Born in 1944 in Rzeszów, he went to Krakow to study architecture
at the Krakow University of Technology (1962–65), and then
the Industrial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts (ASP). He graduated
from ASP in 1971. In the 1970s, he was an assistant of professor
Boh dan Lisowski at the Post Diploma Studies of Industrial Design
at the CUT and a designer at the Institute of Metal Cutting (now the
Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology). He carried out a
designer’s practice of his own and became the member of the board
of the Association of Polish Visual Artists (ZPAP) in Krakow. Since
1980 he has worked as an expert of the Ministry of Culture and Art
in the field of industrial design.
Since the beginning of the 1980s Konaszewski lives in Switzerland
where he has been leading the department of design and ergonomics
of the global manufacturer of industrial machinery
Sulzer-Ruti AG in Winterthur. In 1988-98 he was a co-owner of one
of the major Swiss-German designer agencies Meyer Hayoz Design
Engineering in Winterthur and Constanz. Since 1998 he has his own
design company, JK DESIGN.
Janusz Konaszewski is an active member of the Polish indepen -
dent and freedom-supporting organisations in Switzerland and he is
an active member of the Board of the Polish Museum in Rapperswil.
Since the 1990s he has been cooperating with Polish firms and is
active as an expert for the industrial design promotion. He received
his PhD at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, for the dissertation
on the designing of means of production.
Since 2003 he has been an academic teacher: as a visiting professor
of the ASP in Poznań, head of the Chair of Industrial Design
in the School of Art and Design in Łódź, and a lecturer at the Faculty
of Industrial Design of the ASP in Krakow.
Janusz Konaszewski is the author of 130 industrial designs which
have been implemented in over 50 companies in Poland, Switzerland,
Germany and the USA. He is a member of Swiss and Polish associations
of the industrial designers.
He has received many prizes in the competitions in industrial design.
He was awarded first prize in the competition for the recreationional
equipment organized by the Industrial Design Institute in
Warsaw, was twice awarded the Design of the Year prize in 1978 and
1979 in Krakow. He also received German and Swiss awards, such as:
If Product Design Award 1989, 1993, 1996 in Hannover; Design Innovation
1989, Haus Industrieform, Essen, prize of the Art Museum
“Neue Sammlung” in Munich; Design Preis Schweiz 1997 and 1999.
Industrial design belongs to the “architecture of an object”. The starting
point of both is the spatial order and domination of the humanistic
aspect over the technological one. Designing everyday objects,
medical equipment, machines or installations meant for mass production
I always bore in mind the ideas imbibed during the studies at
the Faculty of Architecture which stressed the need for functionality
and formal discipline. These principles and not the overtly artistical
approach of the ASP let me design “timeless” products which gained
approval of international bodies and have become the standard of
European design. The main point I would like to convey to my students
is the ability to implement their design ideas – that is practicing
the art of effectiveness.
Krakow, June 2010
photo by Barbara Bielak