tisdag 17 maj 2011

Luft under vingarna för polsk design

Andra dagen förstärktes intrycken av den optimistiska nybyggaranda som råder inom designområdet här. En nystart med sikte på framtiden, men också med upprättelse och återuppväckande av tidigare generationers betydelsefulla gärningar och alster. Oavsett totalitär regim, uppbrott och gapande hål i historien. Eldsjälar med glödande kämparanda, som är välgörande för oss som kommer från en mera uppgiven stämning och en situation där vi tar mycket för givet. Gemensamt är utmaningarna med definitionen av begreppet design, där det för den stora allmänheten endast betyder något lyxigt, dyrt, obegripligt, ytligt eller onåbart. I stället för om livskvalitet och allt det som vi omges av. Just nu finns här gott om EU-medel för större och lovvärda pilotprojekt, såsom samhällsförändrande design för alla, för utveckling av offentliga platser och institutioner, för hemlösa och arbetslösa, för att lära industrin att använda design som konkurrensmedel. Unga designer väljer mellan att själva producera sina produkter, eller att hitta uppdrag hos lokala producenter, som ännu inte öppnat sig för att jobba med inhemska designer. De producerar hellre till andra länders beställare ännu så länge.

Our second day in Warsaw was also filled with meetings with interesting and deeply engaged people. We are taken by the prevailing optimistic spirit within the design area here right now, where new winds have been blowing for a while with new opportunities, both financially (mainly EU money), and by the broad general interest by the public. Events and exhibitions seem to get a lot of visitors, and the curiosity is still strong. Inspiring for us, coming from a country, where we seem to take good design for granted. We share the difficulty in defining the word design, since to most people it is still an expensive luxury beyond reach and emphasis is often made on the visual surface. Not about long lasting quality of life and almost everything around us. We share the same mission to show what design can mean. We started our day by meeting a group of young designers with their studio in an old vodka-producing factory, filled with interesting spaces, galleries, shops and creative industries. Puff Buff, Aze Design, Kafti Design and Pala pa. They have made joint forces in a project "the Spirit of Poland" initiated by designers to present young Polish designers abroad with business potential. Last year at Tokyo Design Week, and in September at 100 % Design in London. What they shared is that they are all both working as designers, producers and product developers, taking controlling their the whole process. They estimate that this is a growing tendency among young Polish designers, where production is still relatively cheap and accesible. Some 6-7 design groups are already working like this. They did not seem very optimistic that large producers in Poland will start to work with young Polish designers for a long time yet. Then we had luncheon with the organizers of Lodz Design Festival  discussing design as a force of development and a means of improving life quality, and the development of contemporary Polish design and their public success with the festival. The festival started in 2008 in collaboration with the city of Lodz, and have about 40.000 visitors for 10 days, next time 20-30 October. They also concentrate on craft rooted, conceptual and small series of design, as in www.unpolished.pl  and a competition for young designers Make Me. They also told us that Li Edelkoort has initiated a new design school of form in Poznan, where the design studies are joined with studies of humanistic sciences. The luncheon took place in an amazing restaurant in the Contemporary Art Museum, where we unfortunately did not have time to look at the exhibitions.  Thereafter a visit to the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts, where we met teachers and were shown around the work shops. Some 150 students in all the design disciplines, product design, graphic design, fashion. We also met with the director of the Cieszyn Castle, a city of about bordering Czechia, missioning about the need of good design for developing society and public spaces. The premises of the Academy were quite old, but also here the engagement of the teachers was impressive, and their new department of Fashion, which opened only a year ago, was very active and fresh. In the evening, The Swedish Embassy kindly opened up their residence for a cocktail for some 40 design related guests, where we had the chance to thank our hosts for the hospitality and to promote our magazine Form, now in English, which was well received. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute  supporting cultural affairs and promotion of Polish Culture abroad, seems to be a really efficient, important and highly appreciated institution among the active design community. We ended the night in a fantastic restaurant in the middle of the kitchen, which used to be a big hotel kitchen, dining together with Miska Miller-Lovegrove, architect and curator of the exhibition Young Creative Poland  together with her colleagues Anna Pietrzyk-Simone, Monica Unger and other friends of theirs. A wonderful crowed, sharing their complex back grounds, educations and close emotional ties, despite most of them living in different cities and countries today. 

The old factory of the famous buffalo straw vodka, which is now used as for design, art and other creative studios

Julia Cieszko of Palapa and Monika Brauntsch of Kafti Design, explained how they work with promoting Polish design in their project The Spirit of Poland
Building the Polish stand at Tokyo Desing Week 2010

Radet Ahramowicz and Anna Siedlecka with one of their light products of Puff Buff Design

The spirit of Poland surrounded by products from various countries in their generous studio

Puff Buff takes care of the whole design and production process themselves, including the assemblage in their studio, here packing their best selling bubble divider.
Radiators in the old vodka factory

Magazyn Praga is the most famous design store, selling mostly Polish, but also international design items

We also had the chance to make a quick visit to their craft store

Paulina Gradkowska of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, having arranged our program together with Karolika Bregula our guide and translator outside the contemporary art museum

The beautiful bookshop was all we had a chance to see in the Contemporary Museum

The lady who runs the restaurant in the museum is an interior designer , as well as a food designer and a flower designer we were told, and every season the interior is completely changed, always in tune with the time

Luncheon with Malgorzata Zmijska, project manager, and Agnieszka Jacobson, curator of the Lodz Design Festival

Lucious green with lilacs and lilies of the valley everywhere
Combination of street and folclore - students of the Design Faculty of the Academy of Fine Arts

No smoking

Temporary display of totalitarian design - nazi and communist - collected by design historian and professor at the academy Jozéf Mrozek

Summer fashion 

totalitarian cigarettes

Work shop for sculpture - part of design curriculum

In the renewed section the students of industrial design could choose themselves the decorations, and they choose to put their "idols" as figures on the door, such as the Bouroullec brothers, Konstantin Grcic, Charlotte von der Lancken of Front and Thomas Bernstrand

Proud of our Swedes Thomas Bernstrand and Charlotte von der Lancken of Front

New fashion department since one year at the Design Academy of fine arts

Director Ewa Golebiowska (many Ewa's with w) talks enthusiastically of her mission with the design work in the castle in the town of Cieszyn www.zamekcieszyn.pl In the back ground professor Michal Stefanowski of the Faculty of Industrial design, who has been teaching there for over 20 years, explaining the changes, but still very positive and curious of the new students' thinking and way of finding new creative solutions and ways of picking up knowledge

King and Queen visited Warsaw the previous week, and greeted all the guests at the cocktail the Swedish Embassy offered us in the evening, in order to promote our Form magazine, and to create contacts and thank your generous host

On of the interns took my camera and helped to take photos during the evening, here myself with our guide Karolina Bregula

Kasper (?) and Katarzyna Szota in charge of Press and communication at the Embassy

Embassy staff together with editor from Elle Deco of Warsaw 

Hans Andersson, formerly posted in Warsaw and now back on special mission, makes a welcome toast for us and the guest of the evening.

Malgorzata Amijska and Agnieszka Jacobson of Lodz Design Festival

Director of the National Museum Dr Agnieszka Morawinska talking to architect Dorota ...

Design historian Jósef Mrozek of teh Design Academy of Fine arts, spoke a bit of Swedish, knew all of Swedish Design History and talked about Kerstin Wickman, ergonomidesign and Stefan Nilsson - fully up to date

Manager of Magazyn Praga talks to Cathrine von Hauswolff about Svenskt Tenn

The only photo of our original initiative for our visit Miska Miller-Lovegrove, to the left, who came from London where she lives, to discuss with us the possibility of bringing the exhibiton Young Creative Poland to Sweden, here with her young collaborators in Poland

Well  known designer Tomek Rygalik with visual artist Karolina Bregula, our guide

Our host Hans Andersson together with Cathrine von Hauswolff, also telling us the story of the residence, created in 1938, only slightly dammaged during the war, and then restored to the complete original standard, as it stands today.

Young architect in discussion with Anna Pietrzyk-Simone of Lovegrove Studio

Hans Andersson discussing with Bogna Swiatkowska and a young architect, both active in the campaign for Warsaw as cultural capital in 2014. She also makes maps of the best events in Warsaw with art and design and food focus

A lot of Svenskt Tenn in the residece as well

Hans Andersson is telling the story of Gustav Wasa, the grandfather of  King Sigismund III Vasa,  also on a portrait in the residence, who was ruling both Sweden and Poland during the union in the end of the 16th centur. (This was the first Swedish King, the second one was Ivar Kamprad who came to Poland to produce in the 60's, now celebrating 50 year of presence in Poland, and first Ikea shop opened in the 90's)  From the left professor Jerzy Porebski, dean of the faculty of Industrial Design, designer Tomek Rygalik, architect ?, director Ewa Golebiowska of Cieszyn, Bogna Swiatkowska and Hans Andersson

The evening restaurant was an old hotel kitchen, transformed into a restaurant where the guests could sit right in the kitchen and enjoy the preparation of the meals. Here the camera went to rest, while we enjoyed the evening.

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