Interview with Wojciech Morsztyn Winner of Emerging Product Design of the Year 2020July 27, 2021
Sustainability and innovation are some of the main pillars the ePDA jury are looking for in a product design project. Winner of Emerging Product Design of the Year 2020 Wojciech Morsztyn submitted a visionary, large-scale plan called Ocean Community in which he provides housing solutions to rising sea levels in coastal cities. By creating mobile domestic naval units, disaster zones that are underwater can be turned into a habitable space, using the ocean as a living space.
What do you see as the strengths of your winning project and what does this award mean to you personally?
I remember joy and excitement when I received an email saying that my design was chosen to be a winner project of the year. I think it gave me very good recognition from the public and potential investors, European Product Design Award is a prestigious highlight that might help to expose a project in various ways. I feel it was a great exposure for my project and design practise. It’s a special award for me due to these difficult circumstances and indication that by design we have a significant impact on our environment.
What impact has winning the ePDA had on you?
Winning ePDA has international recognition and an audience that helped me to raise awareness about the importance of climate change which is a main subject of my project. This award helped me to connect to the people who share the same vision, who understand the importance of actions and investors who want to build a new technology and meaningful products.
How/when did you discover your passion for design?
I think it came to me naturally, since childhood I was always passionate about arts and creating. I’ve remembered how I built my favourite toys by myself and I think at some point that influenced my future career choices. At highschool I started to think about the path of designer but at that time I didn’t know exactly what kind of practise or career I could do. Everything has changed when I started my design education, discovering the history, design principles and techniques. I believe it was a subconscious decision to pursue design in my life.
How do you think your own culture and environment have shaped your personal and professional creative vision?
I would say the environment has a significant impact on us, In my case since childhood I was surrounded by some situation that required some sort of creativity. Place I grew up (Poland) is rich in history and culture. I think that influenced me positively and in further time I used it. Next big impact I felt was in London where I moved, surrounded by a multicultural society where I could learn and observe a way of thinking I didn’t know before. London design studios and my college university open up my creativity and mind, definitely that impacts my personality and career.
Tell us about a project which has been your greatest achievement?
All of my projects have something but definitely I’m the most proud from the “Ocean community” project which I accomplished at the Royal College of Art. It’s a future vision of a floating housing system to respond to rising sea levels. This design contains efficient exterior and interior design with a sustainable approach. The most satisfying element of this project was research which I’ve done during my studies on RCA and collaboration with specialists from industry. I hope in the near future Ocean Community will help us to habitat water and will open a new sustainable model to follow.
What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities in your career/industry now?
In recent times we are facing some ups and downs of the industry. Global pandemic slowed down the way we worked before, it also affected our reality. The biggest challenge I see at the moment is a connection with other people and specialists from industry.
As we remember before pandemic cooperation between people was much easier than now, limited traveling opportunities make it even more difficult, but to stay positive I see opportunities in the rising new technologies which rose under pandemics. New startups, new companies need new solutions and we designers can come up with new ideas and have a very positive impact on the nearest future. As a species we always adapt and we always find a way to move forward, I believe it will be the same this time.
What are you working on now, what is in the pipeline for you?
Currently I’m working on the project Mercury Tower in Malta which was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. My role is to design Interiors for hotel, residential and commercial areas. My long term project is definitely Ocean Community fortunate we are at the stage of building the first houseboat prototype and hopefully in the near future we will present it to the public. I want to focus on the growth of my design studio and develop next visionary projects.