With a healthy dose of self-confidence the Mudo designers state: ‘We do not have time to be mediocre’.
A design studio founded by Katarzyna Cebulak, a graduate of the Łódź Academy of Fine Arts.
Mudo studio checks all the boxes usually stressed by contemporary designers: they care about the individual, they strive to be modern while also taking an interest in traditional craftsmanship techniques, and they seek to be responsible in their choice of materials. Yet there is something truly unique in Mudo’s designs, something that has made them stand out in the contemporary Polish design scene.
Mudo design was created in 2010 and since then has expanded both in terms of its team size and the range of products and services it offers. It was founded by Katarzyna Cebulak, a graduate of the Łódź Academy of Fine Arts. With this initiative Cebulak sought to meld her design skills with the experience she gained growing up watching her father’s furniture renovation workshop. Her childhood fascination with carpentry and woodworking techniques fuels Mudo’s designs, supported by her father Andrzej Cebulak’s expertise. Andrzej Cebulak, an art historian and furniture renovator, acts both as a designer and an advisor at Mudo design. His opinion therefore remains crucial, as his daughter explains: ‘When he frowns then I know it is not that great and that it needs more work and when he says that something is good, it usually is. It is very valuable to have someone to talk to about what you’re working on’. (www.myfloor.pl)
While the studio specializes in furniture and textiles, it also is no stranger to designing spaces. In 2011 the father-daughter duo gained a new member, Magdalena Kowalczyk, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw who is now in charge of interior design at the studio. This branch of activity started with Katarzyna Cebulak working on a design for a dentist’s office and then being invited to design an entire house for one of her furniture clients.
If, in its interior design practice, Mudo presents a wide variety of approaches, ranging from clean and sleek cafes to colourful and opulent wedding reception halls, when it comes to furniture and textiles, Mudo shows its true voice, a voice that is very consistent in its range and best defines what Mudo is about. Mudo’s style escapes any simple pigeon-holing, yet Katarzyna Cebulak points towards ‘contemporary eclecticism’ as one of possible ways of reading their work. It is, however, a special kind of eclecticism, which drinks from well of the arts & crafts and Polish Spółdzielnia Ład one minute then sips from the spring of the Bauhaus and Charlotte Perriand’s aesthetic the next. With a striking ability to mix sometimes contradictory inspirations, to play with simplicity and busy decor, Mudo studio creates products that are marked by a certain fairy-tale like quality.
This quality goes far beyond the literal adaptation of fantastic figures in their Cuento and Coco cupboards and pillowcases. It emerges not only from their choice of characters, which includes wolves, monkeys and owls, but also from the way in which they are assembled. They are all part of an oneiric landscape, flowing in space unbounded through the lack of perspective or shadowing. Alongside the animals, trees and mountains flow schematic human figures, appearing as if taken simultaneously from the urban vernacular of street signs and traditional folk legends. Weaving all these elements together, Mudo designers tell an enchanting tale of their own.
2011 Must Have for Cuento pillow
Author: Agata Morka, November 2013