Silesian design studio Kafti Design, founded in 2007 by sisters Monika Brauntsch (born in 1974) and Sonia Sabłoń (born in 1972), is a firm that designs, produces and sales objects meant for everyday use, with a particular focus on lighting equipment.
Silesian design studio founded in 2007 by sisters Monika Brauntsch and Sonia Sabłoń.
The duo strive to produce interesting, original, functional and reasonably priced items, all the while referencing trends present in contemporary design. Additionally, Kafti Design endeavor to treat its surroundings responsibly. With this in mind, they produce their items in collaboration with small, local businesses and handicraft establishments. As Brauntsch and Słaboń choose processable, ecological and natural materials for production, their designs are environmentally friendly.
The company took their name from an Armenian fairytale about a magical bird called Kafti. The moniker suits their ambition to design objects that will make interiors look 'magical', vigorous and special. The duo distributes their articles through an internet store, where one may also find products of other, also foreign, companies.
Kafti Design specializes in lighting. Their first year in operation, their lampshades Alien and Origami were appreciated by the juries of the Śląska Rzecz 2007 (Silesian Thing 2007) and Prodeco 2008 competitions. The Silesian Castle of Art and Enterprise in Cieszyn organized the former, while Elle Decoration magazine prepared the latter. The same year their lampshade Al-verd was nominated for an award in in the competition Śląska Rzecz 2008 (Silesian Thing 2008).
Kafti’s lamps, which are cut out from polypropylene, resemble paper cut-outs. The lampshades Ćma (Moth) and Estrella reference the Japanese art of origami and Polish folk cut-outs, or even decorative paper spiders. The lampshades disperse the light that goes through them, producing intriguing silhouettes. Ćma and Estrella complement a modern interior very well as they reference folk inspirations in a very contemporary style. By contrast, the lamp Berga, part of the Solid collection, was inspired by Silesian folklore and the industrial atmosphere of the region. Berga, which means 'solid' in Silesian, has a much more composed, strong shape than the lacy Estrella.
A series of lampshades LINEWORKS is a good example of combining an intriguing material with a simplicity of forms. Here Kafti Design has used a special material, called Tyvek, which acts as a fabric, paper and foil at the same time. It is characterized both by its high plasticity and endurance. Merging this experimantal material with geometric patterns on the lampshades resulted in an eye-cathing whole. LINEWORKS lampshades are based on a simple cylindric forms, whose perfection is however disturbed by wrinkles and folds of the material, purposefully introduced by designers. They therefore create a lampshade which is at the same time modern and slightly nonchalant. In this case Kafti Design decided to play with a calm color palette, limiting themeselves to white, grey and pale pink. LINEWORKS received a prestigious MushtHave seal during the Lodz DesignFestival in 2014.
Studio Kafti also makes pillows and tablecloths made from fabrics decorated with graphic prints that elegantly reference their lampshade designs. In the series Odszyte (Sewn to Perfection) designers face the challenge of working with traditional tailor techniques. Applying an old fashioned tweed like fabric and some elements made of natural leather they play with darts and vents, and other tricks known to professional tailors. They juxtapose a calm tweed pattern with splashes of colorful hems, creating a composition that is at the same time minimal and aesthetically intriguing. In the Moth cushion on the other hand they operate with a computer game like aesthetics, transforming a moth silhouette pattern into a network of geometric shapes.
Apart from designing, the studio also participates in many non-commercial activities, including the campaign Mała Rzecz (Small Thing), which combines children’s creativity with actions that support educational development in Third World countries.
Selected exhibitions and awards:
- The Spirit of Poland, Centro Carioca de Design, Rio de Janeiro, IMM Cologne
- +48 Social Club, Tokyo, Japan
Let’s Play, Izmir, Turkey
The Spirit of Poland, National Museum, Brasilia
Must Have za LINEWORKS, Lodz Design Festival
Design Week, Sao Paulo
Zawód: projektant | Świadomość i działanie, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw
The Spirit of Poland, Brasil
The Spirit of Poland, Tokyo
- 100% Design, London
- Śląska Rzecz, honourable mention for the collection MAŁA RZECZ
Author: Anna Maga, March 2013. Update , July 2016, AM