Nr 15/2022 Wzornictwo w PRL-u
7 The Long History of the RM58 Armchair*

Nr 15/2022 Wzornictwo w PRL-u

  1. Wstęp

  2. Innowacja i eksperyment jako stymulatory (?) wzornictwa czasów PRL

  3. Polska tkanina dekoracyjna okresu poodwilżowego – nowe perspektywy, nowe techniki

  4. Między meblem a aparatem. W stronę społecznej historii sprzętów elektrycznych i elektronicznych w powojennej Polsce

  5. Wzornictwo środków produkcji w czasach PRL-u

  6. Wczasy polityki, wczasy wolności

  7. „Niezły bajer”, czyli o krotochwilnych rzeczach u schyłku PRL-u

  8. Długa historia fotela RM58*

7 The Long History of the RM58 Armchair*

Among Roman Modzelewski’s many accomplishments, armchair design takes a significant place, although it was only a three-four-year episode of his career. Designed in 1958, the RM58 armchair was special. It stood out for its new technology and the manner of form development. This technology, however, did not allow for mass production, as it was a novelty even in highly-developed countries at the time. Around 100 pieces of this furniture were hand-made. The armchair enjoyed no interest for the next 50 years, especially that buyers were already after different furniture. Only in 2007, due to the activity of the designer’s widow, Wera Modzelewska, two pieces reached the collection of the Institute of Industrial Design of the National Museum in Warsaw. A year later, David Crowley, a co-curator of the exhibition Cold War Modern: Design 1945–1970, organised by V&A Museum in London, presented RM58. In parallel, the British museum purchased the armchair for its collection, thereby confirming its quality. In 2012, in the Industrial Design Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Jakub Sobiepanek defended his Master’s thesis titled: Revitalisation of the Polish 20th-century industrial design by means of contemporary technology and materials. This graduation work included, among other things, the RM58 armchair. After the defence, Sobiepanek implemented the design in his own studio, Vzór. It is on production and sale.

Keywords: RM58 armchair, Modzelewski Roman, furniture of People’s Republic of Poland, plastic furniture, Polish industrial design

* Not peer-reviewed article.