She doesn’t focus on the product alone – an object that has a specific function. She researches the relationships which people form with objects. She provokes emotions in people and draws conclusions from these emotions, while exploring new aesthetic areas in order to avoid falling into routine and following well-trodden paths.
She is a graduate of the Faculty of Industrial Design of the Berlin Universität der Künste. Among her projects are lamps that refer to various styles; the romantic Sugarcloud with a lace lampshade and the minimalistic Intergalactic 47 meant for reading, the sparse form of which is linked to the slogans of functionalistic reduction. These two projects – one of which is a dialogue with the Polish lace tradition, the other of which reveals a construction based on a tripod from oak wood and an aluminium lampshade that precisely apportions light – show that the designer is capable of creating radically different atmospheres. Sugarcloud brings to mind such ideas as cosiness and homeliness, Intergalactic 47, Bauhaus slogans about form following function. A cover attached to the lampshade makes it possible to direct a beam of light exactly onto a specific object, in this case, a book.
The designer herself spoke of changeability and vigilantly observing dynamic realities as she characterized her creative stance in a conversation with Culture.pl.
My sensibilities are shaped by everyday life and experiences, by the observation of big occurrences and sometimes small ones. Time flies and it alters our reality; new technologies appear – what seemed inaccessible, becomes close, can be found at arm’s reach. It’s impossible to ignore the digital world. Our approach to objects is changing – my approach to designing is also evolving.
Some of her works refer to cities as a backdrop to the life of contemporary humans; in Unplugged a bicycle wheel mounted on a high stool and powered by the force of human muscles activates the light in a small lamp attached to a table top/seat. With this project the author forces contemporary people to reflect on energy sources and the cost of obtaining energy. The light bulb will glow as long as we provide it with motion.
Bicycle culture also served as inspiration for the wallpaper Velnornamnet, the abstract graphic design of which recreates tire tracks left on a street or pavement. The use of such ornamentation makes it easier to conceal true bicycle tire marks – a common sight in apartments of cyclists.
Piaścik owes her experimental, open approach to the design process, which is full of humour, to her studies at Universität der Künste, where students are encouraged to work independently and are mobilized to practice self-discipline. From the very beginning, the adepts of design are encouraged to take responsibility for their proposals.
The development of her imagination was aided by an internship at the Stockholm design studio of the celebrated feminine collective FRONT Design.
This was a very important experience. It was possible for me to work with designers also on preparations for large exhibitions, amongst others for the Japanese design centre 2121 or the exposition at the fair in Milan. This convinced me that this is an important place, where one may present one’s works on an international scale.
Piaścik has presented her projects at the Milanese Salon Satellite 2013, amongst others. Activity within collectives has played an important part in the designer’s work. In the framework of working within the group POLYGON (a student trio Piaścik formed with Ana Aguilera and Marlene Schaefermeyer) she took first place at the 4th edition of the Warsaw Festival of Creative Recycling - Przetwory (2009). On the other hand, with the collective DissoNoiSex (composer Miguel Alvarez – Fernandez and programmer Stefan Kersten) she explores new forms of the influence of sound and capacities for perceiving art. Where does this need to seek in so many fields come from?
I try not to fall into routine and I try to look beyond the veil when I look at the world. I hope I won’t lose this curiosity.
The designer emphasizes the urge to consistently build the object-user relationship. An example of this orientation is the project of the storage rack for discs Herringbone – the object grows together with an expanding collection of books, DVDs or music albums. The amusing form which disturbs horizontal lines brings to mind fish bones. Hence the name – the bone of a herring. STOJAK causes potential users to become even more engaged. Here, a flat piece of cardboard may be shaped into a simple stand for storing wine bottles. A short film instructs the user how to set up the object with a few easy moves.
Piaścik also reaches out to waste materials such as pieces of wood, which revitalized, serve as building material for the UFO stools. The furnishings of the pavilion of the Warsaw club and bar Cud nad Wisłą were also made from “recycled” materials. The modular construction elements of the seasonal venue enable its disassembly for the winter period. The Euro-pallets from which the establishment’s furniture and bar are built have wheels, and are easy to transport and store. The project was created in collaboration with Agnieszka Pawłowska.
In 2014 Asia Piaścik won the first edition of the competition BMW/URBAN/TRANSFORMS. Her winning project, REFLEX, makes it possible to brighten the northern and eastern facades of residential buildings by attaching light-reflecting panels to the walls of neighbouring structures. These panels are made from modular elements which may be mounted next to each other so as to cover even the largest section of a wall. The jury acknowledged the social value of the project which may enhance the life of the inhabitants of cities, who suffer a deficiency of light caused by the density of buildings.
This is how the jury justified its verdict:
“ The idea is based on an accurate diagnosis of a pretty universal inconvenience, which the scarcity of daylight in public building and places is, seeing the fact that there is pressure for increasing density of urban tissue. The proposed solution is unpretensious, technically simple, both in production and operation. It does not pose additional technological or financial barriers for the users, it is universal and omnirepetable, but oossible to be adapted in individual ways, and, above all, it is pleasant for the eye”.
Numerously awarded Reflex also stands behing the idea for the project Modular Wall Light. It is based on a similar idea of reflecting main source of light. In this case Piaścik used a led light, placed not far from the modular wall itself. The project is composed of geometric elements, that the user can put in different combinations, creating a plethora of structures. In February 2015, Piaścik's modular lighting system Modular Wall Light was installed in Stockholm as part of the showcase of the Furniture and Light Fair.
Most recent adventure that the designer embarked on when it comes to design of light soltions resulted in her receiving a prestigious MakeMe award from the Lodz Design Festival in 2016 for the LUNAR project; a series of lamps designed for Aquaform. Here Piaścik decided to use a simple cylindrical shape, while cutting it at an unexpected angle. This cut allows one to control the distribution of light in a new way. LUNAR flap surface grants the user with even more possibilities of stearing the light. A flap made of aluminum and fixed at the end of the shade reflects and diffuses the light and can be easily moved in order to adjust it to the user’s needs as it is fasten with a magnet. Once closed or semi closed it additionally regulates the power of light; it can either pour out in a broad stream or delicately exude through an almost closed flap.
Selected exhibitions and awards:
2016 MustHave for LUNAR lamp series, Łódź Design Festival, Lodz, Poland
2016 Dobry Wzór for REFLEX
2016 Beauty & Pragmatism | Pragmatism & Beauty,
Museo della Permanente,
XXI Triennale International Exhibition 2016 21st Century. Design After Design, Milan, Italy
City and Forest, Reykjavik, Island
BRIGHT NEW. POLISH IDEAS APPLIED, IMM, Cologne, Germany
2015 Dobry Wzór for Modular Wall Light, Institute of Industrial Design, Warsaw, Poland
2015 Gdynia Design Days, Gdynia, Poland
Stockholm Furniture and Light Show, Stokholm, Sweden
"Design w przestrzeni publicznej. Zmiana" (Design in Public Space, Change), Cieszyn Castle, Poland
2015 honorable mention for HARVEST, Siemens Future Living Award 2014.
2014 BMW/URBAN/TRANSFORMS , Warsaw, Poland
2013 Milan Salone Satellite, Milan, Italy
2011 Lodz Design Festival, Lodz, Poland
2011 Velornanment and Herringbone 2 in Exhibition: Life in 3D - ART TERRARIUM, Olsztyn, Poland
Author: Lidia Pańków, May 2014. Updated August 2016, AM.
Translated by: Marek Kępa