No matter what he directs his creative energies towards, be it interior design, furniture or public spaces, Pawel Grobelny seems to always come up with design solutions that bring him awards and international recognition. One of the most acclaimed contemporary Polish designers, he creates projects based on simple and harmonious shapes, striving to achieve a certain timeless, classical, yet at the same time unforgettable look.
One of the most acclaimed contemporary Polish designers.
Grobelny started his career in Poland, graduating from the Department of Architecture and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, and then went on to pursue his studies at prestigious design schools in France: the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris, and the École Nationale des Beaux-arts in Lyon. Grobelny’s work was well appreciated in that country, earning him scholarships both from the French Government and the Le Pont Neuf Foundation.
Grobelny enjoys experimenting with small-scale furniture. Bookshelves, in particular, seem fertile soil for his imagination, giving bloom to such diversified ideas as a bookshelf in the form of a book, or a multifunctional, multitasking object that one can use as a nightstand, a bookshelf and a bookmark at the same time.
In his latest projects Grobelny explores different contrasts and juxtapositions of materials, yet does so with his characteristic minimalist approach. Sur le fil – a series of small tables – hovers somewhere between the realm of sculpture and that of functional objects. The clean lines of the white stand made of thin aluminum contrast with the sturdy circle of the wooden tabletop. The tabletop is notched in three spots, giving the user the freedom to set it on the stand in three different positions. When inserted into the last notch, it seems to almost fall, bringing the idea of balance into question and introducing an element of arresting finesse and tension to the object. A similar play of contrasting materials is also taken up in his Arc and Circle benches, which juxtapose aluminum with teak wood.
Grobelny sees user needs as a crucial component of good design practice, stressing: I try to create furniture which might become classics - simple, timeless, with harmonious proportions, the kind of furniture that people not only will remember, but also enjoy using. (www.delive.com)
Grobelny has years of experience in designing solutions for public spaces, having worked in cities across the globe, from Tallinn, the Estonian capital, to Brussels and Shanghai. When approaching the problem of public space, Grobelny’s interventions remain very subtle, as he tries to almost seamlessly weave his projects into the surroundings. This is the case of his Monolith bench, which seems to almost grow out of the hedge of which it is a part.
His work for the Culture Center in Strombeek in Belgium is yet another type of intervention in an existing architectural structure. Here Grobelny plays with inside/outside dynamics, questioning boundries traditionally associated with these terms. He arranged a roof top space, where one can watch movies. The projection can be watched from both inside and outside the building, however the sound can only be heard in the space built by Grobelny. It thus becomes a completely autonomous part of the building, escaping its physical walls and blurring their harsh divisions. It also works independently of the center’s usual opening hours, toying with the idea of accessibility of cultural institutions.
young polish designers
He shares his time between designing, teaching and curating. In 2011 he began lecturing at the School of Form in Poznań, specializing in Domestic Design. Together with Agnieszka Jacobson-Cielecka he is actively engaged in searching for young talents and promoting young Polish designers abroad, curating annual editions of a moving exhibition entitled Unpolished - Young Design in Poland.
Despite his busy schedule, he still remains hungry for new challenges, admitting that he is sometimes tempted by architecture. It might be that his future work will evolve in this direction.
Author: Agata Morka, September 2013, update April 2016, AM
- 2009: chosen to 100 Young Creative European Talents
- 2009: Machina Design Award 2009
- 2008: Parckdesign 2008, Prodeco 2008 Tremplins Meuble Paris 2008:The new subjectivity in design, honourable mention
- 2006: LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy for Young Creators 2005/2006, Prodeco 2006 Young Creator
NOW! Le OFF 2013, Paris, France
“Young Creative Poland”, London Design Festival
Paris Design Week
Gdynia Design Days
Polish Design Focus, DMY International Design Festival, Berlin
2008: Designboom , Tokyo, Talents Ambiente, Frankfurt, Meuble Paris, Paris