Top five designers to keep an eye on
From a special air purifier to an innovative guide-dog harness, Polish designers are creating objects that not only look good, but can improve our daily lives – as illustrated by recent work showcased at the Łódź Design Festival.
Held in the city of Łódź, in central Poland, this year’s theme was “Dobrze Życie”, which translates as “The good life”.
“In a world where the most basic living needs have already been met, we can see more clearly that designers first shape objects and then objects shape us – change our habits, affect our health and well-being, and the way they arise and in which we use, affect our surroundings, the natural environment and whole communities,” the organisers wrote on the Festival’s website.
This can be seen in Poznań-based designer Paulina Kwiatkowska’s air purifier, which was shown at the Festival. Entitled “Titanium, silicon, air”, it also regulates the humidity and temperature in a room.
To create it, Kwiatkowska used fabric reinforced with titanium oxide and silica gel to support air purification.
Guide dogs have long been used by blind people, but the harness designed by Paulina Morawa and presented in Łódź goes a step further. It transmits vibrations from the dog’s front paws to a handle held by the blind person, helping him or her walk by sensing the dog’s movements.
According to the Morawa, who is finishing her masters at the Faculty of Industrial Forms at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, these provide a new alternative to traditional harnesses, which are based on solutions from the time of World War I.
One of the more unusual-looking items shown in Łódź is a design called “New Eve”, a plastic baby food dispenser in the shape of a breast.
Designed by Beata Nikolajczyk-Miniak, who works as an assistant in the Faculty of Interior Design and Architecture at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts, it is based on medical consultations and two years of research.
Other eye-catching designs presented at the Festival include an artificial heart controller case and a neutral-hued collection of tiles made of ash from coal-burning power stations in Poland.