Design is not just about seeking new forms and solutions, but also interacting with its recipient. A design comes alive the moment it becomes a ready-to-use product, and it reaches maturity when the process of its use begins.
Designer working in product design, interior design and exhibition design.
For Marta Niemywska, this moment of mutual interaction is particularly important. Niemywska graduated from the Faculty of Design at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts. She has won a number of awards and distinctions, as well as a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Her work to date includes product design, interior design and exhibition design. Niemywska admits:
I love design rotation; this approach allows me to carry out a wide variety of design projects, from stage design to projects which combine design and art. It has a very stimulating effect.
And Marta Niemywska’s designs can definitely be described as stimulating. Her LolliLED skipping rope torch was developed from creative work on an outdoor light with the option of an alternative dynamo-aided power source. The combination of light and movement naturally led Niemywska into thinking about the world of play and thus the idea for LolliLED was born. The dynamo (contained in the handles of the skipping rope), storage battery and LED diodes allow energy to be stored and released. The energy generated in the dynamo by the movement of the rope during play or exercise is then stored in a special battery. The skipping rope handles may be detached from the rope and be used separately as torches. The length of rope can also be employed as a hanging lamp for home or outdoor use. Niemywska’s LolliLED design — a symbolic demonstration of how all of us are sources of energy — won the Industrial Design Institute’s Young Design competition in 2011.
In 2010, Niemywska teamed up with fellow designer Dawid Grynasz to create Modulor, a furniture set comprising four modules: a seat, backrest, armrest and shelf. The elements can be freely combined to create a number of furniture items, as required: a sofa, daybed, bed, pouffe or armchair. The innovative connection system allows users to rearrange the modules quickly and easily. This dynamic and highly functional item of furniture, with its unlimited combinations, adapts itself perfectly to our lifestyle, physical space and needs.
In the same year, Niemywska created another flexible and open-ended furniture system comprising modules. However, Bibliotekarka is an entirely different design solution, aimed particularly at those who like to interact with the design process. This piece gives users the freedom to create using two elements — a metal truss and a wooden shelf. Together they form the base for constructing wall units for small and large spaces alike. The simplicity of the elements means that they can be used in the home, or as a display system in a shop or gallery.
Niemywska’s readiness to involve users in the actual process of design is ever-present in her work. She happily accepts jobs in the public sphere and designs for the Forms and Shapes Foundation, e.g. her work on the Playground initiative — EUgenius, Mushroom-picking and Fishing. Arising from the latter of these projects, Niemywska’s Siecisko design, inspired by fishing nets, is a mobile item of furniture which is both easy to assemble and easy to clean: it can be used in parks, in the family garden or on a patio.
Marta Niemywska frequently works alongside architect Dawid Grynasz on her activities in the public sphere, furniture designs, interior designs (e.g. Warsaw’s MUJI store) and exhibitions (including the Good Design exhibitions from 2011-2013 at IWP and Polish Red Dots at the Patents Office in Warsaw, 2013). Together they take on a variety of design challenges which often have an interdisciplinary character. After all, next to interaction, this interdisciplinary nature is one of the most important motivating forces in Marta Niemywska’s work.
Currently Marta Niemywska works together with Bartosz Grynasz at Niemywska Grynasz studio. The couple has known each other since highschooland they have been working together since 2008.
As Niemywska Grynasz they have cooperated numerous times with MEESH. For this brand they prepared, among other designs, a simple modilar sofa Kubu. It consists of several cusions, differentiated in size, supported by a plywood spine. The sofa can be easily adapted to the user’s needs, as he/she can dismantle the elements and put them together in unique combinations, creating chaise longues, variations of sofas or armchairs.
Selected exhibitions and awards:
- “Polish table”, EXPO, Milan
- the Młoda Polska scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (Marta Niemywska)
- the Kordegarda Gallery, Warsaw – the Residency of the Forms and Shapes Foundation
- Festiwal Wroclove, Wrocław
- DomiDay, Warsaw
- Cieszyn Castle, Urban Gardening
- Cieszyn Castle, Design by Women
- Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK), Everything, for Ever – Today. Balanced Polish and British
- 1st place in the competition Global Festival Tent / Globalny Namiot Festiwalowy organized by the Polish Humanitarian Organization (Marta Niemywska and Dawid Grynasz)
- Łódź Design Festival, Lodz
- Design: the Polish way/the Georgian way / Dizajn: Po polsku/po gruzińsku, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw
- Fishing / Wędkowanie, an artistic action organized by the Forms and Shapes Foundation, the installation Big Net / Siecisko, Moczydło Park, Warsaw
- Warsaw Institute of Design’s nomination of the Modulor sofa for the award Dobry Wzór 2011 (Marta Niemywska and Dawid Grynasz)
- 1st place in the competition Young Design organized by the Institute of Industrial Design (Marta Niemywska)
- Design in Poland – Transition to Modernity, the Polish Patent Office, Geneva, Switzerland – group exhibition
- Good Model / Dobry Wzór, a post-competition exhibition, the Institute of Industrial Design, Warsaw
- Re.product 3 / Re.produkt 3, the Institute of Industrial Design in Warsaw – group exhibition
- International Design Festival Berlin "Home, Sweet Home", Berlin
- Polish Design / Polski Design, an exhibition of the magazine ELLE DECORATION, the Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw
- Łódź Design Festival, "Home, Sweet Home", Lodz
- Warsaw Design Week, "Proekodizajn"; Warsaw
- Arena Design Poznań,"Proekodizajn"; Poznan
- Warsaw Under Construction / Warszawa w Budowie, the Museum of Modern Art In Warsaw
- Łódź Design Festival 2009, Lodz
- Exactly (W rzeczy samej), The Cieszyn Castle
Read more: http://www.martaniemywska.com/ (in Polish)
Author: Krystyna Łuczak-Surówka, September 2013. Update, July 2016, AM.
English translation: Garry Malloy