The ABC’s of Polish Design

It is not easy to show 100 years of Polish design within the confines of a mere 100 objects. How does one choose the most important ones? How does one avoid the temptation to show icons only? How does one capture the interest of a broader audience than experts only? How can one accentuate the diversity of fields within design?
The 100 designs – furniture, glass or porcelain universally associated with design notwithstanding – also include items less obvious, such as fonts, logos, children’s toys, a locomotive, a neon, a sailplane, a scooter and even the tastiest of all Polish treats (Ptasie Mleczko chocolate-covered confectionery), as well as the Ringo heavy rubber ring, Poland’s response to Frisbee. We show the contemporary as well as the classic; unique objects, almost akin to singular works of art; prototypes which have never made it to mass production; as well as extremely popular items used by Poles daily for the past 100 years.
The exhibition merges the past and the present, interpreting the heritage of Polish design through the lens of contemporary Polish graphics. Each object on display is accompanied by visual interpretation, created by 25 talented Polish illustrators and graphic designers. They are all artists at assorted stages of their career, including experienced masters of the Polish school of illustration, artists from the young and middle generation – winners of awards worldwide, as well as young recent graduates.
The show extends beyond the 100 items and their visual interpretations; it also comprises 100 stories – of designers, needs, dreams, possibilities, and limitations. Not only does it speak of specific projects, but it also explains the designing process, the creation of ideas and the amazing concept of design in general, as the field of art that remains in greatest proximity to society: while it surrounds us all each day and our existence without design would be well-nigh impossible, most of the time we remain unaware of it.
Curator: Ewa Solarz