Polish Design's Successful Half-year
Polish design had a very good start to this year. In the first half of the year, Polish exhibitions organized in Milan, Sao Paulo and New York under Culture.pl’s name attracted large audiences and were appreciated by professionals and journalists alike. Workshops for students were arranged and work on subsequent publications is already in progress.
The second part of the year promises to be even more intense – Polish design will be present at the key festivals of design, such as Dutch Design Week, Istanbul Design Biennial, London Design Festival and Tokyo Designers Weeks, as well as at festivals in Stockholm, Izmir and Brasilia, among others.
This year’s presentation of Polish design under the Culture.pl brand at the Milan Design Week focused on one Polish exhibition. That decision took a lot of courage and was perceived as controversial, but it proved to be a success. Polish Job, curated by Magda Kochanowska, was remembered as the exhibition which distinguished itself with its clear thematic line, coherence and consistency. Not without significance was also its perfect location on Ventura Lambratte, where the Polish furniture visible through the huge corner windows drew the audience’s attention and encouraged them to visit the other sections of Polish Job.
The Ours exhibition at the WantedDesign event in New York was the first such extensive presentation of Polish design prepared by Culture.pl in the USA. It was the result of an experiment by its curators, Gosia and Tomek Rygalik, who focused on analysing material culture through the prism of resourcefulness acquired during times of shortage.
Polish design inscribed permanently itself into the London Design Festival map. Present for a few seasons now, it has continued to strengthen its position, and has built a faithful audience. It’s appreciated by critics as well, who, like Casja Carlson from Coolhunting, underline the excellent condition and development of Polish design, classifying it among their new favourites.
This year, Culture.pl presented the best Polish graphic works and illustrations for the first time. Designing Polska. Design in Poland, the exhibition curated by Olka Osadzińska, could be seen at Tent London, where it strongly distinguished itself among the other exhibitions traditionally focused on products.
The Art Food project returned to London too. Students from Polish, British and American schools of design met at the workshops combining culinary art with design for the second time. Under the supervision of the designer Marek Cecuła, they created unique ceramic vessels. Their works were presented at exhibitions in Wrocław and London. In November, the exhibition can be seen in New York.
However, London is not the only important place on the world design map to which Polish design returns more and more often, systematically strengthening its position and attracting increasing interest.
Spirit of Poland
After the excellent reception of Spirit of Poland at the Sao Paulo Design Week – Latin America’s biggest design festival – the exhibition’s second edition will return to Brazil. In November, the Spirit of Poland will be presented at the hottest address in the capital – at the Brasilia National Museum. The building, designed by Oskar Niemeyer, arouses strong emotions and is considered to be one of the icons of modernist architecture around the world, as well as one of the biggest tourist attractions in the capital. The Spirit of Poland exhibition is to present Polish product brands which significantly involved designers in their creation, such as the KOLO Sand created by Pani Jurek or the Breakup cup by Studio Robot. The context for the exhibits will be a history of several brands, presented in such a way as to encourage the recipient to get acquainted not only with the products themselves, but also with their cultural and business background. An interesting distinguishing feature of the exhibition is its fragrant identification prepared by Marta Siembab, and Maciej Kawecki.
Date: 4th – 18th November 2014
Location: National Museum, Brasilia
Forest and Meadow
Forest and Meadow exhibition was presented in 2013 in Copenhagen, where it aroused great interest in the Scandinavians, known for appreciating ecology and contact with nature. In November, it can be seen in the Designgalleriet in Stockholm. The exhibition’s leitmotiv is the designers’ fascinations with Polish nature, the forest meadow landscape, and the world of animals and plants, as well as the customs and traditions deeply rooted in the Polish consciousness and derived from the bond between man and nature. The exhibition concerns not only the “naturalistic” inspirations of designers and their search for their own identity, but also builds the narrative around our cultural diversity and shows how important it is to preserve separateness and uniqueness in a globalized world. Along with renowned and awarded artists such as Malafor, Agnieszka Bar and Maria Jeglińska, many new designers at the beginning of their careers are among the exhibitions’ participants. What all of them have in common is the knowledge and ability to use folk handicraft techniques to produce modern items, as well as a fondness for natural materials: wood, glass, wool, ceramics, and even hay.
Polish Design in Eindhoven
A large Polish table, a symbol of hospitality, will appear at this year’s Dutch Design Week 2014. As a part of the Polish Design: in the Middle of exhibition, arranged by Culture.pl, works by over thirty Polish designers, design teams, producers, and students will be shown. The idea behind the project curated by Izabela Bołoz refers to the values highly appreciated by Poles, such as hospitality. The exhibition’s narrative is based on four thematic groups, which are: furniture and house, technologies, ceramics and tableware, and toys for children. Polish Design: in the Middle of will be the first such extensive presentation of contemporary Polish Design in the Netherlands. The exhibition will be accompanied by a wide programme of lectures. Famous designers and experts, such as Lidewij Edelkort (a special guest), Oskar Zięta, Bogusław Paruch, and Zuzanna Skalska will speak about their associations with Polish design, inspirations and dialogue with other industries.
Date 18th – 26th October 2014
Location: TAC (Temporary Art Centre) in Eindhoven.
POLSKA IN BETWEEN at the Istanbul Design Biennial
This year, unique for both Turks and Poles, Polish design couldn’t miss the Istanbul Design Biennial – a young but vigorously developing event. During its second edition, the POLISH IN BETWEEN exhibition will present the most interesting phenomena in Polish design, as well as objects designed and produced specially for the exhibition – the result of Polish and Turkish designers’ workshop activities. POLSKA IN BETWEEN consists of four elements. The first of them is the Connecting exhibition, curated by Czesława Frejlich and Magda Kochanowska.
The Connecting exhibition, dedicated to contemporary Polish design, presents a wide spectrum of it: furniture, ceramics, fabrics and typography, representing different generations of Polish designers. The key to this exhibition is its title word ‘connecting’, understood as connecting people, cultures, materials and technologies. This is the idea that all four parts of the exhibition – Cultures, People, Times and Materials – focus on.
The rest of the three POLSKA IN BETWEEN elements are to present the results of Polish-Turkish collaboration – workshops concentrated on crafts (Craft: Old for New), calligraphy (Word: Fest of Words) and cooking (Food: Cook for Book), which lasted the whole year.
Date: 1st November – 14th December 2014
Location: 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial
The POLSKA IN BETWEEN exhibition is one of the events accompanying the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial.
Let’s Play! Kid’s Design from Poland
The close relationships established between the artists during their joint work may result in other interesting projects, but the guarantee that Polish design is to become a long-term guest in Turkey and always arouse good associations is contact with it from childhood. The Let’s Play! Kid’s Design from Poland exhibition, presented at the Gas Factory, is addressed to the youngest future connoisseurs of Polish design. Through various forms of activities, such as an interactive exhibition, workshops and walks, it aims to take children and parents for a long journey not only across design, but also across the entire Polish culture.
Dates: 31st October – 30th November 2914
Location: Gas Factory, Izmir, Turkey
+48 Social Club
During the Tokyo Designers Week, the café/club +48 Social Club in the very heart of Tokyo is to be specially arranged for the occasion. The place is going to present the Japanese audience with the best Polish products and design elements of recent years, as well as introduce the cultural context in which they are used. The Polish design review is to be accompanied by a rich programme of music and film.
Dates: 28th October – 3rd November 2014 12:00 – 21:00
Location: VACANT, 3-20-13 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 1150-0001
As part of the programme for promoting Polish design abroad, the institute is to publish two publications dedicated to Polish design. The first of them, the third issue of the Print Control year book, is an extensive panorama of Polish printed design shown in the context of multidisciplinary project collaboration. The bilingual publication contains a review of almost 100 interesting printed projects from 2013-14, along with technical descriptions and interviews with the selected Polish designers, such as Anna Nałęcka, Super Super studio, Marian Misiak and Grzegorz Laszuk. The year book’s premiere will take place on 8th October 2013 at the Book Trades in Frankfurt.
The second item on the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s publishing list is the publication Piękni XX-wieczni (Beautiful 20th Century). The album, edited by Jacek Mrowczyk, comprehensively presents the achievements of 20th century Polish design by delivering specialist knowledge of the field. The publication will contain chronological descriptions of works by the 60 most distinguished Polish graphic designers, representatives of the Polish school of poster, avant-garde and experimental art from the beginning of the 20th century. The development will also mention the lesser-known achievements of authors in the fields of editorial design, including the designing of books, cover art, typography and lettering, as well as designing information, logos and packages. It will be the second part of the well-known Out of the Ordinary publication.
Source: Culture.pl, October 2014