Designer Katarzyna Kempa's office furniture addresses the wellbeing of workers

ÉCAL graduate Katarzyna Kempa's office furniture addresses the wellbeing of workers.

What was your first project?
My first most serious project was a cradle that grows with the child. Thanks to it’s variable form, it accompanies the child from birth through their childhood. It was a multi-functional rocking cradle, stroller and a rocking horse, thus combines the traits, classical form and function of toys needed for the proper development of a baby.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Observing my surroundings as well as different objects. Likewise, I love to take inspiration from different functions of objects and transform them into new products with a different use.

What’s your design process?
What works best for me, is to start with a real problem as well as to know what are the barriers in the project. Following this, I try to find out everything in the area of the project and to know the reliable goal. These are the ingredients towards creating the direction of the project. If I have it, I can go with the flow during the design process. I like to be spontaneous and work a lot with my hands. Very often the case turns out to be the ideal design solution.

What is your Sit Furniture project about?
A body-minded wooden stool and work table which together create an active working environment. It is a fresh perspective on the world of office seating. The project SIT is a reevaluation of how to create good habits and have the best workspace for our body. We are born to move, movement is what our body needs while we work. This stool presents a new work height coupled with an elastomer bushing which keeps us moving while we sit. These micro-movements will activate the lubrication of intervertebral discs, preventing the normal stiff feeling you get from sitting in a fixed position at length. The shape and height of the stool puts you in an optimal position where the hip, heel, and shoulder are in vertical alignment and weight is spread between both the feet and back. A small backrest acts to position the back in a good direction while serving a double function as a handle allowing you to easily move the stool. At a table, you can work both sitting and standing. Across the base is a rolling bar which stimulates pressure points in the feet improving circulation, reducing the pain of tired feet, and making the body feel good overall. These two pieces were the result of a years worth of research into what's best for the body, and were presented as a diploma project in the 2015 ECAL masters of product design course.

What are you planning to work on next?
I would like to continue working within the office environment with the aim of bringing more comfort and enjoyment while working. I aim to create products that re-evaluate the office environment, promote good habits and provide the best work space for our body to move towards becoming healthy while advancing happiness.

City of residence Warsaw, Poland
Age 27
Education Bachelor in Industrial design from Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. One year exchange at Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Porto, Portugal. Master in Product Design from Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Switzerland.
Collaborations Axor – Hans Grohe, Scott, Camper, Fondation le Corbusier, Apartment 50, Ovvo optics
Motto With the flow in own direction.
Favourite quote ‘So many things I do not need!’ Socrates
Best advice received It was from my math teacher. She said the best result to solve equation is to be lazy. I think somehow its also working in design and even in life.
Best tip for designers To follow your beliefs. 
Three things every designer needs Strong character, passion and open mind/thinking outside the box.
Newest addition to your studio Work in progress.
First design that inspired you I think it was Rubik’s cube. An object that is totally hypnotic. On the one hand it looks so simple and actually its so complicated. What I really liked about it is that its such a small object and it brings a lot of emotions and passion, both for parents and children. At the same time it has a beautiful shape, great colors and will never be dull.

Photos Axel Crettenand

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