Jakub Szczęsny. Polish Designs Polish Designers

At the exhibition we will be showing how architecture permeates design, and the remarkable things that can happen at their intersection. We will be taking a closer look at the micro-homes that were particularly popular in the pandemic period. We will be asking if, as a society, we really do need more and more space. Or maybe, for the common good, it is time we starting saying “no” to excessive consumption?

We are juxtaposing the one-of-a-kind Keret House and the replicable modular mini-homes (which can be adapted to individual needs) to raise the topic of minimalism and limitations as vital social values. There is an interesting tension between architecture and design—Jakub Szczęsny’s installations in the public space, intended to be architecture in action, are a kind of performance. All this is to turn attention to the social dimension of design.

Can design affect us, or the society of which we are a part? Designing a space, especially a public space, can we design relationships, change how users think and make them more conscious citizens? We will be seeking answers to all these questions alongside our guests, highlighting design as a tool to integrate society, improve the functionality of our surroundings, and take care of sustainable development.

The exhibition will also feature multimedia components, such as a film about the designers and a Polish/English catalogue.

Anna Śliwa is an art history PhD and literary scholar, and a diploma-carrying curator. She has finished post-diploma cultural management studies at the Warsaw School of Economics. She has run the Art Department of the Gdynia City Museum since 2014. She has curated and co-created numerous exhibitions tied to Pomeranian art, textile miniatures, design and architecture. An exhibition she co-curated, Glass, Metal, Details: Gdynia’s Architecture, took first place at the Historical Event of the Year 2016 competition and distinctions at the Sybilla 2017 competition. In 2018, she was nominated for the Pomeranian Storms for the Oskar Zięta: Polish Designs Polish Designers exhibition, in the ‘Discovery of the Year’ and ‘Event of the Year’ categories. The catalogue for this exhibition took the Honorary Mention at the 58th Polish Book Publishers’ Society Most Beautiful Book of the Year Competition 2017, and was a finalist at the Good Design 2019 competition. She has also written a book about visual perception in the work of Miron Białoszewski. She is a vice-president of the Gdańsk Branch of the Art Historians’ Association.