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Professor Jerzy Porębski
Studio of Product Design (No. 3)
> Monika Smaga
When designing, I like to play with form and stereotypes. I am inspired by interesting configurations of materials, everyday situations and objects created spontaneously out of sheer need, thoughtful solutions and sustainable design.
I do not like making concessions in the design process. I want to bring the assumed goals to a satisfactory close, even if it means a long search for the right solutions. I try to make a product relevant to the situation in which it will operate.
When designing, I like to feel the material used, hence I devote particular attention to prototyping. I put the assumed concepts through practice tests very quickly. Developing the material is not only a necessity but something that also gives me a great pleasure. In my designs I try to use and highlight the natural features and qualities of materials, so that their application is justified in every way.
Environmentally responsible design is important to me, so when designing, I take into consideration every stage of a product’s lifecycle, from its creation, through to its use and subsequent ageing and disposal.
> Professor Jerzy Porębski
The point of departure for Monika Smaga’s degree piece is the notion of chaos. It is a reaction to the overwhelming mess, disorder, disorganisation, noise, incoherence, turmoil and confusion, not only in the space surrounding us but also inside our heads. What can we do about it? Are we doomed forever to try to arrange this chaos, to look again and again for harmony of thought, forms and things, or are we stuck with it? These were the questions posed by Monika, who spent a long time searching for the answers. Eventually, she decided to turn the tide. Is harmony in chaos possible? How far can we control it, to what extent is this perceived chaos conditioned by culture, to what extent can our immediate chaotic environment fulfil its utilitarian functions? She selected residential space and the world of furniture as the field for her experimental explorations. TABLE, BOOKSHELF AND SEAT. From disorderly matter, an organised, harmonious world of objects has emerged. The structure, selection of materials, and colours are all tailored to entice the user to go beyond the realm of traditional perception of space and objects. At the same time, logical, functional pieces of furniture are full of turmoil and chaos. However, the altered, impaired balance of elements, directions and relationships conceals the ingenious technology, simple geometry, carefully selected materials and purity of connections that was employed to create these pieces. The confusion, anxiety, but at the same time curiosity evoked by these objects are an incentive to deviate from the established idea of order, a polemic with our habits, current canons and language of forms. The harmony we witness has been achieved through agreement between mutually exclusive visual, utilitarian and technological phenomena.
Table, oakwood, aluminum powder, junctions: bolts with distances 1000x500x570 mm; the table is stable and functional even though it does not have any right angles
Rack in an upright position, oakwood, powder-coated aluminum, bolts with distances, wood screwdriver, 1400x925x670 mm; the rack operates in two settings: horizontal and vertical; wooden elements slip on aluminum elements, cubes, joined together at an proper angle, block each other preventing sliding
Seat (with an adjustable pillow, which thanks to Velcro can be freely manoeuvred on wooden surface, depending on the position in which we want to relax), oakwood, powder-coated aluminum, upholstered cushion, joint with bolts with spacers, Velcro, 500x560x1250 mm
B. 1986, studied at the Faculty of Interior Design (2006–2007) and the Faculty of Design (2007–2012) of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw as well as Product Design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (2009). Co-founder of the Smaga Projektanci design studio (in 2010).