Wiktoria Lenart is a product designer based in Wroclaw, Poland. She’s just finished work on her first marketable product, Worknest, a modular wooden workstation that allows you to organise the chaos of your desk. The surface of the desk is embellished with fine grooves that allow you to hang a myriad attachments from it, and there’s a bookshelf/room divider with similar functionality.
All of this would be impressive enough, but Wiktoria has only just left full-time education, making her one seriously talented graduate. We decided to catch up with her and see how she’s finding life outside of university.
Where do you work?
I am a self-employed freelance designer at Studio Lenart, but because I’ve just finished my education I also work part time at another design company where I’m responsible for implementing new products to the market.
How does your working day start?
Working on my own, alongside a regular job is a quite challenging task, so my days start early in the morning. After work at one design company, I come home and work on my personal projects, and projects for my clients. I suppose it makes me a little bit workaholic! But what keeps me alive is morning coffee. I consume horrendous amounts of coffee during the day.
How do you work and how has that changed?
Usually I start design process with complex research, that includes talking with many people, reading a lot of articles and of course processing a huge amount of information around me.
I put a lot of attention into the pre-concept stage, because if you produce good research you can avoid many further mistakes and don’t neglect details that are essential to the project. After that I can finally begin to sketch and make models – which is always really necessary.
I think the design process is like a never-ending story; you have to collect information, process it and transform it to design an object. Then you can repeat that process over and over again, until the moment you’re happy with the result.
Designing things is the most fulfilling thing in the world but is still very hard work. It’s not all about collecting inspiration and experiences, sometimes you have to just sit in front of your desk and do regular hard work. The important thing is to trust and follow your intuition. Design is a decision making process, and sometimes you simply have to trust your gut.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work… actually what do you mean “when I am not at work?” It’s a very rare occurrence that I’m not at work; even when I’m resting I’m still processing data. I know that everyone needs a balance between work and personal life, but it’s very hard to maintain these two things, especially when your greatest passion is your work. But I recharge my batteries when I play with my cats or ride a bike.
Would you intern for yourself?
I am at the beginning of my professional design life, so sometimes look quite chaotic when I’m working. So probably at this moment it would be hard to stand having such a disorganised and busy boss like me. That’s why I have created WORKNEST, that allows me to be a little bit messy but in an organised way.