Thanks to the Let’s Exhibit programme, young, up-and-coming Polish designers will have the opportunity to present their work at some of the most important trade events around the globe.
In the spring of 2017, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute organised the fourth edition of the Let’s Exhibit open call for Polish designers, who are looking for opportunities to present their work to an international audience. In this year’s edition 17 designers and design studios were chosen to take part in some of the most important trade events around the globe: Bartek Mejor, Beza Projekt, Confashion, Bola by Ola Bajer, Doom 3000, Maria Jeglińska, Mari JJ Design, Malwina Konopacka, Nenukko, Longstory, Michał Szulc, Paweł Grobelny, Pani Jurek, Studio 1:1, UAU Project and Well Done.
Mari JJ Design
20th – 23rd May 2017, Wanted Design, New York, USA
The brand Mari JJ Design was founded by Maria Joanna Juchnowska in 2010 in Stockholm.
Juchnowska specialises in ceramics and porcelain jewellery design. She has taken part in many joint exhibitions including Art Athina in Greece and Fragile in New York. Mari JJ’s products are available in stores in London, New York, Bergen and Warsaw.
WantedDesign is a platform dedicated to promoting design and fostering the international creative community at large throughout the year. It’s two marquee events take place during May’s NYCxDESIGN in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Founded in New York City in 2011 by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, WantedDesign has established itself as a constant and staunch supporter of U.S. and international design via events, conversations, and partnerships and its yearly programming aims to nurture New York City’s design dialogue. The event also serves as a popular and inspiring meeting point for designers, manufacturers, buyers, distributors, craftspeople, students, design institutions, the press and all design lovers.
24th – 27th June 2017, Tendence, Frankfurt, Germany
WellDone is a brand and idea which combines design and social engagement. The Być Razem Foundation employs people who are often marginalised such as people with mental or physical disabilities or people who are homeless. Designers who want to support the foundation, design objects which make everyday life easier. 96% of the foundation’s profits go to hiring these people and supporting them and their families – whether they need food, a roof over their heads or therapy, and promoting young Polish designers who work with them.
Tendence is one of the most important international interior design and decoration fairs. Over one thousand exhibitors present their products at the event. In 2016, over 23,000 visitors attended.
27th June – 30th September 2017, Le Cite Exhibition, Marseille, France
Malwina Konopacka in a designer and illustrator from Warsaw. She graduated from Industrial Design Department of Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw, as well as from Illustration Department of Universität der Künste in Berlin. She has found a way to combine her love of illustration with spatial forms. The OKO vase, one of her signature designs, is a ceramic vase that plays with colours and shapes, it debuted during Designers Week Tokyo in 2014. Since then, her OKO vases have been on display all over the world at, among others, the Inno Design Tech Expo in Hong Kong in 2014 and Tent London in 2015.
This year, Konopacka will present her work at the Unite d’ Habitation in Marseille, at the invitation of Slavia Vintage. The Slavia Vintage collective promotes Polish design in Central and Western Europe. The exhibition will take place at the so-called. Unite d'Habitation designed by Le Corbusier in Marseille.
29th June – 2nd July 2017, Fashionclash, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Nenukko is a Polish urban clothing brand, which takes inspiration from both streetwear and minimalist elegance. Each collection is limited and produced locally.
At Fashionclash 2017, Nenukko will present its collection Interlude.Disrupted – the collection aims to show the spirit of the times we are living in through universal forms of clothing. It is intended to transform everyday clothes into a kind of protective uniform that is both comfortable and practical. Each piece of the collection can be worn together or separately, according to an individual’s style or mood. The collection is entirely vegan.
FASHIONCLASH Festival is an international and interdisciplinary fashion festival which focusses on emerging designers and artists. The festival includes fashion shows, exhibitions, a designers’ market, theatre and dance performances and an extensive accompanying programme with pop-up stores, workshops and presentations throughout Maastricht.
30th June – 3rd July 2017, Design Parade, Hyeres, France
Maria Jeglińska, founder of the Office for Design & Research, is one of the most celebrated young contemporary Polish designers. Jeglińska graduated from the prestigious ECAL in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2007. She gained experience under the guidance of world-famous designers including Ronan Bouroullec in Lausanne, Konstantin Grcic in Munich and Alexander Taylor in London.
Her first attempts at her own designs were immediately very well received. Wallpaper magazine in January 2008 ranked her as among the world's most promising young talents.
Jeglińska has participated in international exhibitions and design fairs including the Salone del Mobile in Milan, the London Design Festival and the Biennale of Design in St. Etienne. Her product designs are being produced by companies such as Ligne Roset, Cinna and DesignMarketo.
She is also active in conceptual and research work, cooperating with the W.I.R.E. think tank in Zurich and the Eastern European Study Think Tank, which she co-founded in 2010), and above all through the Office for Design & Research. The latter began in London then opened a branch in Warsaw in 2012.
Jeglińska's work includes various types of design, from small items for everyday use to furniture and interior design. Her objects and spaces can be freely modified and altered for use in a variety of ways.
Design Parade, already in its tenth year, brings young designers from all over the world together around a special design competition, which aims to discover and support talented up-and-coming designers.
9th –11th August 2017, CIFF Copenhagen, Denmark
Confashion clothing is made for women who know what they want. The designer behind the brand, Kinga Król, likes to work with simple forms but it is colour that she finds most fascinating. She is most interested in the relationships between colours and shades and how they affect emotions. Król makes her own fabrics because she believes that in a designer’s brand absolutely everything should be designed. She often uses innovative technologies in the production of her clothing lines: one of Confashion's most popular products is a 3D-printed skirt.
Confashion has presented its collections in Kiev, Berlin and New York. The brand also contributes to charity: Król created a collection for the Save the Music campaign. At the Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF), she will present her fall/winter 2018/19 collection.
Copenhagen International Fashion Fair is the largest and longest-running fashion fair in Northern Europe. Over the past five years, CIFF has become a major bi-annual destination for the international fashion industry. Along the way, it has reinvented the trade show concept and earned the reputation for being one of Europe’s most dynamic and innovative sales platforms.
22nd – 24th August 2017, Playtime Tokyo, Japan
Pani Jurek is a brand created by Magda Jurek, a Krakow-born artist and designer, who has her own, unique approach to design and creates multi-functional objects with which users can interact. Her conceptual approach to design and her reluctance to define a design’s specific function comes from her studies of painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She strictly adheres to the idea of sustainable development and always chooses eco-friendly materials for her designs.
In Tokyo, Pani Jurek will present her newest project: the Psikusy (editor’s translation: Tricks, however, the word Psy, means dogs!) book and blocks. Psikusy introduces children to non-pedigree dogs, the importance of adopting pets and the concepts of diversity and tolerance.
Created in 2007, the Playtime fair takes place yearly in Paris, New York, Tokyo and Berlin. Playtime offers a global approach to new trends for both parents and children, with a rich and complementary selection that includes fashion, lifestyle and design. As a truly global showcase, Playtime has become the favourite exhibiting space for independent, emerging and established brands.
8th –11th September 2017, WHO’S NEXT, Paris, France
Michał Szulc has been present on the fashion scene since 2005, consistently managing to eschew the red carpet-inspired exaggeration or design experiments with one of Poland's contemporary favourites – grey sweatshirt fabric.
He debuted as a designer in 2005 with the collection IAPAN. Between 2005 and 2015, he was a double recipient of the scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and a laureate of the Złota Nitka (Golden Thread) award (2005 and 2008). Szulc has been nominated for the Poland+ Design Awards as well as the Elle Style Awards. He designed uniforms for the Polish police forces.
More than 20 years after its creation, WHO’S NEXT has become the leading international fashion trade show for womenswear in Europe. In January and September, the event welcomes 40,000 visitors through its doors at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre in Paris, with around 700 French and international ready-to-wear brands there for them to discover.
8th – 12th September 2017, Maison & Objet, Paris, France
Beza Projekt is a Warsaw-based studio founded by designers Anna Łoskiewicz-Zakrzewska and Zofia Strumiłło-Sukiennik. Playfulness, subversion and the unending quest for unexpected solutions lie at the core of the studio’s work. They often work with local craftsmen to create pieces that are high-quality and unique – each piece has its own story. Beza Projekt has won numerous awards.
For over ten years now, Maison & Objet has been one of the most important events for professionals working in the art of living in all its rich and varied expressions. The lifestyle show brings together a 360°product offering: decoration, design, furniture, accessories, textiles, fragrances, the world of children, tableware. This extraordinary diversity is in line with the varied expectations of global markets.
8th -16th September 2017, now! LeOff! during Paris Design Week, France
No matter what he directs his creative energies towards, be it interior design, furniture or public spaces, Pawel Grobelny seems to always come up with design solutions that bring him awards and international recognition. One of the most acclaimed contemporary Polish designers, he creates projects based on simple and harmonious shapes, striving to achieve a certain timeless, classical, yet at the same time unforgettable look.
Grobelny started his career in Poland, graduating from the Faculty of Architecture and Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań, and then went on to pursue his studies at prestigious design schools in France: the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris and the École Nationale des Beaux-arts in Lyon. In France, Grobelny earned scholarships both from the French Government and the Le Pont Neuf Foundation, the prestigious Casa de Velazquez in Madrid and the RU-Residency Unlimited in New York. In 2009, he was chosen as one of 100 Young Creative Talents during the European Year of Creativity and Innovation. He has created furnishings for public spaces such as the Zhongshan Garden in Shanghai and the Albertine Garden in Brussels, the La Defense district and outdoor cinema for the Centre for Contemporary Art in Strombeek, Belgium. He is also a laureate of the international urban furniture competition in the French city of Mont de Marsan.
The now! le Off exhibition held at Les Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design has become a major springboard for designer creativity. It presents new design talents and emerging design brands from around the world.
8th - 16th September 2017, now! LeOff! during Paris Design Week, France
The UAU Project is a multidisciplinary design studio founded by Justyna Fałdzińska and Miłosz Dąbrowski in 2011. They use traditional craft techniques to create innovative products which are sustainable. The two designers have pushed the limits of the creative and design processes towards their users, encouraging them to get involved. UAU Project won the A’Design Award 2016 in the Sustainable Products, Projects and Green Design category, as well as two, Must Have awards at the Łódź Design Festival.
Currently, their main focus is on designing everyday items for production with the use of personal 3D printers. They want to show that 3D printing is the best way to make good design available to everyone. In Paris, they will show their newest designs which were created using 3D printers. Even the display itself will be built out of elements made with the use of such printers, showing just how easy it is to create unique and interesting interiors with the push of a button!
20th - 23rd September, 100% Design, London, United Kingdom
Studio 1:1 was created by two graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, Beata Szymańska and Jarosław Szymański. They specialise in product design and interior design. They have designed furniture for Polish furniture company Profim and have designed store interiors for Reserved, Cropp, a'Tab, Home & You, as well as the permanent exhibition at the European Solidarity Centre.
In 2014, the studio began designing, producing and distributing limited collections of furniture and furnishings. All of their designs are based on locally available materials and production capacity. All of the pieces are available in versions for self-assembly, which significantly reduces production, storage and transport costs.
100% Design is the largest and longest running design trade event for industry professionals in the United Kingdom. First staged in 1995, the show is the commercial cornerstone of the London Design Festival, with over 27,000 visitors to the show across 4 days in September; taking place at Olympia London. Visiting the award-winning show is a unique audience of architects, designers, retailers and developers, as well as multinational companies looking to source directly for their latest projects.
21st – 24th September 2017, Tent London, United Kingdom
Bartek Mejor draws inspiration from traditional handicrafts, modern technologies, and nature. Combining all these influences, he creates modern forms which are exceptionally tactile. His cut, wavy and irregular vessels constitute a new young voice in Polish ceramic design. Even though Mejor creates functional ceramics, it’s not the functionality of his objects that’s the most important to him. He considers form to be more important than function and creates objects that derive their strength from their artistic, nearly sculptural forms.
Mejor studied at the prestigious Royal College of Arts. In London, he also worked as an assistant at Daniel Reynolds Contemporary Ceramics for a year, which made him realise that his career path – he wanted to work with ceramics. He currently works with the renowned porcelain and crystal producer Vista Alegre and has worked as a consultant with producers such as Wedgewood and Royal Doulton. He also is head of ceramics design at the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.
Tent London is one of the largest and most popular venues of the London Design Week. Each year it hosts 500 exhibitors from 29 countries and is visited by over 25,000 visitors.
21 st– 24th September, London Design Fair, United Kingdom
Longstory is a Polish design studio that specialises in designing fabrics. In their own words:
Textile design interests us both in the context of contemporary design practices as well as the history of Polish fabrics. We are creating our own pattern collections. We received a Must Have Honourable Mention at the Łódź Design Festival. Our own screen printing workshop makes it possible for us to try out new patterns, experiment with different fabrics and creating prototypes. We work closely with fabric clothing and furniture producers.
Longstory plans to present a new collection of textiles – original patterns screen printed on cotton.
29th September – 1st November 2017, Berlin Alternative Fashion Week, Germany
Ola Bajer is a graduate of the International School of Fashion Design in Warsaw and the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. She is the founder of the brand BOLA. Her collections are regularly presented at Fashion Week Poland in Łódź and her shows are always among the most innovative and surprising.
Berlin Alternative Fashion Week is an event focused on presentations of young fashion brands that combine fashion with alternative culture and art. BAFW is an opportunity for up-and-coming fashion designers to reach an international audience and network.
29th September – 1st November 2017, Berlin Alternative Fashion Week, Germany
Doom 3000 is a project by Sylwia Rochala and Michał Niechaj, which made its debut at the Gombrod Ujra! competition for sustainable fashion in Budapest. Another one of their collections, which was a collision of deconstructed sportswear with classic tailoring traditions, was shown during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Central Europe. Their 2017 post-season collection is a mixture of counter-culture inspirations and anti-fashion.
The Let's Exhibit! programme was launched by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in 2014. Designers can apply for support in presenting their work at the most important design events and trade fairs all over the world. Thanks to such support, in 2014 and 2015 27 Polish designers and studios were able to present their work at numerous international events, including Milan Design Week, Clerkenwell Design Week in London, WantedDesign in New York, DMY Berlin, London Design Festival, Maison et Objet in Paris and Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. In 2016, 18 designers and studios were chosen to participate in the programme.
Participation in international trade fairs is an opportunity for designers, not only to present their work to the general public but also to network and establish contacts with industry professionals (curators, producers, distributors), to cooperate with international partners, as well as join the international exchange of ideas. Through showing presentations of young, creative, and innovative Polish designers, the Institute works to promote and strengthen the brand of Polish design worldwide.
Source: press materials, compiled by MKD, translated by NR, May 2017