Monday, February 10, 2020


By Ana Kippel

Polish Design
Photos courtesy of DesignTO

TORONTO, ON - This exhibit was organized to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Poland’s sovereignty. Including contemporary design along with classical, this unique exhibit showcases the highly talented work of many Polish artists. Using different styles of art and various mediums, such as, painting, graphic design, woodworking, photography and illustration. There are 100 objects displayed and beautifully presented in chronological order, certain materials and forms reappear throughout this exhibit. 

Sarenka Child’s Chair 1943 Artist: Iwona Chmielewska / Designed by: Wladyslaw Wincze and Olgierd Szlekys
(Photo courtesy of Adrianna Ormonde Cacciatore)

This Sarenka chair was mass produced until the 1980’s and was a staple in most homes and preschools. Some of these chairs were then exported and the design spread throughout the world.

Below is a photograph of the most valuable piece in the exhibit. 

Ludwik Dishwashing Liquid (Photo courtesy of Adrianna Ormonde Cacciatore)

Produced by INCO United household Group in Warsaw, Ludwik Detergent was known for keeping dishes clean and shiny. It appeared first on the Poland market in the 1964 and the first version was available in mint version in a 250 ml glass bottle with a decorative label. In 1971, the shape and colour of the cap were modified. In the mid 90’s all Ludwik bottles had a multi coloured imprint made on modern French screens. In 2004 Ludwik was refreshed again…changing the shape of the bottle and graphic design…and so on. This bottle has really changed with time. The value is unknown. And I have never been so excited about soap.

Another piece I found very interesting and fun was the 1963 Bambino Gramophone, also known as a record player, yes millenniums!….an actual record player. Isn’t it cute? The name Bambino (meaning baby) came from Italy and this musical box was extremely popular. Playing vinyl records only, it weighed no more than 8 kg, therefore making it portable. The sound quality was not the greatest but still guaranteed a good old time.

Bambino Gramophone, 1963. Designed by: Bogdan Ciesielski, Bernard Kowalski, Jerzy Radwański. Produced by: Fonica RadioFactory in Łódź (Photo courtesy of DesignTO)

These Massada frames (pictured below) are round with a classic shape… meaning… it will never go out of style. Spectacles are an everyday necessity not just an accessory… well for me anyway. Fancy and cool Katarzyna uses special techniques to design her sunglasses with a this artist nonstrategic twist with a cool forever feeling.

Massada Spectacle Frames designed by: Katarzyna Kupinska
Produced by Massada; Artist: Marianna Sztyma 2014

More from the exhibition ABCs of Polish Design (part of DesignTO festival):

Lamp, 1962. Designed by: Apolinary Gałecki. Produced by: Municipal Metal Factory no. 2 for Local Industry in Warsaw
(Photo courtesy of DesignTO)

Illustration by Emilia Dziubak. RM58 Armchair,1958. Designed by: Roman Modzelewski. Produced by: Vzor (re-edition)
Photo courtesy of DesignTO

Relaks Boots, 1972. Designer unknown. Produced by: Podhale Innovative Leather Industry Factory
(Photo courtesy of DesignTO)

Object: RM58 Armchair, 1958. Designed by: Roman Modzelewski. Produced by: Vzor (re-edition); Photo: SFW-1 Sanok Bus, 1958. Designed by: Zdzisław Beksiński. Produced by: Sanowag Sanok Wagon Factory (Autosan since 1958)
Photo courtesy of DesignTO

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