The Exhibition Polished Up. Design from Poland is a continuation of the Unpolished project, presented successfully in the years 2009-2013 in 20 venues in Europe and Asia, i.a. in the Design Museums in Cologne and Helsinki, the Museum of Modern Art in Bucharest, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Budapest and numerous design festivals. The Unpolished exhibition focused on design fundamentals of a generation raised in the times of political and economical transformation. Young designers decided to design, produce and promote their products on their own, independently. Most often it were short series of products manufactured single-handedly or in collaboration with craftsmen and small factories.
Five years later, these designers and their younger colleagues have managed to successfully cooperate with the industry, implementing their designs into production or professionally manufacturing them on their own - a sign of their design abilities, but also their acquaintance with technologies, ability to cooperate in teams and comprehension of the market.
The cooperation between the designer and the producer, the conscious decision to take the risk of launching a product addressed to a specific group of consumers, was exactly the criterium we applied in our selection of exhibits. Although the target group is often an elite, and although the chosen products are far from being mass-produced, these objects prove that Polish market is changing and ripening. The exhibition is also proof that there are numerous fascinating implementations, which are the fruit of collaboration between Polish designers and Polish production companies. Not all objects were produced in big factories, some of them are still produced in limited series by the authors. However, the designers who decided to manage the production process know how to approach it, and have sufficient knowledge to distribute them.
Polished Up is a subjective, curatorial choice, which aims to present the current situation of design in Poland. This is only a fragment of a bigger picture, but, in our view, a one which is significant and worth attention.
During five years, one thing has not changed: Polish designers still keep it simple. They have a sense of humour. They still appreciate natural materials, and flirt with craftsmanship and tradition.
CURATORS: Agnieszka Jacobson-Cielecka, Paweł Grobelny
24. 9. 2015