Harbour Farming, evening view
review

What can we expect at this year's edition of Gdynia Design Days? Gdynia Design Days, a festival focused on searching design solutions to contemporary challenges

Gdynia Design Days, a festival focused on searching design solutions to contemporary challenges, will be launched on 2 July. Empasea, the theme of this edition, brings together the threads taken by the organisers in previous years with a completely new perspective – the context of the Baltic Sea and water basins. Empasea is an translation of polish slogan Współmorze, which is an neologism constructed from two words. Współ/empa reffering to empathy and togetherness. The other part refers to local context – sea/morze. What will happen during the nine festival days?

Gdynia Design Days
Gdynia Design Days
Gdynia Design Days
Gdynia Design Days

What themes will be discussed by the exhibitions organised as part of Gdynia Design Days 2022?

About a dozen exhibitions at the Gdynia Design Days demonstrate how many challenges designers need to face these days and, most of all, how many ways there are to respond to these challenges. This polyphony of the design world is crucial nowadays. You can find information about all exhibitions on this year’s festival map below.

Algae (by Blanka Byrwa) – If we don’t know what the sea is hiding, how can we protect it? The curator will present the effects of her research aimed at studying the resources hiding in the Polish sea.

Baltic Farming (Paulina Grabowska, Oliwia Rybczyńska) – Can we grow edible plants in salt water? The exhibition is the outcome of the search for alternative cultivation methods which are more sustainable than traditional agriculture.

Harbour Farming, evening view
Harbour Farming, evening view

Multi-Identity (Izabela Bołoz) is an exhibition which touches upon the issue of searching for one’s roots and traditions in the contemporary multicultural and migrating society.

Possible Reality.  The Wisdom of Disappearing Nature (Agata Magdalena Nowak, Paweł Nowak, Katarzyna Drożdżal, Paulina Urbańska-Kaczmarczyk) is about inter-species communication and cooperation between all living creatures in line with speculative design rules.

Waiting for Delivery (Agata Nowak) refers to the situation of crisis affecting supply chains. The pandemic highlighted the issues  we have been aware of for years, emphasising that global supply chains are in need of a revision.

The Story of One Kettle. Future Lab by Ergodesign  (Ergodesign) contests a popular view that plastic is pure evil, and encourages us to reflect on the ways to gradually introduce it onto circulation, so that ultimatelythe kettle of the future is not a threat to planet Earth.

EkoEksperymentarium (Mamy Projekt) proposes to search for  ways to save energy, water, and to reduce waste production. It is a set of simple rules anyone can apply in their daily existence.

Young For Start Line / ELLE Decoration (Małgorzata Szczepańska) is the outcome of this year’s competition whose leitmotif is “Design at the borderline of the past and the present times.” New technologies, modern solutions and materials often allow us to discover anew something whose germ, prototype or idea cropped up years ago. What fascinates, puzzles and delights designers in the designs from the past? 

Sand Light by alien and monkey
Sand Light by alien and monkey
Sand Light by alien and monkey
Sand Light by alien and monkey
Sand Light by alien and monkey
Sand Light by alien and monkey

New Generation (Agata Nowotny, Justyna Matysiak, Daria Bolewicla, Arkadiusz Szwed). What if we could focus on using and processing goods instead of manufacturing new ones? It is not fiction – it is a new direction for action, entailing a  departure from linear production towards circular economy and a change in the role of the designer.

The Sea of Ideas – PROTO TYPY (Tabanda, Mozi). PROTO TYPY is a place which integrates the creative energy of local designers. It is a community of people living at the seaside, constituted by a mixture of various creative spheres, specialists and technologies. 

Ghost Nets – from Waste to Wear (Experyment Science Centre and Ghost Diving Foundation). Fishing nets which are torn off as a result of an unfortunate accident and drift away into the depths of the sea are called ghost nets. They don’t need to remain an unnecessary waste – after they are pulled out from the sea, they can become a source of recyclable material used for the production of numerous everyday objects.

Clay 3D (Design Alive). In the modernist interior of Wincent Villa visitors will have a chance to see a combination of tradition with 3D technologies in the form of ceramics manufactured by Mozi studio. The exhibition of clay projects from this Gdynia-based studio includes utility objects which were created as a result of main combining traditional pottery methods and 3D printing technology. 

Multi-sensory Installation (Design Alive) proves that design can be experienced with all senses. “Design Alive”, together with Labra, a Polish family brand, have arranged an engaging multi-sensory installation made of lamps produced in cooperation with the designer Kama Mucha. The idea behind the exhibition is to show  that re-using post-production waste  is possible, and to raise awareness of plastic bottles being a potential recyclable material,  not just another element polluting our planet.

Find out more about this year’s exhibitions here.

Swine, Selffridges
Swine, Selffridges

What is on the festival agenda?

Lectures and discussions have always been an integral part of Gdynia Design Days and this will not be different this year. Here are some of the topics which will be discussed as a part of this edition.

During two festival days, events will be available online in English. This is how you will be able to take part in a discussion and a lecture on 2 July, the first day of the festival. The first point on the agenda will be an expert panel discussion on this year’s theme – Empasea. The invited guests will analyse the topic in detail and consider the values entailed by the slogan. The next point will be an opening lecture of Gdynia Design Days 2022 delivered by Lisa Lang.

On 7 July, an opportunity will be provided to listen to the English version of events whose topics will revolve around the New European Bauhaus Initiative, aimed at counteracting the climate crisis by supporting grass-roots activities and cooperation between specialists in numerous fields. Architecture and urban planning responding to the new environmental challenges will become the main focus . What is fundamental here is designing for all residents and promoting inclusivity. During Gdynia Desing Days, the issue will be approached from three perspectives. The first one will be provided during a lecture by Karen van Luttervelt who will discuss how design affects the world surrounding us. The second point of view will be presented by a lecture on specific housing development projects implemented with respect for local traditions and architecture, and the needs of local communities. The day will be closed by a discussion with a leitmotif of Design for All.

Seaglass
Seaglass
Seaglass
Seaglass
Seaglass
Seaglass

All events on the agenda will be available live to the public. A part of them will be available online to reach those who will not be able to visit Gdynia. Events in English will only be available  via our website, in the GDD stage (Scena GDD) tab. For the full agenda, visit the GDD website.

A festival entering the urban space

Those who decide to visit Gdynia during the festival days will have a chance to encounter a number of actions, even while sightseeing in the city centre. First of all, a vast share of the exhibitions will be available to the audience in various locations in the city centre. Secondly, Polish speakers can take part in guided tours of  Gdynia Design Days exhibitions. In addition, modernist walks around the city will be organised in Polish and Ukrainian. English speakers will not be disappointed: all exhibition will have descriptions in English.

Gdynia Design Days, photo: Michał Algebra
Gdynia Design Days, photo: Michał Algebra

Use our online guide.

Although this year –  after two previous editions of the festival held in the conditions imposed by the pandemic – the festival is returning to events with an audience, some of the measures implemented during the past two years will still remain in place. One of them is the GDD guide, which has been the source of matter-of-fact information since 2020. It lists all exhibitions and projects, together with descriptions and photo materials. Articles related to the theme of a given edition are an additional asset. This year’s exhibitions will be available in the guide from 2 July.

Join us online and offline! See you on 2-10 July in Gdynia and on www.gdyniadesigndays.eu

Gdynia Design Days
Gdynia Design Days

About The Author

Olga
Łojewska

Olga Łojewska holds an undergraduate degree in Politics and Philosophy attained at London School of Economics. Currently, she is preparing to further pursue her studies at a master's course in social sciences and humanities. She is interested in contemporary literature, urban sociology, psychoanalysis, and architecture.

This might interest you