Daniel Michalik – Furniture Designer & Astronomer
Daniel Michalik is an innovative furniture designer specializing in underutilized materials. By applying his scientific background and exploring these uncommon materials, his designs have been featured in publications like New York Times, New York Magazine, Sight Unseen Dezeen Wallpaper* as well as collaborations with Google Reddymade as well as teaching product design at Parsons School of Design. His designs have also won multiple design awards over time.
Early Life and Education
Designer Daniel Michalik of Brooklyn studio observes a small harbor filled with repurposed ferries and their docks through large industrial windows of his studio, an industrial scene mirroring that of his airy workshop with mammoth band saws, high stacks of fragrant wood and workbenches filled with prototypes.
Michalik’s pieces are created to express both the natural history and culture of cork through molds that imbue them with patterns inspired by where this material is harvested – as well as ancient and contemporary building techniques.
Michalik hails from Howell, Michigan and currently resides in Gregory. He is the son of Tracy and Linda Michalik and has one sister: Rebecca Swank.
Michalik of Brooklyn, New York explores rarely used materials through his furniture and objects. Cork is his main material of choice when creating his range of chairs, stools, tables, toys and homeware pieces.
Michalik has been featured in numerous publications such as Core 77, AREAWARE, Interior Design and American Craft for his outstanding artwork. Additionally, he served as an on-site support astronomer at ESA/ESAC where he contributed towards scientific exploitation of Gaia.
Michalik uses expansion moulded scraps of cork in several of his designs, employing its versatility to demonstrate its usefulness as a material. For example, he makes chairs that can be adjusted and used for different functions; vases for holding water and flowers; and urns to store ashes – each product then being colored using blue, green and pink hues to emphasize their unique features.
Achievement and Honors
Michalik served as a Young Graduated Trainee with ESA/ESAC on both LISA Pathfinder and Gaia projects during 2009. Additionally, he served as on-site support astronomer at South Pole Telescope and contributed measurements of Cosmic Microwave Background as well as Sgr A*’s event horizon with Nano-JASMINE.
Michalik made his television debut with Diane, femme flic and Terre de lumiere on TF1, before going on to star in several films, mini-series and TV films including Sagan by Diane Kurys as well as Le Cercle des illusionnistes and Edmond on France 2.
From his studio’s large industrial windows, he can see a small harbor with repurposed ferries sitting quietly at its docks – an image which perfectly compliments his airy workshop, filled with mammoth band saws and tall stacks of aromatic wood.
Daniel Michalik is an active participant in his community. He serves on the board of directors of Manistique County Historical Museum and as a volunteer at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Auxiliary Auxiliary Auxiliary Auxiliary Auxiliary Auxiliary Auxiliary. Furthermore, he’s engaged in local politics and philanthropy efforts.
He is married and the proud parent of two children, Jessica works as a school counselor. They reside together in Manistique, Michigan.
Michalik’s sculptures draw their inspiration from nature and science, but are also imbued with cultural context and practice-evoking patterns and motifs from Portugal where his cork-growing region lies. One such chair, named ‘Striated Chair,’ for instance, bears an intricate cork pattern known as the Corked Cross pattern found there. Furthermore, Michalik is an accomplished musician having played both acoustic guitar and rock band vocals and his music has been featured on several television programs and films!
Michalik has not shared details regarding his net worth; however, it’s evident that he leads an extravagant lifestyle and owns significant assets.
He was an exceptional employee for 1st Taylor National Bank, taking great pleasure in balancing and completing all customer transactions correctly daily. In his free time he enjoyed gardening and listening to polka music in the garden; additionally he took great pride in his work at Upper Cut Tree Service.
He was an esteemed brother, uncle and friend who is survived by his siblings, nieces and nephews as well as several great-nieces and great-nephews. Preceded in death by parents Agnes and Frank Michalik; funeral mass was held October 14 at Sacred Heart Cemetery before interment took place that afternoon.