Chapter 8 – Pole position


The 21st century brings with it a wave of fresh new faces on the Polish design scene. These are designers who are no longer entangled in Poland’s turbulent and trying history. Polish resourcefulness becomes a new tool in their hands. They believe in their products and their ideas and want to share them with the world – and they are free to do so. In the 2000s, design becomes a part of economic development strategies within Polish government programmes. Both large producers and small family companies, who make up the majority of Polish capital, benefit from this. Polish studios are working on both domestic and international orders.

Experiments with new technologies are accompanied by art-like unrestrained explorations. In addition to the large-scale production of pragmatic design, like furniture, there is no lack of room for conceptual design. Modern, globalised designs go hand-in-hand with designs heavily inspired by the past or folk traditions. This diversity bodes well for the future. And what better time would there be to take stock of Poland’s most exciting design achievements than exactly 100 years after the country regained its independence.

Polish designers are presenting their work at international trade fairs and festivals. And their products are finding their way into homes around the globe. Design is finally taking its rightful place in Poland – it has become part of everyday life. Polish design festivals, such as the Łódź Design Festival, Arena Design in Poznań and Gdynia Design Days, and trade fairs, like 4 Design Days, Warsaw Home and the Poland Design Festival, regularly showcase the very best of Polish design – new concepts, materials, forms and explorations. 

Many Polish design organisations and institutions, like the Institute of Industrial Design in Warsaw and Zamek Cieszyn, stimulate new activities and take a closer look at what has been done, while many programmes like the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s POLSKA DESIGN work to promote Polish design and designers around the globe – as a key part of Polish culture. Polish design after 2000 is like a crazy kaleidoscope – extremely rich in forms and materials, full of colour and subject to constant changes.


Two ceramic vessels of irregular shape, resembling columns. They look as if they were sloppily carved. Both are half yellow and half white.
TRANSFORMY, designed by Monika Patuszyńska, 2017. Photo: courtesy of Monika Patuszyńska
A set of 18 ceramic vases. They come in a variety of shapes. The majority of jars have smooth spherical bases and porous conical tops of varied heights.
PAPFORMY, designed by Monika Patuszyńska, 2017. Photo: courtesy of Monika Patuszyńska


Monika Patuszyńska is one of Poland’s leading ceramic artists. She mainly works with porcelain: she smashes it, she breaks it into pieces, she cuts it, and then puts back together again. In Patuszyńska’s unique world, destruction goes hand in hand with creation. She takes an ancient craft and completely reinvents it. Patuszyńska’s TransForm+ collection is a series created using old, broken molds from ceramic factories: the objects from the collection look as if they were made from crumpled paper – delicate and yet extremely powerful. Her PapForm, created in collaboration with architect Peter Marino, is a series of vases and bowls created using precious Parian porcelain. Its composition was created in the mid-nineteenth century, in Staffordshire, England. The name Parian was adopted because of its properties which resembled white marble from the island of Paros. Patuszyńska’s vases grace the Guerlain headquarters in Paris. 


Bogdan Kosak is a ceramist and scupltor. His work incorporates both traditional craft techniques and modern design. Although he tends to value form over function, his pieces are always functional in the end. Take his Otoczaki (Boulders). They look like random river stones formed by the flow of water and time – organic forms devoid of a clearly defined function. They can be what we want them to be: vases, bowls, flower pots or just decorations. Inside, the material is glazed, allowing for a variety of uses. Outside, the raw gritty porcelain seemingly dares people to touch it. Kosak’s urns are an entirely different matter. They have a clear purpose. Kosak shows how design takes on the matter of death. Design is supposed to make life easier, so why should it stop in death?

A pyramid-shaped white ceramic vessel with a rounded blue tip.
URN MODUS, designed by Bogdan Kosak, 2009. Photo: Piotr Borowicz, courtesy of Bogdan Kosak
A shiny, blue, uniform item that resembles a dome and can be used to cover something.
URN MODUS, designed by Bogdan Kosak, 2009. Photo: Piotr Borowicz, courtesy of Bogdan Kosak
A cylindrical vessel with a lid with a wide lower part, gradually narrowing towards the top. The vessel is predominantly white with a blue stripe in the central part.
URN MODUS, designed by: Bogdan Kosak, 2009. Photo: Piotr Borowicz, courtesy of Bogdan Kosak
Four ceramic dishes that look like oblong stones with large round holes on top. These holes take up half the surface of each vessel.
OTOCZAKI, designed by Bogdan Kosak, 1996-2006. Photo: Łukasz Pudełko, courtesy of Bogdan Kosak

“To design is to introduce order to the space we live in, both personal and public. In this case, introducing order means to improve and enhance; to do away with objects and actions that contribute to aesthetic and communicational untidiness.”
Bogdan Kosak


The Ćmielów Design Studio is the perfect example of co-operation between craftsman and designers, artists and industry, old and new. Two titans, Marek Cecuła, the world-renowned Polish ceramicist, and the legendary Ćmielów & Chodzież Polish Porcelain Factories, came together to create the Ćmielów Design Studio. Its design philosophy is centred on a revival of the ‘artists in industry’ movement, in which designers work together with manufacturers to create new products. The studio is also a testing ground for modern technologies and experimental techniques in the production of utilitarian and decorative porcelain.

The KIWI project is a series of forms inaugurating a line of porcelain figurines created for the Ćmielów Design Studio by Agnieszka Tomalczyk. This collection represents an interpretation of the shape and movements of the exotic kiwi bird. The design process took place in multiple stages, with the use of paper, plaster and 3D printing. The resulting figurines are crafted in porcelain that has been glazed and finally hand-painted. Even though the process may look different, the figurines are an homage to Ćmielów’s figurines of the 1950s & 60s.

Four ceramic white figurines depicting kiwi bird heads. Two of them have red beaks and two have yellow beaks.
KIWI BIRDS figurines, designed by Agnieszka Tomalczyk. Photo: Sebastian Zimmer, courtesy of Agnieszka Tomalczyk
A tiny white cup with a blue border on the plate. The plate is white but has numerous blue central circles, evenly spread. The whole thing resembles a stone thrown into the water.
BLUE LINE, designed by Marek Cecuła, Daga Rogers, produced by Ćmielów Design Studio, 2013. Photo: Sebastian Zimmer
A white ceramic spindle-shaped vase with painted human eyes. The eyes have black borders and green irises.
EYE vase, designed by Malwina Konopacka, 2014. Photo: courtesy of Malwina Konopacka


Malwina Konopacka is an illustrator and designer – both separately and simultaneously. How so? She took illustration to the next level, practically drawing in 3D, even 360˚. Each of of Konopacka’s OKO (Eye) vases is, simultaneously, identical and unique. Each vase’s ceramic form is always the same – a tall, white vase with a scattering of round indentations. But they are all decorated differently – each vase is hand-painted by Konopacka. Initially, the hollows were painted as eyes. Soon, they became dollops of colour and white vases were painted black. Some look like abstract collages, while others still look like they came from deep in the jungle. Konopacka is taking illustration into a new dimension.


“Careful observation of everyday life provides the ultimate inspiration for my projects. The duality of function and sculptural qualities in my work illustrates the inherent link between art and design. One complements the other, making an integrated whole.”

Alicja Patanowska’s Plantation sprung from observations of London night life. Walking through the streets of the city in the early morning, the designer gathered discarded bottles and glasses. Then she added porcelain elements to them, which she then used as planters. Patanowska took seemingly unexciting everyday objects, like old jars and drinking glasses and turned them into magical mini-gardens. Plantation uses hydroponics to grow herbs and plants – the plants only need water, no soil necessary! You can choose from four different ceramic add-ons, which are made so they fit onto a basic drinking glass. The transparency of the glass makes it possible to observe the entire process of the plant’s growth. Porcelain, glass and nature come together in beautiful harmony.

A set of six installations combining glasses with superimposed white ceramic elements into which developing plants have been inserted. Each installation has a different, unique shape. The leaves and fruits of the plants are usually visible on the external part, outside the glasses, while the roots are kept inside.
PLANTATION, designed by Alicja Patanowska, photo: Sylvia Deleu, 2015. Source: Alicja Patanowska


Agnieszka Bar’s language is glass. She continues to create new vocabulary, new sentences. Interested in exploring the properties of glass, she handcrafts her objects using traditional glass-making techniques. Take her On Finger collection, for instance. This ergonomic line is created to become one with its user. The carefully fashioned thumb indentations make it easy to hold each glass, at the same time, the users hand becomes an integral part of the glass it’s holding. In Bar’s Plisowanki series of ‘pleated’ crystal vases, light reflects off of each pleat, creating the impression of movement.

Her My Dear is a less drastic version of a hunting trophy, just right for the conditions of the urban jungle. The piece is a criticism of cruelty to animals. With the titular play on words, the designer’s intention was to create a bond between the user and the object. The user can domesticate the ‘dear’ and bring it to life by placing fresh flowers or bouquets where the antlers should be. The sculpture invites reflection on the role of people in the lives of animals and their mutual relationship.



Kosmos Project is an experimental design studio set up by Ewa Bochen and Maciej Jelski. Their projects are inspired by observations of modern society. At first glance, their wine decanter The Heart may look as if it belongs in a laboratory, but look a little closer and you see it does indeed resemble a heart. The designers didn’t want the decanter merely to pour wine, but also to become a pretext for people to reflect on their spiritual condition. Is there any place left for the metaphysical in today’s world?

Three comfy armchairs with a similar design, though each looks a little different. All have surrounding semicircular backrests, subtly curved outwards. The base of the left and centre seats forms a single unit with the backrest. The right armchair is in turn placed on wooden legs. The left armchair is green and upholstered with soft material; the centre armchair is white; and the object on the right is black with brown legs.
TULLI armchairs, designed by Tomasz Rygalik, produced by NOTI, 2015. Photo: courtesy of NOTI
A black coat-stand with the base of a tripod. It is tall and narrow and made entirely of metal tubes. In the upper part, a few small yellow hooks can be seen.
SEVEN coat stand, designed by Tomasz Rygalik, produced by PROFIM, 2012. Photo: courtesy of Studio Rygalik
An object consisting of two wooden squares joined in the middle by a grey element dividing them in half, to which two white shelves, one on each side, are attached.
Stand Up R desk, designed by Tomasz Augustyniak, produced by MIKOMAX, 2014. Photo: courtesy of MIKOMAX


Tomasz Augustyniak is a product and interior designer. He has worked with many top Polish and international furniture companies including Vox Industrie, Noti, Ade Line, Comforty, Profim, Mikomax, Nowy Styl, Balma, Adriana, Marbet Style, Nap & Piu Design. Augustyniak’s STAND UP R desks are based on a patented manual height adjustment system, which allows the user to adjust the height of the desk to accommodate their preferred working position: they can sit, they can stand or anything in between! As a result, the desk supports ergonomic and comfortable day-to-day professional activity. Frequently changing one’s position helps prevent ailments and pain caused by prolonged sitting. The design received the 2017 Best of the Best Red Dot Award in Product Design.


Piotr Kuchciński is an architect and designer. He has worked with the Polish company NOTI for over 10 years. Kuchciński has won numerous Polish and international awards including the Red Dot Design Award: in 2013 for the H2 tables for BALMA, and in 2014 for the CLAPP sofa for NOTI. The CLAPP collection was created with public spaces in mind, such as offices and hotels. Inspired by popular armchairs from the 1960s (especially the 366 armchair designed by Józef Chierowski), the collection is a modern take on timeless furniture designs. This combination of vintage aesthetics and modern form, with a wide range of wood finishes and upholstery, make the collection suitable for a variety of interiors, styles and functionalities. He has also designed many other NOTI collections including Alter, Bloc, King, Linar Plus, Manta, Mishell, Mula, Muse, Origono, Queen, Rosco, Sosa, Tritos and x40.

A wooden armchair with simple, square shapes. Its legs are wooden, backrest and seat are made of black soft fluffy fabric.
CLAPP armchair, designed by Piotr Kuchciński, produced by NOTI, 2013. Photo: courtesy of NOTI.
A sofa composed of several portable modules. It is mostly made of green soft material on black steel legs. Its backrest is rectangular and is attached to three quarters of the object. The remaining part, without the backrest, is set slightly higher.
BELONG sofa, designed by Radek Nowakowski and VANK, produced by VANK, 2017. Photo: courtesy of VANK


VANK is young Polish brand created by architects, designers and engineers. They focus on creating furniture for offices and open spaces, such as lobbies or foyers. Their BELONG sofa is a modular furniture composition. Mix and match, put it together however you want, however it will best suit your needs – whether in your living room or in a commercial space. Arrange it into different sofas or simple armchairs. Elsewhere, MOVE is a contemporary take on a desk that is ready to follow our movements throughout the day. It is an answer to the growing demand for ‘sit/stand’ workplaces. The accompanying V6 swivel chair screams modernity – its modern and dynamic aesthetic clearly references the distinctive design of sports car interiors. The chair is adjustable to the extent that it will be comfortable for both a tall man and a petite woman. It is also customisable: choose from an array of upholsteries and colourful aluminium elements.


For Malafor – the design duo Agata Kulik-Pomorska and Paweł Pomorski – design is as much about the ideology behind it as it is function or beauty. Inspired by nature and ecology, Malafor gives new meanings to common materials and objects. The TRUNK series of furniture is their most recognisable line. It revolves around a simple object – a tree trunk. Rather than carve into the wood or build new pieces of furniture out of it, the tree trunk itself becomes something new. Made from the trunks of oak trees, each stool is enveloped in steel. The metal not only protects the wood, but also creates a surface which reflects its surroundings – each stool blends into what’s around it like a chameleon. A steel handle makes it easy to carry and move around. The TRUNK also comes in a colour version, enveloped in bright colourful aluminium casings, as well as a natural version sans metal, and a burnt version. Malafor’s BLOW collection, on the other hand, is made out of 100% recyclable inflatable paper bags and steel rod structures. Sit down, get comfy and draw, write or doodle all over the sofa! When the bags get too crowded with your creations – just exchange them and start over.

An unusual armchair with no legs. It's made out of two pillows-shaped inflatable blue paper bags. They function as both a seat and a backrest. The black steel rod constructions, which also serve as armrests, connect them.
BLOW sofa, designed by MALAFOR, 2012. Photo: courtesy of MALAFOR.
A comfy armchair made of soft light-grey material. Its seat is positioned quite low, and it has four small wooden legs. The way the armrest and backrest are combined, together with an element that looks like an ear, which is attached to the side of the backrest, make the whole thing look like a Teddy Bear from afar.
TEDDY BEAR armchair, designed by Wierszyłłowski i Projektanci, produced by NOTI, 2013. Photo: courtesy of Wierszyłłowski i Projektanci


Wierszyłłowski i Projektanci (Wierszyłłowski and Designers) invite us on a journey to our childhood, cuddled up with our soft brown teddy bears. Their TEDDY BEAR armchairs are, in part, inspired by these childhood buddies and, in part, by the organic shapes of 1950s and 1960s Polish design. The TEDDY BEAR collection has three types of seats and backs, two kinds of armrests and a headrest, and a variety of upholsteries, which allows the user to create their own individual armchairs. Each of the elements can be easily put together, engaging the user in the design of the chair – essentially allowing the user to become a co-designer.


Maja Ganszyniec designs everyday objects. She has worked with a number of large international companies, such as Comforty, Leroy Merlin, NOTI and IKEA. In 2018, IKEA released two new collections designed by Ganszyniec: HJÄRTELIG and SPÄNST. Ganszyniec’s UME armchair follows the Japanese notion of wabi-sabi – the acceptance of imperfection. It explores the ideas of geometry and asymmetry. Three strips of fabric hug the chair, with only four stitching lines and one fold. Available in a wide selection of tones and colours, the richness and depths of the textile emphasises the uniqueness of the armchair’s geometry.

Two comfortable armchairs of the same shape in different shades of salmon colour. Each armchair forms one solid structure without clearly separating the individual elements. Their silhouette is rounded, with slightly rounded backrests, through the centre of which runs a diagonal line connecting the sheets of fabric with each other. Another line surrounds the seat part.
UME armchair, designed by Maja Ganszyniec, produced by Comforty, 2016. Photo: courtesy of Comforty

“I believe that different objects have their own energy, so a product made of natural materials like glass, linen, cork or solid wood will be more friendly than others.”
Maja Ganszyniec

A black floor lamp consisting of three round black discs on a vertical stand, facing the wall with their light source. The reflection on the wall gives the impression of a glow, and the discs resemble the sun during an eclipse.
AMBIENTE lamp, designed by Piotr Kalinowski, produced by Chors, 2013, photo: courtesy of Chors
Wall lamp consisting of three black squares hung on a white wall. Each square creates a glow around itself caused by a hidden LED light source.
CUBIC K, designed by Chors, 2013, photo: courtesy of Chors
A black wall lamp consisting of a round base fixed to the wall with an on/off switch, from which a spotlight protrudes. The object is shaped like a desk microphone but suspended horizontally.
FLASK K, designed by Chors, 2013, photo: courtesy of Chors


Lighting doesn’t only have to be practical. Lighting can create an atmosphere – depending on the colouring of the light, its strength and… its smell. Designlab took lighting into a whole new dimension: when the lampshades gets warm, it releases a chamomile scent. How? Even the most energy-efficient light bulb turns energy into heat. As the bulb warms up, so does the lamp shade. And so, the O! lamp’s yellow or white silicon diffuser releases a fragrance when turned on. The O! lamp emphasises an important point: that design is not just visual, but multi-sensory.

A photograph is a close-up of a red-haired woman's face looking very closely at a lamp that is hanging from a big black pipe. The lamp is round and looks like a glowing orange with a slit in the middle.
O! lamp, designed by designlab, 2008, photo: courtesy of designlab


Blow up your own lamp? Why not! PUFF-BUFF creates innovative lamps that spice up your interiors: each lamp is made up of a simple steel structure, an inflatable PVC lampshade and LED diodes. Just blow it up like you would a beach ball and voilà! PUFF-BUFF offers an array of shapes colours and sizes. Their lighting is beautiful, yet playful, refined, yet whimsical.

A lamp in the shape of a medusa. A long, tall tripod is used to support it. Its lightbulb is hidden under a black shade that resembles the body of a medusa. The cable is suspended from the shade's interior.
ORCA Lamp, designed by Puff-Buff (Anna Siedlecka, Radek Achramowicz), 2007, Photo: courtesy of Puff-Buff
A chandelier, which is a hanging structure consisting of dozens of round objects made of PVC, with a hidden LED inside. The central part of the chandelier is the longest, so it hangs lower than the parts surrounding it.
Emperor’s chandelier, designed by PUFF-BUFF, photo: Filip Warulik, courtesy of PUFF-BUFF



Who knew an oven could be zen? The ZEN, designed by Michał Biernacki and Magdalena Lubińska of CODE Design, has a simple aesthetic which is actually soothing. The monochrome rectangle has a handle, just a few knobs and no buttons at all. The design duo did away with most of the options basic ovens today offer, because they believe people never actually use them. They made comfort and simplicity their priority: metal, matt glass and a wooden handle. With the ZEN oven, less is truly more. Aesthetics, high-quality and functionality brought many awards, including the Red Dot Award for ‘Best of the Best’ 2012.

A black, monochrome rectangular metal oven with a wooden handle and a matt glass window. Just two knobs with white symbols are placed above the handle. The white writing reads: 'Amica'.
ZEN oven, designed by CODE Design, 2012. Photo: courtesy of CODE Design
A cylindrical, black, glossy, vertical object attached sideways to the wall and fixed to the radiator from above. It has a measurement with lights glowing red or blue. A white manufacturer's logo is visible.
HOT 2 electric heater for central heating radiators, designed by Mikołaj Wierszyłłowski, Wojciech Barański & Przemysław Stawicki, produced by Instal-Projekt, 2010. Photo: courtesy of Instal-Projekt


In 2010, the Polish company Instal-Projekt came out with an innovative product: the HOT 2 electric heater for central heating radiators, a great example of intelligent technology combined with modern design. Equipped with an economical control system, it guarantees low energy consumption. Simple shapes and bold colours (white or black, and signalling in red and blue) together with simple lettering create an object that exudes the modernity and high functionality of this solution.


A dynamic photo showing three middle-aged men on board a sports yacht. The yacht is mostly white with wooden elements. Two steering wheels can be seen at the front and a white sail at the back. The photo was taken at dusk, the water was calm.
DELPHIA 47, designed by Andrzej Skrzat, 2009. Photo: courtesy of Delphia Yachts
The same yacht and men as in the previous photograph. This time the photo was taken from the side, in the middle of the day. The sky is blue. In the centre of the photograph is a large white sail. The name DELPHIA, written in white letters on the black hull, can be seen.
DELPHIA 47, designed by Andrzej Skrzat, 2009. Photo: courtesy of Delphia Yachts
A sports yacht photographed from above, at mast height. Three men are standing at the steering wheels, talking. In front, by the bow, a fourth person is lying down and resting. The yacht is brown and white, and the roof of the deck cabin is purple.
DELPHIA 47, designed by Andrzej Skrzat, 2009. Photo: courtesy of Delphia Yachts
A luxurious cabin interior below the deck of a sports yacht. The walls and floor are wooden. You can see the kitchen, in the middle of which is placed a wooden table surrounded by grey-lined armchairs.
DELPHIA 47, designed by Andrzej Skrzat, 2009. Photo: courtesy of Delphia Yachts
A very dynamic photograph showing the front of a speeding modern train. The forehead of the locomotive is rounded, with the bumper protruding at the bottom. The train is grey-blue-black. Above the windscreen, a display with the place name "Bydgoszcz" can be seen. Due to the high speed, the background of the photo is blurred.
DART Train, designed by Bartosz Piotrowski. Photo: courtesy of PESA
A colour photograph showing two modern trams. Both are blue with white accents, riding on the tracks in the centre of the old city. Above the windscreen, there is a display with the destination name. An historic church is visible in the background. The photo was taken in the city of Cracow.
KRAKOWIAK Tram, designed by Bartosz Piotrowski, produced by PESA. Photo: courtesy of PESA
A sporty yacht, mostly white, with tinted windows in the deck cabin. A black DELPHIA logo can be seen on the front of the hull. A young man wearing dark spectacles may be seen seated in the back. The yacht is sailing on slightly rough water. The photo is taken from above.
Nautika 1300 yacht, designed by Andrzej Skrzat, 2011. Photo: courtesy of Delphia Yachts Company
The same yacht as in the previous photo. This time photographed from behind.
Nautika 1300 yacht, designed by Andrzej Skrzat, 2011. Photo: courtesy of Delphia Yachts Company


More than half a century after its creation, the iconic RM armchair designed by Roman Modzelewski made its ‘re-debut’. Handmade in 1958, it was one of the earliest Polish examples of polyester-glass laminate furniture. VZÓR wanted to introduce Modzelewski’s classic chair to the modern consumer and finally it put into mass production. Thanks to modern technology and open markets, VZÓR brings back the glossy classic version of the RM, now branded as the RM58, while also offering a range of new colour and material variations.

MOHO DESIGN shows that one can draw on tradition to create modern designs. MOHO DESIGN took a well-known Polish folk cut-out motif, changed its scale, the material and the function to create their popular MOHOHEJ! DIA carpet. Wool woven on old looms gains new life thanks to the use of laser cutting. MOHO DESIGN’s carpets have won numerous awards including an award from Wallpaper* magazine in 2006 and the Red Dot Award in 2008. But above all, they began a new chapter of folk inspiration in contemporary Polish design.

A plastic red curvy armchair with four black, short legs sticking out from the unified main structure.
RM58 armchair, designed by Roman Modzelewski in 1958, produced by VZÓR, 2012. Photo: courtesy of VZÓR
A red circular carpet decorated with folk, symmetrically placed patterns. From the top, it resembles a large, hand-made napkin.
MOHOHEJ! DIA carpet, design by Magdalena Lubińska & Michał Kopaniszyn, 2004. Photo: courtesy of the designers.

In 1980, Romuald Ferens designed the LOTOS chair and submitted it for the competition at the Basel Furniture Fair in Switzerland. It won the main prize, the jury fascinated by the innovative unity of shape and function. It seemed like Ferens and his designs were going places. And then, in 1981, martial law was introduced in Poland, and the dream of putting LOTOS into production ended. It was only in 2017 that the chair finally went into production, thanks to the Politura company – many Poles were seeing it for the very first time.

Designed at the beginning of the 1980s by Tomasz Andrzej Rudkiewicz, REFLEX lamps were simple, easy to produce and high-quality. Even though they didn’t go into mass production, people loved them and wanted them to light up their homes. In 1986, like many other designers at the time, Rudkiewicz chose to leave the country. Today, he goes back and forth between Finland and Poland and has established his own company, TAR. And he continued his lively REFLEX line, expanding it with an XL version.

"A chair in a light cream colour made entirely of wood. It does not have any armrests. The backrest and the seat are made of wooden panels. Their shapes are slightly curved in the middle, which gives the whole an organic look. "
LOTOS chair, designed by Romuald Ferens, produced by POLITURA, 2017. Photo: courtesy of POLITURA
A pendant lamp with a red round metal shade that looks like a dome.
REFLEX lamp, designed by Tomasz Rudkiewicz, produced by TAR, 2008. Photo: courtesy of TAR.


It’s not just furniture from the 1950s and 1960s that’s making a comeback. The bibelot, or trinket, has returned. The AS Ćmielów factory resumed the production of the porcelain figurines designed by the artists from the Institute of Industrial Design. Vintage is in.

Two porcelain figurines depicting dancing women in long red dresses with white wave-like pattern. Their bodies are white, and their hair is black. No facial features are visible.
FIGURINE forms, from left: DAFNE (2005) & BALLERINA (2011), designed by Lubomir Tomaszewski, produced by AS ĆMIELÓW FACTORY. Photo: courtesy of AS ĆMIELÓW FACTORY



Zieta Prozessdesign was founded by Oskar Zięta as an interdisciplinary, engineering-based team comprised of architects, designers, engineers and technicians. The studio regularly works with specialists from other fields (like biologists or psychologists) in its effort to seek out new and innovative solutions. But what is Oskar Zięta’s FIDU technology? It involves taking two pieces of sheet-metal, welding them together at the edges and then inflating them under high pressure. Instead of ending up with a balloon, which would eventually burst or slowly deflate, this process creates actual pieces of 3D furniture! With FIDU, Zięta underscores the importance of the design process. FIDU enables mass production of individualised shapes. The forms created are extremely light but also very durable. Using this unique design process, Zięta has created extraordinary pieces of furniture – from the PLOPP family of stools, to TAFLA mirrors. We will have to wait to see what comes next!

A metal stool on three legs with irregular, uneven shapes.
PLOPP chair, designed by Oskar Zięta, produced by ZIETA PROZESSDESIGN, 2008. Photo: courtesy of ZIETA PROZESSDESIGN
A wooden toy consisting of several modules. It is a truck-like vehicle with a sink basket strainer in the back and a crane that lifts wooden blocks using a sink plug.
SINK CAR from the collection POOR TOYS, designed by Bartosz Mucha, POOREX, 2012. Photo: courtesy of Bartosz Mucha.


Bartosz Mucha is the founder of POOREX, his own one man-studio. He is definitely not your typical designer – he doesn’t pay much attention to whether his designs can actually be manufactured or even used. His work is on the border between art and design – what’s important to Mucha is more the conceptual and experimental thinking about design. Mucha’s POOR TOYS are a set of toy cars made out of beechwood. But these aren’t just any toy cars. Each one is combined with a common household item: the PEG CAR is a tow truck with a large clothes peg instead of a hook; the BRUSH CAR is a limousine made of a scrub brush; and the SINK CAR is a suction-cup tow truck. His toys can be used both for play and for everyday chores. An unusual combination of business and pleasure.


UAU Project is a Warsaw-based multidisciplinary design studio founded in 2011 by Justyna Fałdzińska and Miłosz Dąbrowski. Their main interest is exploring and experimenting with consumer-oriented 3D printing. All of their designs are created using either biodegradable or highly recyclable materials. They use bold colours and interesting textures. Their 3D-printed NEPTUNE is a geometric and elegant lamp that looks amazing in every minimalistic space. It can be customised with three different colourful and crazy shades. The brightness of the light depends on the position of the lamp. What’s most remarkable is that they make their 3D-printable designs available for their users on their website: everyone with access to a 3D printer can download their designs and print them for themselves!

A lamp that appears to be shaped like a large cigarette lighter. The base is rectangular, massive, and purple. A bulb protrudes at the top, shielded by a yellow disc in an elliptical shape. The disc resembles a flame, and there are regularly-spaced elliptic rings on its surface.
NEPTUNE lamp, designed by UAU PROJECT (Justyna Fałdzińska and Miłosz Dąbrowski), 2017. Photo: courtesy of UAU PROJECT

The world of Polish design is ever evolving and it would be impossible to cover everything within the eight chapters of this design guide. Luckily, we have the perfect resource for readers hungry for more. is the world's biggest and most comprehensive source of knowledge about Polish culture. Spread across a huge multi-lingual website and multiple social media platforms, is the digital brand of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, an organisation devoted to promoting Poland and Polish culture to an international audience. A special section of is dedicated to Polish design, and includes information about the latest trends and the newest projects by Polish designers – the young and emerging, as well as the well-established and world-renowned.