’s first vehicle, the Spada Codatronca, a eccentric-looking supercar that premiered in 2008. Sokołowski currently manages a studio in Gliwice with his sister, Katarzyna. Called SOKKA, it has designed sports cars, a popular fire engine and a… Polish military tank named PL-01.
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Janusz Kaniewski, who passed away in 2015, was a giant of Polish car design. The founder of the Kaniewski Design Studio co-designed the Citroen C4 Picasso, Lancia Delta, Alfa Romeo MiTo and the Giulietta as well as the Ferrari California and 458 Italia, among others. He is also the designer behind Fiat’s current logo.
Cities inspired Kaniewski and he used these urban inspirations in all of his designs. Other than cars, he also designed petrol stations, cigarette boxes, ski boots and designer motorhomes.
Selected works by Janusz Kaniewski – Image Gallery
Aleksandra Gaca is a very versatile designer, who mostly works with textiles. She works with brands, architects, manufacturers and institutions to create solutions, products and installations specially created for her clients’ needs. Her work appears in interiors, architecture, fashion and art. And now, in cars too.
Renault approached Gaca to design the interior fabrics for their SYMBIOZ concept car – an extension of home on the road. The goal was to create an interior that felt and looked like a house. To achieve this, Gaca created a bespoke version of her 3D fabric ‘Bloko’.
Selected works by Aleksandra Gaca - Image Gallery
Tomasz Bachorski has been in charge of the design team working on the dashboards of Volkswagen’s most popular cars for many years now. He has worked on the Polo, Golf, Passat and Touareg. In his own words:
...the cockpit must be an experience – new and desirable, but also familiar.
Bachorski was also behind the reincarnation of the interiors of iconic VW Beetle. When it comes to design, he has said:
You could say that good design is like a cool suit. It needs to fit well from the beginning, and even years later, you must still feel perfect in it.
Author: Marek Kępa, August 2016
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