Wierszyłłowski sees the Renaissance man diversity of his portfolio as its strength and motivating force, explaining that
‘after all, hoovers, irons, and heaters are just like architecture – it’s just a different scale. When designing them one needs to solve as many problems as when designing buildings; their production process is not at all easier’
Trained as an architect, he graduated from the Department of Architecture and Industrial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan in 1996, where he later worked as a lecturer. It was not until 2001 that, along with Robert Nowakowski, he founded his own design studio, called Wierszyłłowski and Designers (Wierszyłłowski i Projektanci). The name itself stresses the idea of teamwork, which is of key importance for the designer. Together with Dorota Jaśkiewicz, Kinga Knajp, Anna Kolesińska, Amit More, Paweł Panek, Krzysztof Posmyk and Anna Winna, the current members of his practice, Wierszyłłowski has gained international renown and appreciation and his projects have been showcased during some of the most important design exhibitions in the world. The studio has delivered products for numerous leading Polish furniture companies, such as IKER, VOX or NOTI. Their cooperation with the latter resulted in a project named Teddy Bear, the most acclaimed of their products up to date.
Drawing from both the ‘golden age’ of Polish industrial design of the 1950s/ 1960s and his own childhood memories Wierszyłłowski came up with an idea for a furniture set that works as a set of blocks. It consists of three types of seating and three types of backrests and elbow rests that the user puts together in different configurations. By changing colours and upholstery patterns the user gains the freedom to customize the furniture and adjust it to a particular set of needs. A similar logic is on display in a set of three tables he designed. They too can be put together in a variety of ways or used separately. With its pastel colours, organic shapes and odd proportions, the Teddy Bear set remains a unique proposition, a ‘weirdo’, as Wierszyłłowski has called it.
When approaching a new design, Wierszyłłowski and Designers listen and analyse first. A deep understanding of user needs allows them to find solutions appropriate for each design problem. In Poznan, their home city, they have transformed the interiors of cafes and restaurants such as Café Czekolada or the Pracownia Café. For individual clients they have faced the challenge of finding solutions for both an attic in a 19th century tenement and a detached seaside residence.
Wierszyłłowski’s studio enjoys such challenges, treating each project as an opportunity to learn something new and discover yet another world. In their portfolio one can even find a heating system. The HOT 2 heater, based on a simple cylindrical shape, combines an aesthetically pleasing form with efficient functionality.
Wierszyłłowski commented on his design practice by stating that
‘you need to listen carefully to your client, understand the problem and propose an appropriate solution. I think it helps to be curious about the world around you and constantly observe your surroundings, and you definitely have to love what you do’.
2013: DMY, Berlin
2012: Salone Internationale del Mobile, Milan
2010: Faces of Polish Design (Twarze polskiego designu), Designblok, Praha
2013: TOP Design Award, Arena Design, Poznań, Poland for Teddy Bear
2012: MustHave! Lodz Design Festival, Poland
2011: shortlisted in “Dobry Wzór” Institute of Industrial Design, Poland for Hot 2
Author: Agata Morka, September 2013