Kata Csíki has already designed backpacks, lamps, jewelry – it was only a matter of time until she launched her own brand. She founded her design studio, Studio 11 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in 2018, and today we present the studio’s first product: Mubic Table.
It is a practical, modular and multifunctional table, which can be converted from a coffee table into a table for 2, 4 or 6 persons: it can be used both as a dining table or as a desk.
You created the first prototype of Mubic Table in 2016, and debuted with it at Cluj Design Days. This was the time you decided to further develop the table based on the positive feedback it received. Where did the idea and concept of the project come from?
In the beginning of 2016, I was working as a design trainee for a company in Milan when I came up with the idea of the Mubic table. I was living in a flat where there wasn’t much space, and so I started to think how I could make it better. In addition, I have always been drawn to furniture design – I somehow felt close to this area. I strived to create a new, functional piece of furniture, and to make it fascinating not only in terms of design. Then, in 2017, I participated on Cluj Design Days, after which, as you said before, I decided to further develop Mubic.
You started off your professional career as an interior designer. Why did you decide to also take on furniture design?
I completed my studies as an industrial designer in Oradea, Romania. I was modelling the set decoration of amusement parks such as Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi or the Movie Park in 3D in Germany for more than one year. During that time, I got a job offer from a furniture factory to work for them as a furniture designer. I worked there for more than a year, while I also founded my own company and, in the evenings, I was working on interior design and other design projects I was contracted for. This was when I realized that I should switch to freelancing.
Where does the name Mubic Table come from?
I thought about the name a lot, many variations were born. Mubic Table is originally a part of a set of furniture, accompanied by two other pieces: a floor lamp and a small table. I named this furniture ensemble Lines&Motions. Then, when I had to find a separate name for the table, I chose Mubic. The name comes from two words: Move + Cubic, referring to the rectangular shape and the movability of the elements.
Your pieces put the main emphasis on functionality; you always add something to or reinterpret the primary function of a given object. What inspires you, how do you get started with designing? What products do you plan to create in the near future?
I am always inspired by everyday situations, problems or difficulties in my work. I have a notebook that I use for writing down any new ideas, or if I detect “errors” in existing objects. This list is quite long now, so I have promised myself to put a bigger focus on this, too, and to start realizing a part of it soon.
Mubic Table, besides being a playful decorative element of any apartment, reacts to a problem faced by many, especially in larger cities: small flats, with even smaller spaces. There are many people living alone or with a partner, and they do not need a larger dining table, but if they have guests, they have nowhere to sit them. Mubic tackles this issue: in its most compact form, it’s perfect for a coffee table, but once unfolded, it transforms into a dining table capable of seating 6 persons. In addition, it can also function as a desk.
One of the new pieces I have designed is a holder for hats and scarfs. The basic concept of this product came from my observation that we tend to put our hats either in a basket or on a shelf during wintertime. Then I thought: why shouldn’t there be a place dedicated for hats, where they could be placed in an orderly fashion and in a manner that looks good at the same time. The Magnetic Hexacoaster is also one of my new pieces: it is built out of magnetic modules, and can be used as a coaster, but also as a hot pad by joining the pieces. These objects will be soon displayed on the Facebook page of Studio11.
Besides allowing us to decide whether to use it as a desk or as a dining table, Mubic Table can also be customized. How does this work exactly?
Yes, it can be customized fully. Each and every piece is made for order, this way, the color of the legs and the raw material of the tabletops (spruce or oak) can be selected. Not every apartment is the same, so I thought variability would be a good idea and this way the piece can suit several interior decor styles well.
At the beginning of the year, you started a crowdfunding campaign. How did it end, was it successful?
I participated in an entrepreneur training program for young people, at the end of which we could launch a campaign with our own ideas. It was all very sudden, but I put it together somehow, and yes, it was closed with success in May.
Where or how can one purchase a Mubic Table?
Currently it can be bought on the Facebook page of Studio11, but the website of the studio and the online store is in progress, where you will be able to purchase other objects designed and made by me in addition to Mubic Table.
The crowdfunding campaign video of Mubic Table from May | Video: Gábor I. András
Go and follow Kata’s exciting new projects and order a Mubic Table!
The CEE-RO series presents the work of up and coming artists and designers living and working in Romania amongst the countries of the Central-Eastern European region, focusing on the values of the local and progressive design culture.