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"Polish design is living its best time"

01 June, 2017

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Date of Publication: 01 June, 2017
Interview with Alicja Gackowska, a service design consultant in Warsaw. We caught up with her to learn more about her work, her point of view on Polish design and on its potential in one of the fastest growing markets in the furnishing design sector in Europe.

Hi Alicja. A few years ago, with the exhibition entitled UNPOLISHED, a team of Polish designers went on a tour around Europe with some works of great artistic quality. According to you, can we speak of Polish design? Are there any recurring and differentiating characteristics?    

I think that Polish design has existed for a long time, it was just invisible to the industry. The true revolution that has taken place in recent years in Poland is the change in how designers' work is perceived by manufacturing companies. Over the last few years, Polish companies have taken over the initiative and created brands based on close collaboration with national designers. They develop innovative ideas and technologies that were previously just concepts. This collaboration makes both Polish companies and designers recognizable on the international market. I don’t know whether we can speak about a Polish design style but I’m sure it’s living its best moment right now.

The same goes for service design, which has never been before so popular among Polish companies. Service companies like banks, insurance and transportation companies are nowadays very sensitive to the needs of customers and users. They are willing to work with designers by changing their approach from market-centered to user-centered. I think this shift is visible in everyday life in Poland.

 

In your work as a designer, are the most requested brands national or international?  

The Polish market is currently one of the fastest developing in Europe. Polish furniture brands are becoming similar to international ones in terms of design and quality. Design products from Italy, the Netherlands or Scandinavia are very popular but, in my opinion, there’s a new group of conscious clients keen to choose Polish design. Companies like Iker, Comforty or Rust are present at the biggest international furniture design fairs. They collaborate with Polish designers on a daily basis, manufacturing competition-winning products.

In fact, also national design events like Gdynia Design Days, Łódź Design Festival or Poland Design Festival promote young Polish designers by organising a series of exhibitions and accompanying conference meetings.

 

In general, Poland is currently experiencing a period of economic, social and artistic revival. How is this evolution impacting on the sector and on your profession?

The economic and social changes that have been happening in Poland over the last few years have brought a kind of “design awareness”. TV interior design shows, home decorating magazines and design fairs have made this subject very popular and, most importantly, accessible. More and more people are choosing to hire interior designers when decorating their apartment. Small fashion design companies produce and sell their products. Design is no longer something exclusive that only a few can afford.

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