Once more closely associated with production and manufacturing, Poland is emerging as a real contender when it comes to design – “Designed in Poland” is starting to mean as much as “Made in Poland”. I headed over to Lodz (pronounced Woodge!) Design Festival to find out more. One of the highlights was meeting Polish design superstar Oskar Zieta.
It was great to see Oskar’s Plopp Chair (an iteration of the iconic Plopp Stool) alongside British designer Tom Dixon’s pendant lights – copper is clearly en vogue! Oskar was there to share his newest technology – he seam welds two sheets of metal together and the user receives the product flat-packed and sealed with the ‘secret potion’ locked inside. When heated to a temperature of 200ºC, which the customer can do at home, the product transforms from a two-dimensional object into a bulbous, three-dimensional form. It was a lot of fun watching him demonstrate!
Slightly subverting the festival’s theme of Brave New World, Daniel Charny, Director at London design studio From Now On, curated an exhibition called Brave New Fixed World, to counter the ‘ending is better than mending’ slogan of the Aldous Huxley novel. Above: Sugru, a self-setting rubber that can be hand-formed, bonds to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight.
Hal Watts designed Esource to enable people in developing nations to recover valuable metals from discarded objects more safely.
The Redone coffee maker by the Redo Studio is made by rehousing salvaged parts in cork. The Redo Studio was established by Gaspard Tine-Beres and Tristan Kopp to investigate alternative production methods, with the aim of reducing the cycle between the manufacturer and the end user.
Within the main building of the Lodz Design Festival, a former textiles factory, was the “Test Zone”, an area where visitors could try out manufacturing processes and experiment with materials themselves.
It was really interesting to see how laminated wood is immersed in water and then wound between vertical pegs to create soft curves…
…and then to see that process applied in Jan Lutyk’s Ribbon chair.
Elsewhere in the building, there was a photography exhibition by artist and photographer Charlie Koolhaas, drawing parallels between five cities: Dubai, Guangzhou, Lagos, Houston, and London, and reflecting on the impact of globalization and what it really means.
And finally, Konkrety by Alicja Patanowska were simple concrete forms cast in lemonade bottles.