Bogusława i Czesław Kowalski
“Kowalski furniture” – the popular, simple sets of “segments”, or “wall units” – have accompanied millions of Poles for almost thirty years. Nowadays, most of us have already forgotten the “Kowalskis” or simply consider the popular name to only have been a propaganda stunt.
However Kowalskis’ furniture actually is the handiwork of the Kowalskis. Specifically – a couple: Bogusława Michałowska-Kowalska and Czesław Kowalski, interior architects from Poznań.
In spring 1961 the Union of Furniture Industry and the Poznań branch of Association of Polish Artists and Designers sent out an open call for a project of a comprehensive furnishing of a tiny flat for weavers from Łódź. By March 1962 the results were out: the young creators from Poznań, Bogusława and Czesław Kowalski came in first.
Their furniture appeared on the market less than two years later. Since then, the Kowalski Furniture have been produced for two decades, and its variants for nearly another two, as the Kowalskis had designed additional segments and much more – including stylish furniture, interior arrangements, scenography, etc.
Bogusława and Czesław Kowalski – designing both individually and together – over the course of a few decades have received numerous awards and distinctions.
Their earliest shared achievement had taken place as early as their student years, in March 1956 they’ve been awarded for their scenography for Leopold Staff’s “Godiva”, soon followed by an award for the show in a countrywide student theatre festival in Warsaw.
The two most important awards Bogusława and Czesław have ever received together had been the two they’ve received in nation-wide competitions organised by the Association of Polish Artists and Designers, and the Union of Furniture Industry in 1961-1963 and in 1973. Both had resulted in the inception of new generations of “Kowalski Furniture” that had been produced in millions.
The 1966 Poznań award for achievements in the field of interior design has been an important one for Czesław. For Bogusława – the multiple first-place awards in competitions organised by Cepelia and Poznań International Fair for furniture designs and the so-called “woodwork mercery”(1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979)