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Mikolaj Dymowski

MA work


Deception is a project based on a series of experiments related to the perception of confined spaces. The project provides an innovative, seamless solution for people suffering from claustrophobia, in order to improve their experience.

As the populations of cities around the world increases, there is going to be unprecedented pressure on living, working and recreational spaces. However, with more of us living in such proximity in smaller and smaller spaces, this brings with it unanticipated physiological and psychological issues. Claustrophobia is one such growing concern, driven increasingly by the reliance on elevators as cities expand vertically. There is an opportunity to address this for those most vulnerable, while also creating a more delightful traveling experience for all.

My project is underpinned by Gestalt psychology - the theory that the human mind considers objects in their entirety before, or in parallel with, perception of their individual parts. In the context of claustrophobics I realised that there was an opportunity to manipulate physical and sensory parameters of space to engineer an overall positive sensation. Through research, interviews and experiments involving numerous sufferers of claustrophobia and psychologists, I discovered that by employing a combination of blowing air, and offering a sense of movement through image and sound, one might significantly reduce the perception of feeling trapped. My innovation builds on the philosophy of 'pair by association' - a psychological mechanism that creates association between a stimulus and an object.

I have translated my insights into a panel that decreases the level of anxiety through sensual stimulation when an individual is in a particular, and increasingly ubiquitous confined space in cities - lifts. 


  • Mikolaj Dymowski
  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Innovation Design Engineering, 2014

  • I am an industrial designer and a craftsman, with a proven track record in designing a wide range
    of products, furniture, interiors, fair trade stands and graphics.

    My design approach has always been holistic, incorporating both the tangible and the intangible aspects of the design process into my designs. My approach builds on extensive user research and iterative experimentation to reach a resolved solution, which is functional, aesthetic, sustainable, simple and inspirational.  User experience is at the centre of my attention.

    I believe that good products consider all levels of interaction and are designed with a deep understanding of users’ emotional relationship with products, based on how they feel. That is why I spend a lot of time observing, interviewing and engaging with people, sketching, creating mock-ups, playing with form and material, and testing to see how it feels. In short I think through making.

    My experimental project, Deception, reflects my design values. I believe it is a great example of how psychological states  of city dwellers can be altered through design.

    After graduating I would like to work for a design company that is driven by innovation and high
    quality design. I have a desire to achieve real life impact through design, and thereby improve
    the lives of people and make life more enjoyable.

  • Degrees

  • BA Product Design, Academy of Fine Art, Poznan, Poland, 2009
  • Experience

  • Industrial design trainee, Made Innovation, Beijing, China, 2013; Product design trainee, Studio Rygalik, Warsaw, Poland, 2012; Product design trainee, Wierszyllowski and Partners, 2009
  • Exhibitions

  • A Celebration of Innovation Design Engineering, Imperial College London, 2013; Rio Tinto Sport Innovation Design, Object: Australian Design Centre, Sydney, 2013; Arena Design, Poznan International Fair, Poznan, Poland, 2009; North Brabant: The European Capital of Culture, Design Academy, Eindhoven, 2009; Regionalism in Design, Centro Diseño, Cine, Televisión, Mexico City, 2009
  • Awards

  • Second Prize, 20 Best Products in Poznan International Fair, 2009
  • Publications

  • I. Maciag, 'Oncoming Two Worlds', Meblarstwo, 5(101), 2009, p12; I. Marczewska, P. Baran, '20 Best Products at Poznan International Fair', Dobre Wnetrze, 8(140), 2009, p40