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Kotydż - student design workshop

20 of March '20

We would like to remind you of a cool initiative - a design workshop entitled. "Kotdż" organized by SARP Poznań Branch, aimed at students of Poznań design universities.

The purpose of the workshop, was not only to integrate students from Poznan University of Technology, University of Arts and School of Form, but also to try to involve local communities to work together for the benefit of free-living cats. The task set before the participants was to design and independently make houses for the animals, residing within two Poznań housing estates made of large plates: Lech and Powstań Narodowych. Some housing cooperatives, in an attempt to help animals, are equipped with factory-built shelters, whose appearance and safety requirements often leave much to be desired. The answer to this problem was a workshop, during which aesthetic objects were created to fit into the landscape of housing estates.

cat shelters

Twelve houses were created as part of the initiative, which were designed to be placed in typical cat hiding places, such as spaces under balconies, stairs or places near garbage cans. Students participating in the workshop worked together in four teams led by tutors Michal Bekas of Boaa studio, Magda Cichoń of Kooper Studio, Anna Sarnowska of R2D2 and designer Jan Ankiersztajn.

"House under the stairs"

Photo: Dawid Majewski © organizers archive

A group of students consisting of: Dagna Dembiecka, Dominika Ufnal, Michal Orlikowski, Kacper Ławniczek, Martyna Gruszka and Ofelia Mikulska led by Anna Sarnowska, created three houses in the Lech estate. "House under the stairs" is a shelter for a seventeen-year-old cat. The students, due to the advanced age of the animal, decided to interfere as little as possible with the existing habitat. The new home is formed by a secure plywood block with a simplified entrance. The dimensions and location of the structure coincide with the previously existing form. The group also designed an ergonomic food feeder to facilitate feeding and changing bowls. The second project was a set of two cottages located next to the housing estate's garbage garbage cans. Two objects on metal bases, with a simple geometric form made of plywood, and with characteristic slopes were created, blending in with the surroundings.

The house can accommodate several residents

photo: Dawid Majewski © archives of the organizers

Architect Michal Bekas of the BOAA studio supported another group composed of Iga Stanislawska, Michal Lipczynski, Magdalena Pękała, Agata Holdenmajer, Alicja Maculewicz, Eryk Szczepanski. The students worked on the design of a universal shelter that could be created in any space. The result was a shelter made of shuttering plywood, consisting of a few simple parts, The individual elements are connected by the half-drop method, so the construction does not require nails or glue. Another project by the students is a cylindrical object made of bent plywood supported on a metal base. The designers placed the entrance to the cottage from below, thereby minimizing heat loss. The structure's elevation reduced contact with the ground and cooled the entire object. Once inside, the cat passes through a vestibule, providing a thermal buffer. The sleeping area was shaped in a circular pattern to create the coziest possible space for the occupants.

Rope and wheels allow easy relocation of the cottages

photo: Dawid Majewski © organizers' archives

The third workshop group consisting of: Dominik Buchting, Filip Til, Kamila Melka, Julia Ciesielska, Aleksandra Stoltz, Laura Pawlicka, under the direction of Jan Ankiersztajn had the task of making houses under the balconies of blocks of flats. The students opted for a simple structure made of shuttering plywood. They adapted the dimensions to the size of the largest styrofoam containers for storing medicines, which are often used to insulate such shelters. In addition, to minimize heat loss and protect the animals from the wind, they created windbreaks - porches, allowing the cats to observe their surroundings.

The structure of the shelter was parametrically designed

Photo: Dawid Majewski © organizers' archives

Magdalena Cichoń of Kooper Studio was tutored by Michal Dymecki, Marcel Skrzywanek, Joanna Targowicz, Karolina Nowinska, Maria Gumkowska and Emilia Polak. The group created shelters on the National Uprising estate. The basic challenge was to design a form that would meld with the surroundings. The result was dome-shaped objects made of the same hexagonal panels of waterproof plywood, attached to a parametrically designed structure.

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illustrations courtesy of the organizers

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