Szymon Hanczar (b. 1978) graduated from the Department of Interior & Industrial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław. He now works as a lecturer at the academy. Hanczar has won scholarships from the mayor of Wrocław and the mayor of his hometown, Częstochowa. His projects for the Hanczar Design Studio include 3D design and interior design.
3D designer at the Hanczar design studio, lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław.
Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. — Steve Jobs’ words come to mind when we look at Szymon Hanczar’s designs, with their formal and creative purity, and their ability to communicate easily with the audience.
A decisive moment in Hanczar’s career came when he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Akademie der Bildende Künste in Munich and an internship at the Munich office of Niki Szilagyi–Matteo Thun Partners. The German school of design, with its pragmatic approach to design, places great emphasis on the functionality of an object, and on the ability to seek simple and effective responses to user needs as part of the design process.
The beauty which results from functional simplicity and the need for applied solutions has greatly influenced Hanczar’s attitude to design: for me, design is all about solving problems — it is a puzzle for which we seek the optimal solution. The simpler this solution, the better.
Hanczar’s free-standing MD coat rack (2010) is made from several pieces of oiled oak and evokes the well-known construction of traditional shelters: several elements bound together at a single point to form the centre of a stable composition. This twisting of wooden elements bound around an axis gives the piece distinct movement. The wooden dowel pins which serve as hooks are a natural resolution to the entire form. The piece contains no superfluous elements and nothing else need be added.
This is also true of Hanczar’s Symbol table lamp (2010). Here he uses energy-saving LEDs to illuminate the entire form, both its plywood frame and varnished lamp-shaped MDF. The lamp has been displayed at a number of exhibitions and in 2011 was one of the products nominated for the Institute for Industrial Design’s prestigious Dobry Wzór (Good Design) award.
First Aid Hanger (2011) is an extremely simple and practical storage solution for more than just coats. The design uses the door frame as an attachment point. The entire piece comprises a fastener and an S-shaped hook, both made of lacquered steel, and a cord. Each hanger is small but the possibilities for use are great; minimal material resources guarantees maximum practical efficacy.
Hanczar’s We never give up was created in 2011, a year notable for its surprisingly snow-free winter. Thus Hanczar’s idea to design a sledge on wheels was born, an object which — according to the design description — aims to 'give us a substitute for our most longed-for season'. The design illustrates not only the longing to go sledging, but also that typically Polish resourcefulness, the ability to manage in the face of adversity. After all, design is all about solving problems. Szymon Hanczar’s sledge for snow-free winters is a fresh and light-hearted approach to a familiar object, and thus creates new function.
Objects play a significant role in our daily lives and it is therefore important that they are well designed. Intelligently designed. Designed to meet consumer needs in terms of functionality, communicativeness, cultural references. Szymon Hanczar is right to seek simplicity. Straightforward information allows us to understand, and understanding is extremely important in design.
Read more at: www.hanczar.com (in Polish)
Author: Krystyna Łuczak-Surówka, September 2013
Translation: Garry Malloy, January 2014