They say that behind every successful man stands a strong woman. When it comes to good design, behind its success stands usually more than one person or one situation. In “D-File” series of mini-essays, Ania Diduch – art and design critic tells the stories behind Polish designs and designers, both iconic and forgotten. Just like in police files, she collects the evidence, talks with the witnesses, examines the photos and finally writes the report. This week she examines project ‘Intersections’ by Izabela Bołoz.
‘Intersections’ is a temporary installation consisting of modules, which can be transported and arranged in multiple ways. The modules are light and elegant, ranging from 45 to 180 centimetres in height. Each piece is made from a series of identical geometric wooden frames. Modules can be slotted together like comb teeth, with the individual frames of one module sliding into the spaces between frames in the next. These objects would fit right into Tate Modern collection. The difference is they are not a sculpture. They are benches designed for public spaces.
Their creator – Izabela Bołoz – is fascinated by human behaviour. She drives inspiration from architectural structures. Her urban interventions stimulate the imagination, offering new ways of experiencing the ordinary. That is definitely the case with ‘Intersections’. Whenever the installation appears, it quickly starts to pulsate with action. As it turned out, each single part of the modules is in use. I didn’t expect it to be so natural and cross generational – says Bołoz about the installation – The lower parts are occupied by little children, who are fitting even in the smallest parts. Adults are sitting on the top of the modules, using them as „normal” benches, while the youngsters are climbing to the top of the bigger modules.
Originally designed for the Gdynia Design Days – the biggest summer design event in Poland – ‘Intersections’ references the Polish city’s Modernist architecture. Gdynia is a city built completely from scratch in the 1920s’ and 1930s’. The architects of that period often played with geometry and forms, merging volumes together. ‘Intersections’ is the contemporary equivalent of that philosophy.