The Knockoutdesign studio was founded in 2009 by Marta Florkowska-Dwojak, Magdalena Juszczak, Dorota Kabała and Maya Ober. These talented individuals’ creative work includes exhibition and information design, public space design and visual identification. Knockoutdesign does not recognize the divisions between various disciplines of design.
Knockoutdesign is a multidisciplinary design practice established in 2009 by Marta Florkowska-Dwojak, Magdalena Juszczak, Dorota Kabała and Maya Ober.
Knockoutdesign is active in Poland and Israel. The designers met in 1998, and discovered they each shared a similar approach to design. Their first joint works were made in 2006. In 2012 Dorota Kabała left the group and now works independently.
In an interview for culture.pl, Marta Florkowska-Dwojak said:
For us, design is about solving problems. It doesn’t matter whether these problems are linked to industrial design or public spaces. The job offers we accept are extremely varied. We believe that comprehensive, holistic design delivers the best results.
For its projects the group has received numerous awards, one of which, Ryszard Kapuściński’s Trail, which was constructed in Warsaw’s Pole Mokotowskie park. The design was inspired by Kapuściński’s text Spacer poranny (Morning Walk). In this essay the writer describes the area through which he used to stroll nearly every day for many years. The designers marked his favourite route with concrete panels, each one inscribed with quotations from the writer’s works in Polish and English. The project also features two glass and steel mounts bearing photographs and information about Kapuściński’s voyages. The course of the route is shown by maps in the form of steel plates.
The jewellery design project Jerozolima (Jerusalem) also has a connection to maps. It takes the form of a neck pendant consisting of three overlapping parts which, put together, resemble the map of Jerusalem’s Old Town. According to the designers, this reflects the complexity of Jerusalem and brings to mind the city’s various natures. The middle part of Jerozolima refers to the four main districts of the city – the Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim boroughs. The central element of the pendant also contains symbols of the great monotheistic religions which are predominant in the town. The lower part of the piece refers to the sacred places of these religions. The pendants are sold together with specially designed maps.
Knockoutdesign’s most important projects include Shinoi and Awateef. The former is a collection of white lamps that become colourful when switched on. The collection consists of three models: Shinoi Diamond (a classic hanging lamp), Shinoi Star (a hanging lantern) and Shinoi Little Star (a standing lamp).
The Awateef project was beneficial to the local community that participated in it. The designers wanted to help the unemployed Arab women from the Israeli village Kfar Manda. The members of Knockoutdesign set up a collaboration with a non-profit organization which employed the women to weave baskets. The baskets from Kfar Manda were failed to achieve commercial success, as the market was flooded with cheap mass-produced baskets from Africa. The objective of the project was to enhance the items made in the village so that they would become competitive and exclusive without losing their craftsman’s charm. So they began to create a series of vases, baskets and lamps. The production of these objects involved the use of the newest industrial technologies. For example, the artists used lasers for cutting and substituted rattan covers with aluminium ones. The items created in the framework of the project may be ordered online.
Marta Florkowska-Dwojak says:
We work between continents so it’s only natural that we draw inspiration from globalization and multiculturalism. Minimalism and kitsch encounter each other and have equal rights in our works. Eclecticism defines our way of thinking, although our initial inspirations may not be entirely visible when one looks at the end product. However, what inspires us has a great influence on the design process.
Knockout design is also no stranger to fashion design. Series of bags Eleven brothers is based on the idea of a repeatable rhomboidal structure, of which elements are made of leather. These delicate leather pieces stand in a stark contrast to a massive oak handle which holds them together. One can select from grey, red and blue options, yet Knockoutdesign also lets the user participate in the design process. Once you select so called Customized option, you can choose your own combination of lements and colors, making your own unique bag.
As a part of the Gdynia Design Days designers have prepared several editions of the re.product exhibition, which aims at showing newest developments in the field of recycling and design. Theyw were charged both with the preparation of the exhibition spaces and assumed curatorial roles supervising the project.
Polish Design Focus, DMY, Berlin
“Common Roots. Eastern European Design in Israel”, Design Museum Holon
“Everything Forever Now. Polish and British Sustainable Design”, MOCAK, Cracow
"Co Ty pleciesz? Nowa wystawa designu", Regional Museum, Stalowa Wola
"Young Israeli Design”, Tel Aviv
"72 Hours Urban Action", Biennale for Landscape Urbanism, Bat Yam, Israel
"re.product 02", Gdynia
"Designboom Mart 2010", New York
"Warszawa w Budowie", Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
"White and Black" – Young Polish Design, Tel Aviv
Palermo Design Week
"Goodbye design!", Wrocław
"Babski dizajn - domowe boginie", Cieszyn
"USEFUL / USELESS = użyteczne/nieużyteczne", Wrocław
Design.pl, Designblok, Prague
Lodz Design Festival
Gdynia Design Days, Gdynia
"Future design – Pora relaksu", Warsaw
Designmai Youngsters 2007, Berlin
Salone Satellite, Milan
Designmai Youngsters 2006, Berlin
Survival 4, Wrocław
Author: Katarzyna Zacharska, August 2013, updated AM, May 2016.