PURO Inspirations: Polish design all year long

Polish design could not be better–we have been witnessing the emergence of more and more well-designed, functional, and aesthetic products–perfect for each and every household. As always, the PURO magazine editorial team has been diligently observing all the goings-on in the Polish design market. Unsurprisingly, we could not help ourselves but to attend the event that celebrates Polish design– Łódź Design Festival–where, with you in mind, we were looking for design gems. What we have found will make your loved ones–and yourselves!–happy not only during Christmas. Use our guidebook all year long, support Polish designers and local, handicraft production. It’s worth it!



Ceramics and coal. Aoomi Design Studio

Two unique ceramic collections–DUST and MESS–were born out of an experiment. Mess stands for tableware maculated with a charcoal dye, while Dust represents tableware with coal particles embedded in each piece. Designers have taken on an ambitious task–to cultivate the local and to use the traditional material–coal. And it’s been nothing but a success! Collections were made in a small handicraft studio in Silesia and, despite being manufactured on a large scale, they are retaining their unique, handmade character. Aoomi made it to the finals of the “make me!” competition at ŁDF. Keep your eye on them – the online store will be launching soon!




Surroundings of a human being. august design studio

It was a hot day in August when Irina Girshina and Olga Milczyńska, equally fascinated with photographer and culture researcher August Stander, began talking about working together. So, it couldn’t have ended up differently; the name of the studio defines designers’ fascinations and directions: “August is patient, he explores the surrounding environment, sharing happiness and beauty with others”. Olga and Irina create ceramics and everyday-use objects. They are also engaged in photography and art, having created collections such as 10/960–known as “siwaki”–in collaboration with craftsmen from Medynia Głogowska. The dark grey hue of the pieces from the collection came as the result of a long process of baking in a stone kiln. During Łódź Design Festival, “Siwaki” were awarded the “must-have” title for the best-designed Polish products. They make everything look and taste great! Go and try it!

Olga’s works can be admired in PURO Poznań and PURO Gdańsk. Also, together with the School of Form students, she co-created an installation in Nifty No. 20.





Fragile, yet strong. Julia Glassware

An incredible combination of tradition and contemporaneity. By no means fragile! A factory boasting a more than 150-year-long history, alpine landscape, and local craftsmanship–what could possibly go wrong? Located in the picturesque heart of Karkonosze, in Piechowice near Szklarska Poręba, the Julia glassware factory has been manufacturing designs that draw on the 19th century aesthetic as well as contemporary styles. During ŁDF, as part of the “must-have” competition, an honorable mention was awarded to the Metropolis collection designed by Sebastian Pietkiewicz. The factory organizes guided tours and glass painting and engraving workshops–you can even become a glassworker! If it wasn’t enough, there is a well-supplied store on-site (unique products and prices!) and online. Our love for Julia glassware has been strengthened by an original project “Polski Stół” [Polish Table], in which three polish producers joined their forces for the first time (Julia Glassware, Kristoff Porcelain and Pottery Factory in Bolesławiec). The jury of the “must have” competition must have fallen under the same spell–considering, in particular, one of the fruits of the collaboration – Zestaw Śniadaniowy I [Breakfast Set I].





Retrospections. WOOD & PAPER

A loud applause for WOOD & PAPER for organizing the entire–and atmospheric!– exhibition Retrospekcje [Retrospections] during the ŁDF. Undoubtedly, it is an unprecedented phenomenon for one brand to notice and promote others, looking not only for a shared element of contemporary, young design, i.e. references to the 1950s and ‘60s, but also creating a new aesthetic front in the battle for Polish interiors. The exhibition, arranged as a real-life apartment, gathered more than 100 objects of applied art–furniture, lamps, graphics, glassware, ceramics, fabrics and others–created by Polish designers. Everything is created by means of handicraft methods and is sold at affordable prices. Retrospections is a real mine of retro treasures!  



Eye for design. MUSCAT

The creators of the MUSCAT brand are known as rebels on the Polish design market. Why? They shortened the process of production in a revolutionary way–going from design through production to selling by avoiding agents. They have been holding on to a belief that “everyone has the right to look at the world through glasses of the finest quality at the fraction of a price”. Hence, you no longer have to spend fortune on unique frames, but you can support conscious production and consumption. MUSCAT won the “must have” title during ŁDF. It looks like they have quite an eye for design.





Day to night. Many mornings

A design revolution from head to toe. For feet need our attention as well, don’t they?! After all, they are assiduously carrying the weight of our everyday existence from dawn to dusk. MANY MORNINGS socks represent the fusion of tens of years of experience of the Łódź textile industry, regional passions, and a unique approach to design. The creators of the brand break the rules within the sock industry by introducing socks that do not match. They also help those in need by giving away socks as part of the SHARE A PAIR! initiative. The manufacturing process takes place in their own factory, where handicraft traditions are being retained. It will come as no surprise that MANY MORNINGS was awarded the “must have” title during ŁDF. Matching or not, we want them all!





One to one. HUGBAG

Like on a football pitch, you score a goal and you want more. Here, one well-designed product works as a stimulus to produce the second one. HUGBAG is a case for Apple iPad made of the highest quality natural leather tanned in a traditional way that preserves the original grain structure. The brand was established by two friends with the same name (Radek x2!) and passion for bag making. It seems like a perfect moment to use another football phrase–a perfect match! HUGBAGS possess the irresistible retro kick (we are certain Don Draper himself would have used them!), in which the classic meets the modern. Still, it’s not always satisfying when a match ends in a draw–that’s why the HUGBAG family keeps on growing…




Disappearing design. SEEM SOAP

To create a design that, despite its beauty, vanishes with use is quite a challenge for a creative ego! It’s a challenge undertook by designers Lehmann Mathilde and Sée Valentine, who made it to the finals of the ŁDF “make me!” competition. Both women wanted to focus on an object present in everyone’s life–an object that can be reconceptualized and remanufactured anew. They analyzed the shapes, colors, and ergonomics of human gestures and created a unique product–a soap and a sculpture at the same time, taking shape in a user’s hands. Using natural ingredients, designers make the soaps by hand in their studio in Paris. It’s the only exception to our list. But what a beautiful one! Go and shop here.





Plantation. Alicja Patanowska

The designer started working on a project on the spur of a moment–walking the streets of London at dawn collecting glasses–the remnants of the buzzing night life–hundreds of them! Collecting turned into the Plantacja [Plantation] project featuring porcelain components for glasses that make it possible to cultivate herbs and decorative plants hydroponically (with the use of water but without soil). At last, the project is being introduced on a larger scale–the authors started a collaboration with Kristoff Porcelain. It was also awarded the ŁDF “must have” title. So, dear all, there’s one thing we should do now. Let’s cultivate! We’d like to boast one more thing–one of the pieces from Alicja’s STRATUM collection can be admired in the PURO Poznań lobby. We couldn’t be prouder!






Get lost with NIEMAPA

NIEMAPA is a series of illustrated family guidebooks/maps which present the key places, local culture, cuisine, characteristic words and curiosities in a graphic way. Beautiful illustrations made by Studio Ładne Halo and creative activities prepared by Grupa Mamy (run by Joanna Studzińska and Małgorzata Żmijska, the ŁDF Artistic Director since recently) promote an active exploration of the neighborhood during family walks. NIEMAPY are co-created with residents in order to convey the unique character of every city. You can have a NIEMAPA of Poznań, Łódź, Rzeszów, Wrocław, and Lublin. Let’s take it and go for a walk!



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