Marzena Krupa (b. 1986) studied Interior Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Her designs to date include experimental outdoor furniture for urban settings (such as her Pic-Nic table and Medium seat), jewellery inspired by traditional wickerwork, and designs for retail and exhibition spaces.
Designer, creator of experimental urban furniture and jewellery inspired by folk handicraft.
In an interview with culture.pl, Krupa sums up her view of the designer in today’s world of excess and overproduction:
It’s hard to judge those processes which take place before our very eyes. Opinions require distance. I believe my work makes sense if others find it useful and appealing. My aim isn’t to shape or conform to the latest trends.
Krupa says that her own design experiences stem from her need to try new things and a fascination with different forms of technology. Each material offers new possibilities for exploration.
Krupa’s Pic-Nic is a lightweight, single-use table designed for urban picnicking; it is made from corrugated cardboard and is thus suitable for recycling. Her diploma work, entitled Medio, is a system of simple and versatile seats made from aluminium frames and rectangular-cut canvas. The seats may be used individually or as a set to create space, very much like in commercial art. The removable soft seat coverings allow the seat to be adapted to suit different occasions.
I don’t have a favourite material or technique. For me, corrugated cardboard, newspaper and powder-coated milled aluminium are equally interesting. It’s important to get to know and understand the material and how it was made. To discover its possibilities and limitations -explains Krupa.
For her Pasiak chair design, Krupa took the traditional weaving motifs of the Łowicz region and adapted them to the latest technologies. Pasiak — the name for the horizontally striped cloth typical of Polish folk costumes — is made from laser-cut Perspex. The patterned foil detail found on the front and back give the surfaces a 'glowing effect' and transform the chair into something a little more ambiguous. Its simple construction — Perspex mounted on a frame of stainless steel tubes and screws — makes it perfect for mass production, and allows the original design to be modified.
For me, the needs of the user have been (and shall continue to be) paramount. Design, like art, is pointless without an audience. I have been working in the market for only two years, so I guess I’m just getting started, says Krupa.
The designer laments the fact that the dynamic creative design market in Poland has yet to translate into mass production:
We keep seeing new products which are produced as single copies or very limited lines; you can only view them at exhibitions or in trade magazines. Unfortunately, the situation with mass design is worse. But I believe that even here we will see a significant turning point in the next few years.
Author: Lidia Pańków, January 2014
Transl. Garry Malloy, January 2014