From the very beginning the Zieta Prozessdesign studio has been run in a manner closely resembling today’s principles of the circular economy model. What exactly do they do?

Firstly, they work with metals such as steel, copper and aluminium that have a long life and can be recycled over and over without losing their key properties. Secondly, they make all their objects with FiDU, an innovative metal forming technology, which allows a 2D sheet of metal to be transformed into a 3D object with pressurized air, making the end- products empty inside, which means that the whole process requires less material and energy compared to the other metal –forming technologies. Thirdly, the Zieta objects are made entirely from a single material, which practically means that a single delivery from the sheet metal producer to the studio is needed to make them, and that they are ideal for recycling. Finally, the objects are designed for generations of users, as the metal needs to age in order to gain its noble quality and unique character for which it is valued the most.

Can the principles of circular economy be applied to the daily operations of a design studio?

The staff at Zieta Prozessdesign say that they have been doing it instinctively for years due to the process–based approach to designing and making products, which is at the heart of the company’s operations. A properly designed process leads to the effective use of materials, such as steel, copper or aluminium. The light weight of the end product helps to reduce energy consumption during transport while the fact that Zieta objects are made entirely of one material means that a single delivery from the sheet metal producer to the studio is needed to create them, and that they are ideal for recycling. Once an object has served its purpose, it can be fully recycled and returned to circulation in the form of a new piece of sheet metal for example.

Green tandem of FiDU and parametric tools

Designing with materials that can be recycled without losing their original properties and using the latest software  is what they do every day. Their own metal forming technology, or FiDU (Freie Innen Druck Umformung) uses air to force the metal to expand and deform according to its natural characteristics. Specially designed shapes are cut and welded together, and then “inflated” with compressed air, resulting in that unique playful look that is so uniquely Zieta Studio. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, FiDU is a material and energy-saving technology, which helps to optimise material and energy consumption and minimize the amount of waste. “Unlike any other metal forming technologies, it does not require us to create any costly matrices or material cutting,” – Oskar explains.
“This is very important as these pricey matrices are often used to make only one part of an artwork, which means that a large number of matrices is needed throughout the entire production process. With FiDU, without the use of matrices, we can create both short series of objects tailored to customer requirements or a specific space, as well as original designs, which can be freely scaled with the use of parametric tools,” he adds. For example, as a result of changing a few parameters the bionic G-Table can take the form of a functional pavilion ! What is more, as the elements made with the FiDU are hollow inside, the studio can not only be very efficient with the material necessary for production, but also save energy during transport to customers. In tandem with FiDU, in the design phase, the studio uses the latest parametric design software, which also contributes to optimization – both at the design and production stages. Precise calculations allow to achieve maximum efficiency in the use of metal while generation of waste is radically minimized.

FiDU to conquer space

When will the Zieta studio manage to send its objects into space? Only time will tell. Some things are certain, however, they will continue to surprise us with their radical ideas, and they will always work with metals, create objects for generations of users and design them in such a way that they can be easily disassembled and completely recycled, so that the materials are returned to circulation again and again.

“Smart” metal and objects for generations to come

The use of metal is the key. Steel, copper and aluminium are durable, lasting materials with excellent properties so the objects made from them are an investment for more than one generation. “We were eco-friendly before it was cool,” jokes Oskar Zięta, the founder of the studio and its creative heart and mind. “Metal is a very ‘smart’ material that is naturally balanced and very well known to man. A material that ages beautifully and withstands the test of time. What is more, it can be easily recycled and re-used to make a new sheet of metal.” – he says. According to data from metals production and processing trade associations producing steel or copper by way of recycling is much less energy intensive than producing them from ore. It requires up to 85% less energy in the case of copper and 95% in the case of aluminium. This is why, in the near future we will have more and more recycled sheet metal in Europe, so that metal creations by artists such as the Zieta Studio will become even more desirable amongst the green conscious consumers.

Ultra lightness and eco-friendly packaging

Low weight of FiDU objects means low energy consumption during transport. What is more, the objects can also be delivered in an uninflated form and then blown in the target location. This opens up enormous opportunities for the studio to use the technology beyond artistic design and in areas such as space exploration, where weight and volume are of great importance during transport, in industry in general, in architecture, in load-bearing structures or in mining. The initial works can be admired already in the form of NAWA and WIR architectural sculptures. The first one is a unique city sculpture designed for the city of Wrocław (PL), which consists of 35 arches that are between 4.5 m to 7.5 m high. The latter (WIR) is the new heart of the Galeria Polnocna shopping centre in Warsaw (PL). Spanning 24 meters from top to bottom, it is a set of intertwined profiles passing through all levels of the building, which also happens to be one of the highest sculptures in Poland. It is also worth mentioning that the studio has always used environmentally friendly, minimalist packaging made of grey cardboard and featuring just a simple logo made of black, ecological paint.

blown with love