To Jan Kochański, the routine activities of everyday life such as eating, sitting, or sweeping are a jumping-off point for the creation of objects that change triviality into an aesthetically and functionally pleasing experience. Citing functionality as the crucial factor in his work, this Warsaw-based designer explains that he creates objects that he himself would like to be surrounded with.
The routine activities of his everyday life such as eating, sitting, or sweeping inspire his creations of objects that change triviality into an aesthetically and functionally pleasing experience.
Kochański grew up in an artistic household shaped by his sculptor and architect parents, and pursued his passion for creating objects starting in early childhood. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Department of Interior Design in 2009. In 2012 he joined his alma mater’s faculty and is now working in that institution’s Furniture Design Lab. His design philosophy was formed both in Poland and in Italy, where he joined Politecnico de Milano as an exchange student. It was however an internship at the Karim Rashid Design studio that deeply marked Kochański’s development as a designer and, he admits, let him gain new clients. In describing his design process Kochański stresses the role of functionality, beauty and the choice of materials, stating: ‘My ambition is to create objects of high functional and aesthetical values, products that serve the user well. (…) A close functional analysis is always the starting point for a new project’. (www.jankochanski.com)
Functional solutions are indeed Kochański’s speciality, of which his recent sweeper and dustpan set might be the most revealing example. The dustpan, made of plastic formed using the injection molding process, is curved to prevent dust from gathering at its edges. The swept-up dust and dirt can be neatly disposed of thanks to a handle which acts as a funnel. Kochański remains very particular about the choice of materials he uses in his projects: here the broom is made of horsehair, a material especially adept at dealing with dust, and of wood treated with oil in order to make it easier to insert it in the funnel handle and to make it pleasant to the touch for those who will use it.
Mobiuse, his design for an armchair, bears further witness to Kochański’s deep understanding of user needs and showcases his striking talent for finding smart solutions. Made of paper pulp and intended for large events, this chair not only features swift, nearly instantaneous assembly, but also takes up less space than plastic chairs and, once the event is over, can be shredded, the resulting pulp then available for re-use. In another take on objects made of paper Kochański confronted the challenge of designing disposable tableware. His LOFT set questions the usual dullness of disposable plates, instead proposing clean lines and an aesthetically appealing design enclosed in the asymmetrical, ergonomic shapes of his plates.
A similar redefinition of common associations that one might have with objects and activities is put to work in the Swing project. With this rocking bench Kochański revisits the idea of sitting outdoors, which is most commonly perceived to be a rather static activity. Kochański proposes the combination of two pleasant feelings: that of being outside and that of swinging, introducing the element of movement to his project and thus again transforming the well-known into the unanticipated.
- 2013: nominated in MakeMe! competition at the Lodz Design Festival for Swing rocking bench
- 2011: 1st prize in Freedom of Creation competition for Spring bracelet
- 2011: 1st prize in Mazda Zoom-Zoom competition (for a perfume bottle)
- 2010: Young Design, Institute of Industrial Design, Warsaw, Poland
- 2009: honorable mention in MakeMe! competition at the Lodz Design Festival
- 2009: honorable mention from 2+3d magazine for best student thesis work
- 2013: Młodzi na Start (Young Designers Competition), Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw
- 2012: Eleven, Tent London 2012
- 2011: Na Zmianę (For a Change), Łódź Design Festival
- 2011: Eko Design, Design Festival in Poznań
- 2010: Łódź Art Center, Design Festival in Leipzig
- 2009: Make Me!, Łódź Design Festival
Author: Agata Morka