Author Archives: joannaksiazek92

Bibliography for the project

List of books :

Small houses’ by Petites Maisons and Kleine Hauser

‘Small and chic high style for small spaces’ by Bridget Vranckx

‘The japanese house , architecture and interiors by Noboru Murata & Alexandra Black

‘Japanese detail-architecture’ by Sadao Hibbi

‘A Japanese touch for Your home’ by Koji Yagi ‘East meets West’ by Kelly Hoppen

‘Japanese design motifs’ compiled by Matsua Piece-Goods Store

‘Japanese Style’ by Suzanne Slesin

Magazines :

‘The Frame’

‘ The world of interiors’


First steps of analysis of my chosen site and model making.

The site which I chose for my final design is the room, where I live at the moment. The space is very small and cluttered with furniture and for me – Interior design student is a problem, as I don;t have enough space to work on the projects. Arrangement of  the furniture doesn’t suit to my needs neither, as in front of the bed is a sink and the place where the desk is  doesn’t have enough of the daylight. It would be actually hard to re-arrange the furniture, as with the limited size of the space I have limited possibilities. The problem with small spaces is that if they are not designed effectively, they are not practical. That’s the exact situation with the room I live- no space for storing big pieces of paper ( which ends up on throwing not used paper to the bin, as they look damaged. Also if I had a printer , it wouldn’t fit anywhere ( unless it would be placed next to door, which make it hard to open)

I made a small model of my room with the furniture (everything has been made in scale 1:4) :

That’s the current arrangement of the room:

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And that was the only one move that I could make to rearrange a bit , that it would suit more to my needs:

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i didn’t make the rearrangement in real ( I just made a model of the room with furniture to see how it would look like and if it would change the room for being more practical.  Id didn’t make a big difference , beyond the fact, that the desk would have more daylight. The problem would be the entrance to the room, as there would be only small gap between the bed and door.

My first steps and progress in using Sketchup .

After someone recommended me to use design software-Sketchup, I decided to check my skills and potential, and I used the program. To compare with AutoCad, Sketchup is no so complicated for amateurs . It also has various templates and can be used for designing interiors, architecture and  gardens. Before this piece of software, I used only once trial version of Autocad, so for the first time it didn’t seem to be so complex. After two hours I had design of the outlines of my room , and couple of days after I drew there my design.

Here are my first steps :

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Then it was time for adding volume to the walls :


colours and textures…


Enamel on metal -Workshop

Enamel on steel and copper.

I found this workshop very interesting and I had a lot of fun during the whole process of enamelling metal.

The first thing, that I had to do, was to choose piece of metal that I’ll be working on, in this case we had to select copper or steel. As the first attempt, we had quite big piece of copper, which we have cut into smaller pieces, by using one of the machines for metal cutting in fabrication.

The second thing which we have done, in order to prepare the piece of steel, was to clean the metal with pumice surface powder , small piece of fabric dipped in water. In this way, we gained very nicely clean surface, which was ready to put enamel on.

Aferwards, we have used black wet process enamel and have put quite thick layer of it with brush  onto the back side of the  copper . The other important thing in order to prepare enamel, is to prepare the right consistency of  the enamel, the thickness needs to be equal to single cream density. Here is the thing: if it’s not thick enough, it won’t cover surface properly. Very useful thing to cover metal properly, is to use the spray gun, which covers the whole surface very accurately and equally.

When it’s been covered properly, we left the enameled piece on the top of the oven and waited until the surface is entirely dry.  When it was dry, we have put it to the oven.  It was important to check the temperaure first, which needs to be approximately 815 degrees. Depending on the temperature ( if it is lower than that ) and also on the size of copper, the piece needs to stay longer/ shorter inside, usually it’s aout 3 minutes.  To put the copper inside the oven, it was important to wear the gloves and glasses, and put the copper on metal tray and use the sticker to put it inside and then take it out. When I get it from inside, it’s extremaly hot, so it’s important to wait a while unil it’s cold. After that, I cleaned the unnameled side .

The next step was to do the front side of the tile. I used white  enamel this time  and after I covered the front side, I left it to dry on the top of the oven and when it was completely dry, I’ve put it again to fire.  The next step was to design it- at this point it got very exciting and interesting. I’ve covered two stripes with black enamel and left it to dry.  To keep them perfectly straight, I used sticky tape (which I unstick when it was dry).Then I used one of the thin tools with sharp tip and stratched straight lines. I used the edge of paper as a line.   I wasn’t satisfied with the final effect, as the lines were chipping off, and also I didn’t use thick enough layer of black enamel, so ( because of the reaction of steel with enamel) it looked like the acid has been poured on the top.

The next step which I’ll do during the next enamell workshop, will be building up the layers, and I will use colourful enamlels, which will i will sift. I’ll use transfluent enamels, which will make the piece to be see-through( I can see the layers underneath and the patterns).


Box hiding an entire bedroom inside by Casulo

Entirely functional bedroom inside the box sounds impossible ? Mobile living furniture-design company proved , that it’s actually possible. their design- box includes inside everything You might need in bedroom: wardrobe case, a bookcase, mattress, bed frame, multiple chairs and table.

On the home-website of Casulo, we can find explanation of their concept for mobile furniture :

‘Considering that our society is becoming more and more mobile as a result of a fluctuating job market one must ask what the necessities are for people on the move and how their furniture should be designed. Flexibility and mobility have become key concepts of today’s working world and yet we continue to create our own barriers to our success and mobility. We take on obligations and responsibilities and obtain house goods far beyond what we really need.’

The design is incredible. Simplicity of the external design ( box ) and complexity of what we find inside.  Underneath pictures of this `box with secrets’ :

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and the video :

Test Space: ‘Tunnels of Love in the Corridors of Power’ by Chris Fordwoh

A few words about the artist :

Chris Fordwoh was born in London in 1966  and was studying at the University of the West of England, where he completed his MA Fine Art, At the moment he lives and works in Gloucester and had exhibition both- in the country and internationally.

About the exhibition:

The artists sets love in the context of power, or vice versa, in a series of constructions. They confuse and link ideas around he world, the personal, the domestic and the facade. The corridor, where cardboard houses are attached to the walls, is some kind of investigation of the idea of corridor, as a conduit and a promise.  he world’s most powerful men and women lie behind doorways set into cardboard box constructions.

The artist says about the exhibition;’ Artists are the capricious lovers of power. We tunnel our way into its corridors and change the wallpaper.’

Underneath a few pictures from the exhibition taken by me :

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Picture Table by Ivy Design.

Ivy Design

Ivy Design is a design company which specializes in furniture design and cult objects for homes, kitchens, dining rooms, furniture for children and offices.


Picture table as its name says, is a table design which can be used as a frame for picture while it’s not used as a table and perfect solution for saving space in small interior.  It’s a classic example of two in one furniture design. Black colour and clean lines of the table while it’s used as a picture frame adds simplicity and elegancy to interior space . Black and white images are a great company for black frames and together look very stylish. It’s a great way of exhibiting piece of art.  The table is attached to the wall with metal supports . Magnets help to keep the legs in place.  The materials which this piece is made of are beech and balsa wood, plexi glass and stainless steel.  The dimensions of the table are :130x85x78cm with the weight of 20kg, Around the table can seat 5 guests. The company also makes A mirror table.

Picture Table


Mirror Table

ivy mirror

Ola Table by AKKA

AKKA design studio

Akka is Swedish Design Studio based in Goteborg. Their speciality is designing products, furniture, illustration and graphic design.  Tidy, functional and neat are three ways of describing their work.

OLA Table 

ola table

OLA Table is foldable table which has minimalistic design. Dynamic work environments are type of places where OLA Table finds its application. This lightweight table can be folded and unfolded without turning the piece on its other side.  The material which this table is made of is aluminium.

How it works : 

ola2 ola3


The Flip Table by Flipfurniture.

The flip table combines two functions: can be used as a dining or coffee table.  The design is very simple-  by folding side panels, high dining table transforms into low coffee table. Beyond those two possibilities, this furniture design has an extra function-cork dining tools can be used as storage. This multi-functional piece of furniture is definitely space-saving solution for small interiors. Clean, straight lines give the feeling of simplicity and minimalism.  The fact, that the table is made out of wood, indicates about its sustainability ( cork is used for the stools and Forest Stewardship Council- certified European walnut or oak for the table). Having at home piece of furniture which has more than one function means that it’s one less thing we need to have,


so step by step, that’s how this simple design works :

flip 1 flip2 flip3 flip4 flip5

Fine art inspirations from Louvre

Beyond the must-see art piece in Louvre- Mona Lisa, I’ve seen many  interesting fine art pieces  which made big impression on me, not just because of the quality and complexity, but also because of sizes, shapes and framing. I thought that Mona Lisa is much bigger than it really is and that it is separated from other paintings. In fact the masterpiece is surrounded by other pieces of  Italian great painters.

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Harads Tree hotel.

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This extraordinary house I found in design magazine ‘ Frame’ . What so special about this design? I think the site- not many houses are attached to trees. The house is located in northern Sweden .

Underneath another two pictures of this amazing architectural piece. The external walls reflect landscape of the forest, which makes this building barely visible.

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(These two pictures above taken from : , )

Roca London Gallery by Zaha Hadid

During the same day when I went for London Design Week, I managed to visit another place which is located very close to the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre. Roca London Gallery has been designed by Zaha Hadid. Unique interior of the gallery in connection with the display of bathroom furniture was great experience . Futuristic design made me feel like I travelled  to the future. In the brochure which I got from the gallery I learnt, that water was inspiration for the concept of design for Roca London Gallery. Movement of water  as a design concept symbolizes change and innovation . The whole- walls, displays, floor are the same colour scheme- white  and various tints of grey. This Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate’s architecture is globally recognized for neo futuristic designs with curving forms.  In this building, lines inspired by organic forms  create an avant-garde atmosphere. Soft and unexpected lines of wall edges create feeling of continuity and fluidity .

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Roca furniture for bathroom 

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London Design Week 2015 Lamps inspirations

For me London Design Week was amazing and exciting experience. I had a chance to see trendy lamps, luxury tiles designed and made by the best European design brands which are recognizable around the world like Bisazza.

Underneath are some photos taken by me of some lamps which I liked the most:

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Some of the chandeliers were truly mind blowing, not because of big sizes, but also because of materials they were made of.

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One of the brands whose lamps were displayed at London Design Week was Porta Romana. I think that the lamps were amazing and stylish. This is one of the examples :


The lamps is the part of Nomand Collection. I was lucky to get the brochure with pictures of lamps from this collection.


This collection consist of lamps and pieces of furniture with neutral colour palette. Some elements are also gold colour.

Metal and wood workshop. Handy tips for making Exhibition Show.

Power point presentation and speech given today by one of the teachers and the workshop afterwards  were  very handy and practical.  I have learnt basic skills and gained informations of what I have to consider about space if it comes to making exhibition show.

So here are the basics:

  • The very first thing to consider about interior space is size and dimensions. Decent measurement of the interior will be the first action to take in order to know how much space there is, how high the ceiling is, if the space is rectangular or square.
  • LIGHTNING .  Lightning is crucial factor as depending on its power and source (if it’s artificial lightning or natural light source) the objects, furniture which we are gonna put into the space will be looking completely different. One of the artists, who is good in displaying art is Bill Viola who is contemporary video artist.
  • Access to electricity – that includes checking where sockets are located, how many of them are in the space.
  • Access – location.     we have to find out if people are gonna have easy access to get there, if there is place to park a car, safe path o walk.
  • Transportation- it’s very important to check if we will be able to bring in the pieces for exhibition inside ( as for instance big object might do not fit in narrow corridor or low door.
  • Heating . We have to check if heating works, what temperature is in inside the interior .
  • Duration- how long the interior is available for
  • Any other informations, like permission to redecorate space (paint walls, change flooring)

Lightning and colours 

I mentioned before about the key aspects of analysing space and that lightning is one of them.  Light affects how we perceive colours so the same artwork exhibited  by using different light is not gonna be the same. Underneath I’ve got two pictures of artwork exhibitions of two different  artists- Walead Beshty  on the left and Bill Viola on the right .  By comparing these two pictures I wanted to show how light affects colours .

walead beshty     bill-viola-installations3

Walead Beshty  ( picture taken from

Bill Viola (  picture taken from

Important and useful tools for organising space for exhibition show.

  • spirit level
  • hammer
  • drills like combi drill driver
  • scraper
  • pins
  • paint rollers
  • measuring tape
  • stud finder (  before drilling holes in walls, the first thing is to check if there are any metal or wood constructions underneath)  It’s also recommended to find out whether are there any water pipes , gas.

Life Drawing Workshop . Power of black colour – Charcoal as a drawing media.

Life Drawing Workshop was a great experiment. It was the first time ever that I was drawing human body from observation, and I’ve learnt some skills which will be practical in Interior Design.   Even though life drawing and Interior Design are not so connected with each other, I feel it was a good practice to learn, how to capture details which are the most relevant and transfer them onto paper. Charcoal turned out to be a great drawing media, as within a second I could make powerful line, point on the paper.  The professor presented drawing technique, which was very helpful in terms of drawing with charcoal.  First I smeared charcoal with its side part (compressed charcoal is good) Depending on the tone we want to work with we can rub the charcoal in to the paper  ( or choose lighter tone of charcoal) .



The next step is to draw the outlines  with the right proportions. It’s important to be quick- Life drawing is the type of practise, where time has meaning ( each position of the model last certain time , usually from 2 minutes-up, but the longest position which I was drawing was 30 minutes) If we chose that the background will be really deeply black and we struggle with drawing on the top, eraser will be handy tool. By rubbing out, we can work with the tones, we give three-dimensional effect .  Sharp eraser is the most effective.  To rub down sharp edges or just smooth the texture of the drawing  I used paint brush.

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The technique which I presented is good when the model is posing for at least 20 minutes, and if we want to play with tones . For short model positions it’s better to do not start  from making the background.

Underneath are a few pictures of my drawings from the life drawing session :

The first two which are not so great..

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As more I practised, the more confidence in drawing with charcoal I was gaining

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Power Point Presentation about Shigeru Ban and environmental design.

For the topic of the Power Point presentation which I had to present in front of my class and two teachers was optional. Obviously the designer or design had to be connected in some way to my own project . From minimalistic interiors, I moved to Japanese design , shoji screens and room partitions.  Some time ago I came across pictures of architectural projects of Japanese architect Shigeru Ban.  ” Curtain Wall House” was one of the first ones and the most interesting house designs of Shigeru Ban which I’ve seen.  After that, I started to read a lot about this architect and his projects . The fact that he uses recycled cardboard tubes as construction materials made my interest to grow.

Underneath I’ve got pictures of the slides of my presentation. 123 4567
After the presentation…    uff finally time to relax ;)) 
Talking in front of the group about my presentation was very good practise.  First of all I gained self confidence and better understanding of how it’s like to be speaker in contrast with listener/observer. I didn’t have any notes with me , but I think that for  future reference I will have cards with written  key quotes and words so that I won’ forget the most important informations. 
Another important thing when it comes to presentation …  bringing prototypes, moodboards, leaflets. All the extras make the presentation more interesting and enjoyable. They can also help to the audience to understand better what we are talking about. Another tip regarding preparation of the Powerpoint presentation, is to focus on the main, the most important and interesting informations. Too many additional facts make the presentation boring. Decent and accurate  research is also something important to remember for the next time.  People from the audience/ clients might have a lot of questions and to make a good impression on them and sound professional ,it’s essential to gain enough of informations.  A few student in my class compared the work of chosen artists/designers with their own work  and I think for future reference it will a good thing to do as well. 
To make my presentation  more entertaining I made moodboard,  the picture we can see underneath:

The websites I have used for the research :

video :


e-book about  ecological interiors:

Shigeru Ban and his innovative approach to the materials in architecture.

Shigeru Ban , Japanese architect who received in 2014 the most honourable prize in the field of architecture, is widely recognized for innovative use of materials. One of them is idea of using paper tubes as element of buildings construction.  This innovative use of the material creates ecologically friendly solution.

Ban has worked on his Disaster Relief Project around the world for two decades and provided housing for victims who lost their homes in disasters like  earthquakes .  Cardboard catherdal in New Zeland  is the newest project. Most of the buildings included in ‘Disster Relief Project’ are made out of water resistant paper tubes . Paper  is very cheap  and easily accesible material. The architect has also used shipping containers.

the Carboard Catherdal  (2013)

Cardboard-Cathedral cathedral

In the video below, the architect talks about using paper as a constraction material in the buildings which he designes.

Beyond ‘Disaster relief project’ Shigeru Ban has done a lot other architectural project which are worth attention. One of them is ‘Curtain Wall House’, which Ban designed in 1995. The house is located in Tokyo, Japan.

curtain wall houseCuratin_Wall_2

The ‘Curtain wall house’ is very unique because of the idea of using curtains as external walls. These unusual walls regulate flow of the air to inside of the house and provide privacy for the inhabitants.