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Interview with Zarysy Jan Sekuła

Home > Designer Interviews > Zarysy Jan Sekuła

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Zarysy Jan Sekuła (ZJS) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Zarysy Jan Sekuła by clicking here.

Interview with Zarysy Jan Sekuła at Thursday 12th of May 2022
Jan Sekuła
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
ZJS: It wasn’t obvious to me when I was younger, although I’ve been a quite creative child and spend most of my time playing LEGOs, which helps me to extend my imagination abilities. Later in life I chose to start an architecture studies and my LEGO heritage which perfectly combines technical and creative skills was a perfect match for architecture and design. While in university I started learning computer graphics, which are basically advanced LEGOs, CG gave me an enormous ability to create and showcase my ideas and erase any creative boundaries. At this moment I’ve fallen into a design rabbithole.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
ZJS: The company has more of a craftsmanship character, rather than a standard architecture office. I’m preparing only a few designs a year - as the quality of design in my opinion - should always go before the quantity. The company goal is to craft personalized spaces with great attention to details in contemporary, warm and cozy style. Essentially, to create HOME.

FS: What is "design" for you?
ZJS: Well It’s probably a perfect marriage between form and function. A beautiful combination of technical and esthetic properties. While we can see art as a pure aesthetic and engineering as a pure technical, I think the design is entitled to have both. We are very lucky that someone found this word, because it’s not only an adjective, it’s also a promise. A promise of a wonderful future, a beautiful one, a future filled with exciting forms in our everyday life. It’s a promise of living in a nice flat, walking through aesthetic streets and working in a friendly environment. While art inspires us and engineering allows us to build super advanced structures everyday people rarely touch those two. This is why design is so important, because it affects everyone and everyone can experience it and most importantly - it can make our life a little bit more pleasant and enjoyable, better.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
ZJS: I’m usually working on residential design, sometimes on landscape design and architecture. They all have their pros and cons. Cracking a modern, almost too small, apartment layout is really rewarding, but on the other hand a spacious modern family house gives some space and place for a more experimental approach. I guess it’s equal, but the most wonderful moment in designing is when everything is done in 3d and the rendering phase starts. It’s like advancing from a sketch to an almost finished painting. It’s really rewarding and almost addicting.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
ZJS: The one I’m working on right now. It’s a joke of course but, there is a bit of truth in it. I’m looking at my previous works and I really like them, but the feeling is never so strong as for the last design I’m working on.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
ZJS: I think it’s wood - oak, ash and pine. Wood is really a natural wonder, it has one of the most beautiful patterns in the world and it’s all natural.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
ZJS: That’s a hard one, I think when I’m absolutely relaxed, physically and mentaly. When I know I have all the time I need. But this only happens when I have a vision about the design I’m currently working on. In the very early stages of design I imagine what feeling the interior should have, and this feeling accompanies me in the whole process. So when the ‘feeling’ is here and the ‘mood’ also, this is the time for designing!

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
ZJS: I don’t know if I can answer the question like this. Because I rarely compromise any elements of design, I think that firstly there is a form which has to work with funcion. Next we need to work out details and technicals. All those 4 are almost equal. Of course sometimes something can be a little bit harder to build, but in exchange it is better looking. In the other approach to this question I can say that my designs rely heavily on custom designed freestanding and built-in furniture. I design shelving systems, tables, coffee tables and sometimes poufs and sofas. In conclusion, my interior compositions are based on custom elements rather than built around a specific furniture piece.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
ZJS: Well, it probably won't be a shock for anyone, but quite sometime it’s just stress. When designing for a specific person, everyone has their expectations. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you can miss it. As mentioned before my designs are custom made, to design a 120m2 flat I need about two months, so every miss in client design expectations is quite harmful. Of course it’s just a half of the truth, every project end is also euphoric and self fulfilling. As well as every finished construction and happy client. So really this job is quite an emotional rollercoaster, maybe not for everyone, but surely for me.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
ZJS: I always say: ”no matter how good the rendering looks, the real thing will be better” and this is really true. Seeing a perfectly finished interior is really an outstanding experience. It takes a lot of work besides the project itself, it needs a talented craftsman with tremendous imagination. The final effect concludes a ton of work of many talented people and this is wonderful.

FS: What makes a design successful?
ZJS: Well I think it really depends on your target. In my instance I think it’s the atmosphere of the interiors. I love cozy and warm places with a bit of fun, a twist. This is my signature and I think this is what my clients expect.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
ZJS: I can’t help myself and start with aesthetics. If an object is regarded as “design” in the first place it has to have the look, because if it’s not looking good, then why bother to call it “design” and figure out the function. If the visuals are good then comes function because good design has to have both.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
ZJS: Well, the greatest responsibility is to build a better future, easier, more beautiful, more empathetic and more aware of ourselves and of the planet we live on.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
ZJS: Well, as mentioned before design is a merger of aesthetics and function, in today's world a good amount of that lies in software design, in apps of our phones etc. I think that the future will bring an even broader connection between software and everyday objects. Just like Tesla did with a car, it’s not a car anymore it’s like a cellphone on wheels. So I guess the future is to extend the function of objects by software.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
ZJS: There is a lot of stuff on the internet, pinterest is a wonderful place to look for inspiration, but I guess that besides things we look at, there are also things that inspire us subconsciously, like the place we live etc. My style changed radically after living in a modern/art deco tenement house.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
ZJS: I don’t think there is a certain name for my style. My main focus is to create warm places, cozy interiors where people feel secure and comfy. It’s usually a mix of minimalism with mid century modern style and a bit of asian twist. I love to use colors and divide spaces by introducing multiple textures and finishes. Those elements can create invisible barriers between functions in the house but at the same time connect them into a one big art piece -a seamless and engaging interior composition - simple enough to be instantly familiar but also interesting enough to be worth exploring.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
ZJS: I live in Poland and I have never thought about this way before. I’m sure that there are things which subconsciously enter into my mind, but I’m not aware of them. I’m also not fond of any particular Polish historical heritage, although I go along really well with world architecture heritage. Everything new is based on something already done, and the past centuries has done so much that we have a giant pot of ideas to draw from. The huge advantage of living in Poland is the modern culture here, people really want to live in nice places so the interior design market is huge. Thanks to that there are materials and brands from all over the world available here. Sometimes it’s easier to get something here than it is in Italy or Great Britain. On the flip side there is a big gap between us and our neighboring European countries in the average citizen's financial situation. Which is of course reflected in the design process.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
ZJS: Well I think there is a simple answer - portfolio.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
ZJS: Sure, My main goal is not the quantity but the quality. Every project is done by me, personally. For every project concept stage I reserve 8 weeks, projects are done one by one, avoiding overlapping. In one year I work on about 6 projects. This way I can have all the time I need to fully uncover the potential of the space. It also gives me the peace of mind essential to the thoughtful design process. Every design starts with an idea or maybe rather with a feeling. I’m trying to interpret and decode this mood, transfer it into shapes and colors, furniture and lighting. Create a composition piece by piece to fit the initial feeling. In my opinion interior design has many layers and each one needs to be perfected to get a wonderful final effect. Layout – the most obvious, a functional spine. Space dividers and shapes – it makes the space clear, easy for our eyes and mind, understandable. It can make the interior calming or exciting. Color schemes – the soul of the project, they create atmosphere, bring life. Details – the last part which let the owners to appreciate every piece of the project – wood work, steel work. To take care of every little detail, I’m designing almost every piece of furniture – dining tables, low tables etc.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
ZJS: First of all, be prepared for hard work and overtime. Designer has to be an artist, an engineer, a software specialist and sometimes a psychologist, so there is a lot to learn, but it’s worth it!

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
ZJS: It’s quite a noble occupation, people admire your work, that's really wonderful. We can see how our imagination streams into things in real life, real objects and even buildings that’s beautiful. On the other hand this comes with a great responsibility, often people have huge expectations about our work which makes every project a challenge. In the long run this can be really tiring.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
ZJS: Never put the toilet in front of the entrance! No, no I’m joking of course, I think my golden rule is in fact golden ratio, the proportions.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
ZJS: Well this is such a complicated occupation that I’m not even sure there is just one most important skill. You have to be in fact an artist with a great technical understanding to build things, have great software skills to visualize and sketch your design and in the end you have to be great with people, listening and understanding them. Right now when I’m writing this I start to wonder how I manage to master all of these myself.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
ZJS: First of all there is Autodesk Autocad - a virtual drawing board. It’s essential for every technical plan. Next there is a royal duo - Autodesk 3ds Max and Corona renderer, 3ds max is really complicated but when mastered it’s a tool like no other. In this duo I build a 3d model and then prepare renderings. The 3d model is then redrawn in Autocad in 1:1, so every tiny detail in design is preserved on plans. Thanks to all the fine detailing in 3d the construction plans and final product will be exactly the same. I also use Photoshop from time to time. There are also really important templates like NCS Color palette, Corian palette, stones, carpets etc. This template helps to match materials and to reflect them in 3d.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
ZJS: For interior design it’s between 6-10 weeks for a concept stage. In my instance the concept stage is a really rich and detailed final project. After client approval I need another 6 weeks to prepare construction plans.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
ZJS: Heh, it’s “where to buy this … (furniture piece)” and it’s usually about furniture designed by me for a specific interior.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
ZJS: Before starting my own studio I worked in another office, but I got my own clients after hours. There is no other way to gain real world experience than starting designing on your own.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
ZJS: I prefer not to mention any names, but there are people from all occupations and locations.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
ZJS: I think it’s an early concept stage, when the interior is getting inicialy shaped, but this is also the most stressful stage, because it’s really hard to decide sometime which design road to follow

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
ZJS: I like to think that what I do is really special, that there are not that many designers who can bring the same interior vibe as I do. I hope to gain some more recognition and find similar minded people who will let me build their beautiful dream houses. If this won't work, then I’ll go for a bartender job at Key West or start my own food truck!

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
ZJS: I’m a solo designer, I like to have things under control, so this suits me the most. It’s a challenge to do all by myself, but I want my design to be special and made with true care. I like to say that this is not a regular architectural office, but more like a craftsmanship interior design. For construction plans I work with my dear draftsman, who converts 3d into 2d plans.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
ZJS: Yes of course, unfortunately I don't think my words would be worth anything compared to images. If anyone would like to see what’s up please visit my website, instagram or send me an email.

FS: How can people contact you?
ZJS: Please feel free to speak to me, my website is www.zarysy.pl and my mail is biuro@zarysy.pl, on my website there are links to facebook and instagram.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
ZJS: Here is my epilogue: There is a very intense trend in modern interior architecture to reuse unique places like a factory loft, an old barn, a stone hut, an abandoned church or many others. Those are unquestionably marvelous, but in my opinion far more challenging is to create a design from the basics. Most of us won’t be able to afford or find such a unique place, which needs only a restoration and featuring the original roof. One valuable piece of furniture or an unique art piece is usually all that's needed to create a “wow” effect. The interior design of standard apartments or catalog houses is the complete opposite and ironically this is where most of the population lives. Bringing this unusual, wow design to everyday people, living in everyday houses – this is what my design is all about. In my opinion every home has the potential to become a unique, surprising, and exciting story. Just like a painter uses spots of colors to create a perfect composition, I’m using different finishes of walls, floors and fixed furniture pieces to reshape the interior. All the above is possible because of one outstanding aspect of my workflow - time I’m investing in each and every project. World is spinning very fast, everyone needs everything instantly, companies can produce designs like a factory. Head architects do as much as a project draft and then someone else continues the work. Separating the project management and haste can cause poor design quality, poor presentation and poor construction results. This problem is very visible in Polish interior design and I hear this quite often when clients switch the architect. In ZARYSY it’s the opposite. My main goal is not the quantity but the quality. As I mentioned before - every project is done by me, personally. For every project concept stage I reserve 8 weeks, projects are done one by one, avoiding overlapping. In one year I work on about 6 projects. This way I can have all the time I need to fully uncover the potential of the space. It also gives me the peace of mind essential to the thoughtful design process. Every design starts with an idea or maybe rather with a feeling. I’m trying to interpret and decode this mood, transfer it into shapes and colors, furniture and lighting. Create a composition piece by piece to fit the initial feeling. In my opinion interior design has many layers and each one needs to be perfected to get a wonderful final effect. Layout – the most obvious, a functional spine. Space dividers and shapes – it makes the space clear, easy for our eyes and mind, understandable. It can make the interior calming or exciting. Color schemes – the soul of the project, they create atmosphere, bring life. Details – the last part which let the owners to appreciate every piece of the project – wood work, steel work. To take care of every little detail, I’m designing almost every piece of furniture – dining tables, low tables etc.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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