Their realizations are primarily intended to serve others. We talk to Artur Gaca from PLAGA Desingers about concepts that are very forward-looking and about individual stages of their modern design.
Plaga Designers is a design team founded in 2015 by two students who met at the Faculty of Design and Interior Design of the Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts. Daniel Płatek and Artura Gaca focus on new technologies, thanks to which they create innovative formal solutions. In the designed concepts, the most important element for them is the appearance and form, but just behind them are aspects such as functionality and ergonomics. Designers focus on making the projects serve others first. The company has the skills to use and prepare the product from scratch to implementation in 3D printing technology, milling machines and laser plotters.
A large part of PLAGA Designers projects are concept vehicles. The company is responsible, inter alia, for the concept of the city bus Audi City Bus and the multifunctional drone Plaga Drone, whose shapes and dark, graphite colors refer to the latest space technologies.
Artur Gac’s love of designing vehicles is largely due to the fact that he spends his free time privately repairing cars, restoring old models. Despite the constant contact with historic vehicles, the concepts and visualizations of the student at the Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts are very forward-looking, and many of them were based on a new application of the already existing technology. His latest designs include a three-wheeled electric vehicle for suppliers and a levitating Crillex vehicle. According to the concept, the suspension of a two-seater vehicle is equipped with a ring, whose task is to accumulate the energy generated in the magnetic panels located in the rims surrounding the plus and minus plates.
The stored energy is transferred to a specially prepared substrate, which is a mixture of bituminous mass and metal particles. The energy transferred to the ground allows the vehicle to gently levitate and move without any friction. This is not fiction – such substrates already exist in Europe. Crillex is controlled automatically after prior input of a command and indication of a destination.
The second pillar of PLAGA Designers, Daniel Płatek, in turn, designed the Carozza limousine for the President of the Republic of Poland and the Guardia SUV for the BOR. The concept vehicles, despite the slim chances of production, once again aroused a longing in Poles for their own, native car brand … The innovative Renault Art Deco Concept made by the designer went to the finals of the competition for designers organized by the French manufacturer. The same man also developed the vision of the Ursus Revolution pickup and the Audi Future Le Mans Vision Car racing car.
From idea to concept
Designing things that are primarily designed to make people’s lives easier is often a long way. The stages depend on the client’s guidelines and what is to be designed. However, there are some things that do not change during this work, such as researching the market for the product you are designing. Check what new can be proposed. The next step is a product conversation, where issues such as the form of the item, usability, how the item is used, or new additional features that were not previously considered are discussed. The next step is to familiarize yourself with the technology in a given company, i.e. market research in terms of execution possibilities. Then the stage of sketching the shape begins, writing down thoughts in the form of drawings, discussing ideas.
Ready sketches and an idea are presented to the client, who chooses the preferred direction. In the next stage, work on details begins in the 3d program, where the design is developed in terms of ergonomics. It is often necessary to cooperate with designers in order to adapt the project to a specific technology – this stage is very time-consuming. Then the visualization of the entire project is prepared. The prototype is to scale if required. Depending on the type of product, the company uses 3D printing technology, plotters, lasers and milling machines. As a result, the prototype looks attractive and can be tested in real conditions. If it turns out that an aspect has been overlooked, changes and improvements are made in the modeling phase. The last, optional element is packaging design.
Some designs are sold, others stop at the prototype stage and remain in the concept stage. However, they show the possibilities and openness of designers to new and unique things. Some of them are waiting for the day when there is a company willing to undertake the production process. According to the owners of PLAGA Designers, some of them are patentable.
Interview with Artur Gaca from PLAGA Designers:
Most of the PLAGA Designers projects look into the future … Is there even a shadow of a chance to implement some of them?
If we were designing with the present day in mind, without additional ideas that could make the product more attractive, there would be no development. Each inventor started with a concept, striving to implement it. When it was successful, some of these inventions changed the world. We think this way. Designing for “today” is not a problem for us. However, if a company expects something more, we can provide it. Of course, what is on the website are only some of the projects we have. We have those that are already working in the form of prototypes. In recent months, we have terminated cooperation with several units. Some projects have not yet come to light because it takes time to implement them. One should take into account the fact that some concepts require a separate production line. You have to watch the market, maybe after some time there will be products by Plaga Designers …
Do you think starting with the visual design of the car is the best way to build a mass-produced model?
I think this is one of the possibilities for a car design to be realized. Certainly, this direction is chosen when the company is looking for investors willing to support the project. Then the visualization of the concept is almost a necessity.
Which project was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for us was to design the bus, in which we focused not only on the external body, but also on what is to be inside the vehicle. The implementation of the project took a long time because we had to take into account many aspects, including ergonomics and comfort of use.
Which companies could potentially be interested in PLAGA Designers realizations?
I think any company that wants to develop and wants to stay ahead of its competitors. We provide such an opportunity and make sure that the next product stands out from those already existing on the market.
What are your plans for the coming years?
We want to strengthen the brand, design all kinds of things, from vehicles to everyday items. Currently, we are also building our own 3d printer, which will allow us to implement prototypes. Thanks to such practices, we acquire technical knowledge, which, modified and improved, becomes a concept for our implementation. We also want to strengthen our team with new people. We hope that when the team grows, we will not have to leave the country to be able to develop our dreams and plans related to design.