The Wire magazine called his designs “furniture of the future”. By most design lovers, Oskar Zięta is mainly associated with inflatable metal stools in bold colours, resembling shiny baloons, that is the Plopp design launched in 2008. However, his furniture is in fact something more than just a surprising form – Zięta calls himself “a designer of efficient processes using innovative technology”, and aesthetics and functions in his designs are reflections of technological research. He calls his attitude towards design Prozessdesign and it is the name of his two studios in Wrocław and in Zurich. Zięta is therefore not so much a designer but an engineer fond of innovations constantly searching for yet undiscovered properties of metal.
Research concerning digital processing of metal that resulted in FiDU technology (that is Freie Innendruck Umformung – “internal pressure forming”) led to the creation of the Plopp (i.e. “air-inflated Polish folk object”) and its various versions, from a chidren’s stool to a kitchen stool, followed by Chippensteels chairs and subsequent inflatable objects (Kamm hangers , Pin, Bones, Unterdruck bench or Osiem lamp). Thanks to the development of this technology we receive a unique product – light, comfortable and durable, of a “crinkled” metal structure, which takes on a unique form in the process of inflating. The process of inflating metal elements with compressed air is so simple that Zięta’s studio has developed a method that allows for transportation of rolled up objects, and then inflating them in the place of their destination. This economic (and eco-friendly) technology was used in 2010 during London Design Festival, when Oskar Zięta presented a fountain called Blow & Roll in John Madejski Garden at the courtyard of Victoria & Albert Museum.
The most recent achievement of Zięta Prozessdesign studio is 3+ technology, also based on the idea of deformation, consisting of the production of metal sheets covered with a net of round protruding points. Putting two plains together like ingredients of a sandwich, you can obtain any structure – from simple tables, desks and chairs for office use to complex systems used in shops and show rooms.
written by Magdalena Anna Zięba
translated by Monika Mokrosz
Oskar Zięta – born in 1975, he graduated from the Swiss Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich, he has been working at this academy as a research assistant at the department of CAAD – Computer Aided Architectural Design. In Poland, he shares his knowledge during lectures for students of Industrial Design at the School of Form in Poznań.
Magdalena Anna Zieba – completed her studies in history of art and philology at the University of Wrocław. Art critic and curator. Editor of LABEL Magazine, she also contributed to OBIEG and SZUM Magazine. Currently, a doctoral student working on her thesis on contemporary curatorial strategies.