Łódź Design Festival, which is happening right now as you read this, is a yearly review of current Polish design. Each year various exhibitions, shows and competitions take place in the former production plants in the city of Łódź, combining the knowledge of the past, the current trends and the up-and-coming talents. Our correspondentAgnieszka Cegla checked out this year’s festival which takes place under the humble theme of It’s all about humanity.
Łódź Design Festival 2013 is a ten day maraton of design, and goes on till the 27th of October. This year the festival is divided into three key themes of Consumtion&Eating, Inhabitation and Empathy, which all together forms the “It’s all about humanity“- main theme. The Lodz Design Festival ProgramDirector Małgorzata Żmijska explain the theme – “There was a time… not that long ago… when elitist aesthetic concepts were the point of reference for design. It flirted with them, going against them or joining their ranks, not paying much attention to the matters of mere mortals and ignoring the developing challenges of contemporary life. This time, however, is over.”
The three themes are represented as seperate areas at the festival grounds. Under the theme of Consumption&Eating, which is the most central part of people’s everyday lives but has been very rearly touched by designers, it is demonstrated that food can be treated as a product that should be designed to be fit for consumption, and also to be ergonimic and functional. At the Food | Design | Humanity exhibition, the curators, Sonja Stummerer and Martin Hablesreiter (the Honey&Bunny duo) have placed edible items on three long tables. They have arranged them with taste and humour in such a way that the project idea is as simple and easy to understand as the meaning and practical functions of these items.
The Food | Design | Humanity exhibition
Under the theme of Inhabitation, speculations and questions on how the living space is arranged and who makes decisions about it are explored. The IN-HABITATION.Garden city, gated cityexhibition, prepapred by the Institute of Architecture, is devoted to changes which occurred in contemporary residential architecture (including urban planning), their connections with the inhabitants’ identity and progressing changes in the city’s space and the gradually forming social stratification. Among all the cool pieces of furniture and home accessories on show, we were very pleased to discover our favorite blow-up style sofas made of Tyvek.
Selected pieces from the Inhabitation, Garden city, gated city exhibition
The last of the three topics was Empathy, which is one og the most important attributes of a designer with a deeply humanistic approach to their work. By listening to the needs of people for whom they work and create products, they solve the real problems – including those that people are unaware of – using natural methods. It results in projects that significantly improve the quality of life. During the DEEP NEED | empathy and design exhibition, the curators Agnieszka Szóstek and Magda Kochanowska showcase items and complete templates of underlying processes. These processes are the key to understanding how solutions based on the user-centred design concept are created.