Although Poland might not currently rank too highly in the Top Design Nations List (that I've just made up), our experiences in Poland at Łódź Design Festival show many promising signs of local manufacturers keen to collaborate with the country's emerging generation of design talent. As part of the festivities, Polish radiator manufacturer Terma exhibited winners and shortlisted entries from their Terma Design Awards—a competition calling for creative home heating products.
Some entries exhibited showed an imaginative reinvention of the radiator—incorporating pipes into a table for example, or repurposing floor mounted systems into a bench. Of the more conventional wall mounted radiators, there was some really interesting styling to behold and some impressive use of materials to make more of a feature of the lowly heater and to disseminate the warmth more effectively.
Design by Bartholomew Drabik, the industrial-chic "Ribbon" is sure to look handsome on an some exposed brickwork.
Named after the Japanese tradition for low, futon-covered, heated tables, "Kotatsu" by Marianna Janowicz incorporates radiator pipes into the structure of a table to create a gently warmed communal seating space.
Previously seen at the "Taste of an Object" exhibition in Milan this year, the "Pillou" radiator by None is a modular radiator in the shape of a bench, inspired by traditional cast iron radiators. The module system allows for a variety of lengths to fit different interiors.
Also seen in Milan, "PLC" is a wall mounted radiator constructed of interwoven steel tubing designed by Jacek Ryn. This might like look a far-fetched figment of a student's imagination but the design has actually successfully made it into manufacture—the production apparent beginning by bend tubes to form the verticals before feeding in horizontal pipes that are then joined by hand welding each U-bend on both sides.
The "Pajak" ("Spider" in Polish) by Monika Kref is a radiator resembling exposed pipework with beautifully finished wooden pegs, presumedly to hang up towel and clothing.
"Chrust" (which translates to "Brushwood") by Malgorzata Knobloch and Igor Wiktorowicz of Witamina D ask why radiator pipes always need to be in straight lines. And hey, why not finish it with some nice wooden ends.