One of the most recognised furniture designers in Poland. She works for IKEA, Comforty, but the biggest success for her is bringing to life her own brand Nurt. She is lucky to live in a beautiful building in Mokotów designed by Julisz Żórawski based on Le Corbusier’s architecture.
What is now the most important for you in being a designer?
I don’t want to sound pompous, but right now, the truth is crucial for me. I want to make things which I feel comfortable with and can endorse.
I was tempted to create everything on my own terms. Working on your own gives you room for research. For example, you can spend a whole year preparing plywood which doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals. You can use fieldstone instead of marble, which travels to us halfway across the globe. Or oak, which is an expensive material because it grows slowly, but it is the most durable. I would like things to be timeless and local.
What other features characterise “your things”?
That they don’t overwhelm you. I am interested in creating space, where there is much room for a human. In the cities, we tend to be overstimulated and my flat serves like an oasis – this is where I rest. I prefer objects which are not icons but silent actors in our everyday life; which are durable and aren’t subject to trends. I have very few new things at home.
However, you work for IKEA – a company which seasonally offers us new collections, new trends. How do you feel about it?
I work with them because I believe that only cooperation with the giants gives a chance for a change. I have freedom there. Everyone knows that I avoid using plastic in my designs. I demand certain solutions, I lobby for them. And this is what a designer job is all about. I can really have a real impact not only on how a certain piece of furniture might look like but also what it is made of and how long it will last. If I resign from making a plastic chair, we will have 600,000 fewer plastic chairs. And that is really something. It’s about minimising damages which can be committed on this scale.
And why do you work with small producers, craftsmen?
This way you can create your own world from scratches without making compromises. We launched Nurt in 2018, and not in the 80s or 90s when no one even thought about toxic furniture. I would really want to trigger this discussion because when you import a sofa from China you don’t think about such issues like where you sit and what you inhale.
Not everyone can afford to buy a good quality piece of furniture.
That is why I recommend IKEA. Products there are tested, they pass through a sieve that there is no way something could be toxic. I dream about the world in which we buy less, more rarely and more consciously. And I do hope that there are more people out there like me.