The Taste of an Object exhibition, during the Lodz Design Festival, at the Muzeum Miasta in Łodz, Poland was curated by Paulina and Jacek Ryn (RAZY2 Design Group) to promote designers and creative firms from Pomerania, a region of north-central Europe encompassing northwest Poland and northeast Germany. Each object was paired with a specially created dish, which sought to tell its story in a non-verbal way.
PLC, by one of the curators Jacek Ryn for Terma, is a ‘woven’ radiator, made using precise computer-controlled bending of steel profiles, which are hand finished, and is available in over 160 colors.
This piece was paired with glistening bread sticks to reflect the forms of the radiator, flavored with ginger, which produced a warming effect, thanks to essential oils such as gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone.
Iglo by Malgorzata Knoblock and Igor Wiktorowicz is designed to protect plants’ roots from frost during the winter like a zip-up jacket, without compromising the aesthetic of the garden.
The Styrofoam granules inside the Iglo inspired cinnamon marshmallows as the food pairing – the cinnamon for the warmth and the marshmallow for the texture.
Kierec by Jaroslaw Szymanski and Karolina Kulesza was inspired by the traditional decorations of the same name hung from the ceiling of Kurpian huts, and made of straws, peas, and tissue paper flowers. This version is made from powder-coated aluminum tubes with wire hooks, attached to each other with a rubber band, and is intended as a teaching aid for children learning about flat, three-dimensional, symmetrical, and asymmetrical structures.
This concept was expressed using Polish apple, an integral part of every child’s diet to ensure a balanced development.
Pillou by Marta Szaban and Tomasz Krzempek is another heater (it clearly gets a lot colder in Poland than it was when I was there!), this time originally designed for a competition run by Terma. “The designed object does not pretend it is invisible but on the contrary, its form emphasizes the function,” said the designers.
This time, the food pairing was a lollipop that starts off cold, but slowly releases the flavor of sweet lemon tea, a warm drink the curator told us is often given to people who are feeling the under the weather.
Welna & Powietrze (Wool and Air) by Agata Kulik-Pomorska and Pawel Pomorska is an inflatable armchair designed for the modern nomad to reduce shipping costs.
Its ‘taste metaphor’ is an air-filled chocolate cake – both helping you relax after a long day.
The Lampart L is an LED street light designed by Line Design Studio.
This was teamed with fragile coffee-flavored brandy snaps, which look almost luminescent when the light shines through them.
The Diago (diagonal) chair by Malgorzata Malinowska, Filip Ludka, and Tomasz Kempa, aka Tabanda, is inspired by Japanese origami and made of wood and aluminum – two very different materials, combined in an unusual way.
Its taste metaphor is lavender meringue, its hard surface representing the aluminum and its spongy interior representing the wood, and the comfort of the seat. Lavender is known for its relaxing properties.
Bawa by Klaudia Kuhn has two functions – it’s both a table and a toy – made by Polish carpenters. The project teaches children to recognize shapes and colors, and crucially, can all be tidied away when they’ve finished!
Fried parsley root represents the fibers of the wood and also evokes childhood as in Poland, it’s often given to new mothers to help with breastfeeding.
Chocolate Fixation by Kataryzna Pietowska is a series of ceramic shapes designed to be coated in melted chocolate, providing a low-calorie way to enjoy one of our favorite treats.
The food pairing, surprisingly enough, was chocolate – its shiny surface chosen to mimic the ceramic and its taste to release the same serotonins that using the product would.
Perhaps the most striking object within the exhibition was the Tear Drop by Aleksander Beilawski, Robert Kowalczyk, and Domimik Sedzicki. It’s a highly polished aluminum urn, accessed through a nut in its base, designed to be a sculptural reminder of the loved one who has passed on.
Its taste metaphor was red wine (in jelly form), often used in religious ceremonies. It is also said to keep the memory in good health when consumed in moderation.