Łódź, beside of the fact that it has an impossible spelling, is one of my favourite cities in Poland. They say it is the most hipster one. I don’t want to judge on this but I just love the atmosphere. It has the greatest collection of murals made by artists from all over the world ( I will definitely write a post about it, soon ). Unlike other big cities, Łódź was less destroyed in World War II and many beautiful historical places remained. It has lots of 19th century, red brick, factory buildings turned into art spaces, music clubs, museums or a shopping mall.
Every year in October, Łódź hosts the most important design event in Poland: Łódz Design Festival. I spent a weekend there and didn’t want to leave at all. It was rather impossible to see all exhibitions in two days since they are spread around the city. I managed to visit Art_Inkubator which was the festival center, beautifully renovated old factory building. It held most of the exhibitions, lectures, workshops for children and adults and events like must have price award.
There were few exhibitions that really caught my eye. Vitra Design Museum presented “Urban daydreaming” by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Various development solutions for cities looked like film sets to me. These fancy projects highlight the need to bring natural forms back into the city: plants, animals, water and fire. The scenes suggest a new direction in the relationship between buildings, pavement, the positioning of the fountain, the planting of a jungle. All these human considerations that would make a city a place of enchantment. How wonderful it would be to bring just a little bit of this fairytale into our reality.
“The human trace” tableware set has been manufactured as a part of the project “People from the porcelain factory”. This idea is absolutely outstanding. Workers of Porcelain Factory in Ćmielów, one of the oldest in Poland, were wearing gloves with their fingertips dipped in cobalt salt. The traces of their touch remained almost invisible until firing, when the colour changed into dark blue. In this way the porcelain tableware keeps the touch of the worker’s hands revealing the role of the human factor on industrial manufacturing. Usually, we like porcelain to be smooth and shining. It reminds us of cleanliness and perfection. Looking at this unique tableware set I would gladly use it instead of one with usual flower ornaments.
“New Old – designing for our future” is an exhibition that made me think about demographic changes in our society and how it will influence the role of design and designers. We are living longer due to significant advances in life science, medical care, diet and education. In the UK, we already have more pensioners than teenagers. This exhibition, organised by the Design Museum in London, shows innovative products that will improve the quality of our life in future. It also includes a social aspect how human beings perceive getting and being old. Many older people suffer discrimination because of their age, like on the sign below. The Curators Helen Hamlyn and Jeremy Myerson provided excemples of interesting and efficient collaboration between young and older members of our society. The answer is clear: Learn from experience!
Visit Łódź Design Festival
All photos by Asia K.