Jan Lutyk is a designer who always hits the mark by creating highly functional and aesthetically engaging objects. He bends a stool like a ribbon, he stuffs the frame of a sofa with balloons, or challenges gravity by setting his balloon-suit on fire. His designs are cunning, functional and slightly surreal.
Jan Lutyk, born in 1986, is comprehensively educated. He studied at the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, he penetrated the secrets of photography in Opava, and graduated in ethnology and cultural anthropology at the University of Warsaw. In his work, he focuses primarily on the process of design and on product development technology.
His most recognizable and most award-winning project is the Ribbon Chair. It is a seat based on a play of contrasts – delicate yet stable, finely entangled yet strikingly simple. In the case of this stool, the material and the method of production plays the key role, and thus determines the success of the whole project. Lutyk played with plywood, gave it new life and bent it to seemingly impossible angles, whilst thinking of it in terms of ecological, ergonomic and economic qualities.
The thorough study of the material’s properties enabled the designer to experiment with it, enquire into its requirements and observe its response to bending to various angles. The process resulted in the least expensive product in production, which Lutyk had established as the priority – that is, using the smallest amount of material required to ensure the stability of the whole structure.
For the production of the seat the designer used readily available and cheap beech wood. The stool's lightness is also undoubtedly an advantage. It weighs less than 1.5 kilograms, making the Ribbon chair a mobile piece of furniture which can also be easily stacked, thus saving space.
Lutyk applied the principle of lightness and thought-out use of selected material in another of his furniture set. Doge, designed in collaboration with Agata Matlak-Lutyk, consists of a bar table and a hocker stool and was inspired by Polish furniture from the 50s.
Similarly minimalistic is the design of the folding Ladder which looks like a trunk with retractable steps – quasi-branches. Thanks to its simple construction the ladder is ideal for small cramped spaces and it is easy to carry. Lutyk points to ancient ordinary objects as a source of inspiration for this project. He studied their structure in order to transform them and give them a fresh, modern look. The designer is also involved in experimental activities such as designing a balloon-suit that fought gravity (devised together with Jerzy Sołtyk) and a sofa made of a plastic pallet split into two parts filled with inflated balloons (designed together with Stanisław Czarnocki.
Lutyk also organizes workshops for children during which they have an opportunity to solve serious technical problems encountered by designers and with simple tools such as a string or a stick at their disposal.
Author: Agata Morka, April 2015, transl. GS, May 2015
Selected festivals and awards:
- first prize at the competition PAMIĘTAĆ O DZIEŁACH UTRACONYCH (Remembering the Lost Works of Art) for Evanui project, a series of clips and bookmarks (together with Agata Matlak-Lutyk)
- finalist of the Young Design Competition for the folding Ladder
- DMY Berlin, the first prize for the Ribbon Chair
- Red Dot Design Concept Award for the Ribbon Chair
- Łódź Design Festival, Make Me! Award for the Ribbon Chair
- Talente Bavarian State Award for the Ribbon Chair