15. ŁDF - September edition guide

15. ŁDF - September edition guide

ŁDF2021 / BETTER 2.0 / 16-19.09.2021
programme: lodzdesign.com/ldf2021-en-gb/program
practical information: lodzdesign.com/ldf2021-en-gb/practical-information

It might have seemed that it couldn’t be BETTER after the May edition - but it could! On 16 September the BETTER 2.0 Łódź Design Festival will return for four days in a unique setting. Like before, we will present the projects at the Festival Centre at Tymienieckiego Street. We will offer visitors twenty exhibitions which will be available for free!

The first part of this year’s festival was prepared in May, in difficult pandemic conditions, and was titled BETTER. Using safe methods and glass exhibition pavilions located in various parts of the city, we presented the most important projects - make me! - innovations which may change the world; must have - the best Polish implementations and exhibitions commenting on the contemporary reality.

We decided to prepare the second edition, continuing our activities addressed primarily to the inhabitants of Łódź, but also to all people interested in the outstanding and world-changing design. The second edition of ŁDF 2021 is making a come-back to the presentation of exhibits in the well-known interiors of Art_Inkubator at 3 Tymienieckiego Street, says Michał Piernikowski, director of ŁDF, emphasizing that he is aware how much the festival audience missed this space: - That is why we are glad that, following the applicable restrictions, we will be able to invite everyone to the Festival Centre which we will fill with the most interesting projects and works of artists who want to change the world for the better.

Solving real problems

All exhibitions displayed as part of BETTER 2.0 will be available completely free of charge. We want to re-start the series of stories about design, reaching the widest possible audience. The September edition of the festival will foreshadow the changes the festival will undergo in the coming years. We want to contribute to the change in a way people talk about design, which should be based on scientific foundations and solve real problems of our everyday life. Therefore, a very important element of the upcoming activities will be a special study conducted in order to fill the gap in the scientific diagnosis of the times of lockdown and depict the changes in our lives caused by the fact of us being locked in our homes. The study entitled The quality of life during the pandemic, which was prepared by us in cooperation with the Question Mark Social Research Office and invited experts, was aimed at identifying the changes in our homes and the way we use them and how we perceive them. - Lockdown made many people aware that not only the visual aspect is important. It is very important how our homes smell or sound, how does it feel to breathe in them and whether we can be physically active in the space they offer. We will present the results of the study during the Saturday conference block - announces Aleksandra Kietla, the spokesperson for ŁDF.

Once again, we want to point out that design is not only an ornament and aesthetics, but it also solves important problems and is based on scientific foundations related to every area of our lives. Our programme is addressed to various age groups. Historical exhibitions devoted to Polish design encourage family visits. In this way, each guest will be able to discover the way things were designed over the past century from his or her own perspective. The exhibition entitled Elementarz polskiego designu [The Primer of Polish Design] by Ewa Solarz, presenting 100 years of Polish design through the prism of 100 items, will have an educational character. Those items will include: furniture, glass or porcelain, i.e. items commonly associated with design, but also less obvious items, such as: typefaces, logos, children’s toys, a locomotive, neon lights or even a glider and a motor scooter. The exhibition also forms a bridge between the past and the present, showing the artistic output of Polish design through the achievements of contemporary Polish graphics - it presents 100 works of designers, interpreted by 25 excellent illustrators.

Ewa Solarz is also one of the curators of the Elementarz polskiej kultury [The Primer of Polish Culture] which will be used by us to draw the attention of the ŁDF audience to the unique place that Polish artists occupy on the world map of culture of the last hundred years. At the exhibition, we will see 44 works created after 1918, interpreted by 11 contemporary Polish illustrators, which gained great international renown, are representative for a given artist and which, according to the authors of the exhibition, are simply worth knowing. They form a kind of a cheat sheet, a hint about what artists are worth noticing, in what circumstances their most important works were created and why it is those works that have an impact on the world culture to date.

The experiment space: contingencies, item tracking, boundaries of the form and matter

An important part of the second edition of this year’s festival will be the presentation of new solutions proposed by young designers. We want to give students and lecturers a chance to confront their ideas with the market and social reality. They will deal with topics such as working at home, greenery in cities or the use of wastes. - As a result, their works will be able to reach a wide audience, which is particularly important in the design industry. This is a chance to get feedback and delight the audience. We want those projects to come out from academic studios and we want people to actually start talking about them in various groups. How students will learn and what they will design will affect all of us in the future - emphasizes Piernikowski.

During BETTER 2.0, the results of students’ and their teachers’ activities will be presented at as many as seven exhibitions. SYNTEZA [SYNTHESIS] 2021 - Happy Accidents is an inter-university project whose purpose is to show that even in a well-thought-through and logical creative process, unforeseen accidents often happen, which, if noticed, can serve as fresh and original solutions. It is an international exhibition presenting student works and projects created by teachers from many scientific centres in Poland and abroad.
The exhibition Follow the object, prepared by the Faculty of Design of the Academy of Art in Szczecin, looks at human behaviour resulting from the use of various items. Its creators decided to “investigate” selected phenomena and objects, and have a closer look at the contemporary world through their analysis. The goal is not only to redesign the well-known solutions, but, above all, the development of the thinking and design process, the debate about consumption and production. The space for reflection was created by: rituals of passage related to saying goodbye to a deceased person and social rituals establishing maturity; speculum and photography as symbols of visual culture; ambiguous matter abundant in meaning - milk and coal; a mask symbolizing the changeability of identity and rebellion, and a chair - a prestigious item which is a democratic object at the same time.
The B+R_UAP od idei do produktu [B+R_UAP from idea to the product] exhibition presents items from the area of research and development, implemented by interdisciplinary teams consisting of professors, lecturers, assistants, laboratory workers and doctoral students of the University of Arts in Poznań, as part of cooperation with businesses supported by the European Union. The University of Arts also prepared the Przestrzeń co-workingu 19. Edycja PE-P. [Co-working 19 Space. PE-P Edition] exhibition. The exhibition is a result of the work of six teams of students looking for new solutions, designs and equipment for co-working space. They developed new functionalities based largely on the freedom of use of seats and collections of co-working furniture.
On the other hand, the exhibition from the Graduation Show series is already a tradition of the School of Form, since the first graduates defended their bachelor’s theses there. This year, at the presentation, we will see a selection of works of the last two years’ students. Graduates’ projects answer the questions which we all ask ourselves: about the future of the planet, education, relationships. They tell family stories, explore the boundaries of form and matter. They care about others. To create the works, dozens of interviews, research projects and experiments were conducted.
The BETTER 2.0 programme also offers space for foreign universities - at the Taste the Waste exhibition, students of Tomáš Bata University in Zlín will present their works. It is a continuation of the exhibition presented to the Polish audiences ŁDF: an experimental concept of paper furniture (Made in Paper in 2018) and a reflection on the process of contemporary food production and consumption (FoodPrint in 2019). The latest project encourages people to “taste the waste”. Students, in collaboration with companies which donated their industrial waste, designed functional products, facing material constraints and working to minimize the environmental impact of their creations.

The exhibition entitled Skuteczne zdziwienie [Effective astonishment] will also be related to the challenges faced by the contemporary education. We liberate thinking, which means that this is an original and unique proposal of a holistic approach to learning how to read and write by preschool children, derived from the cognitive and constructivist concept of the child and the learning process. The project is addressed to children and their guardians who understand that learning is not about fear and duress, but about spontaneous and joyful learning about the world.

Necessary solutions, luxury projects, home items

A special place in the BETTER 2.0 programme is held by Z Polski [From Poland], a presentation of items of Polish design selected by the organizers of the Łódź Design Festival. Many producers, whose works will be presented at the Festival Centre, are among the winners of the must have awards organized by ŁDF. The exhibition will feature projects of such Polish brands as DEKORAMI, Square Drop, Splot, Wood Republic, The Most, Foonka, Hanczar Studio, Emanui, Un’common, Tar, Dondé, Elementuj, Borcas, Embassy Interiors, VANK, Zaczyn, Miuform, Bozzetti, In Wood We Trust and Enovio.

The mission which we set for ourselves when organizing ŁDF is to present design in its entire rich spectrum - from essential solutions to stunning and luxurious designs. Aesthetic impressions will certainly be offered to the guests by the exhibition of one of the best contemporary designers, Oskar Zięta. He is an artist whose works are multidimensional and respond to the various challenges of the contemporary times. The INFLATALES. Stalowe opowieści Oskara Zięty [Steel Tales by Oskar Zięta] exhibition is an example of thinking about design in a responsible and circular manner. The steel and aluminium used by Zięta to prepare the exhibition are materials which can be processed many times. The projects belonging to the exhibition arouse admiration with their uniqueness, they become objects of fascination and desire. They will include works such as the lightest ecological chair in the world - Ultraleggera. This is a preview of one of the most visually-attractive exhibitions at ŁDF in recent years.

This way of telling about the objects which surround us will also be a part of the exhibition entitled Przedmioty domowe. Rzeczy w życiu człowieka [Home objectsThings in Human Life], prepared by Aleksandra Koperda from Hygge Blog. What does an object represent in everyday world of a man? How do we contribute value to it which keeps it alive? A collection of everyday objects, selected by 15 characters from the book entitled Odwiedziny. Rozmowy o dizajnie [A visit. Talks about design] are 35 exhibits functioning in a home context, having both subjective and objective value. Each of the items has its own meaning, perceived differently by the owners and historians of design whose perspectives ate combined by this exhibition.

An explosion of multidirectional artistry and a psycho-geographical collage made of urban typography

The exhibition Kobiety siłą, kobiety pięknem, kobiety w designie! [Women in Power, Women in Beauty, Women in Design!], displayed in two places at the Festival Centre, will be unique. We will present 11 designs prepared by designers from the Design Department of Agnella and graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The exhibition will be composed of carpets which are a real explosion of multidirectional artistry, showing how great the power of the female element is, demonstrating that it covers infinite layers of extraordinary visions and fantastic concepts.

During BETTER 2.0, together with the Łódź photographer, Dawid Furkot, we will prepare an installation called Mesydż [Message], which is a kind of psycho-geographical collage composed of the elements of urban typography. - Have you ever tried to think about how many cameras record your image when you go for your bread rolls in the morning? Who and how manages those recordings and where are they stored? Really speaking, what is public space and how does it relate to us as individuals?, asks Jo Jurga, adding that Furkot does not provide us with ready-made answers: “But it asks insightful questions and forces us to reflect. In his photos, the chaos of Polish cities, old signs, damaged neon lights, façades battered with time and the inventiveness of individual residents, are dressed in harmony and order.

Using the 100% LoveOriginal slogan, the #loveOriginal Association will present a selection of items created by artists and designers at its exhibition. They convey their personality and talent, they express themselves, create their own trends, draw on tradition and enjoy materials, writing the history of functional design. In this way, the #loveOriginal Association wants to once again appeal to the Polish consumer to choose original products and, at the same time, to boycott counterfeits in the interior design. - Our mission is to promote ethical consumer behaviour. It is them that form the basis for the free, creative work of designers, they contribute to the development of material culture and the preservation of heritage, argues Berenike Milkowska-Milbrodt from the #loveOriginal Association. The exhibition will be presented in two parts - at the Festival Centre and on the ground floor of the Manufaktura shopping mall in Łódź, a partner of ŁDF.

In other places, too

There will also be festival exhibitions in the city space. From Friday, the Dom Literatury [House of Literature] in Łódź will host the BOVSKA exhibition. Magda Grabowska-Wacławek, known under the artistic pseudonym BOVSKA, is an illustrator, designer, musician, singer, composer, and songwriter. Grabovska designs and illustrates various forms of applied graphics, such as books, posters, covers, CD albums, murals, patterns and many others, so everyone will find something interesting at her original exhibition.
On the premises of Manufaktura, on the fence next to the Museum of the City of Łódź, we will present the LEM project, implemented by the National Centre for Culture on the occasion of the celebration of the Year of Lem, to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of the most outstanding Polish and European writers, essayists, futurologists and philosophers of the 20th century, whose novels have been translated to over 40 languages and have reached a total circulation of over 30 million copies. The exhibition is formed by signboards promoting the works of the Master through the works of contemporary artists who, especially for the needs of this project, have artistically interpreted ten of Lem’s books.
Quite close, in the PURO hotel, the guests will be able to see the presentation of Anna Orska’s works at the exhibition entitled Nowa estetyka - odpowiednie projektowanie, odpowiedzialność projektanta [New Aesthetics - Responsible Design, Responsible Designer]. The designer points to the fact that since production will not disappear, due to the omnipresent domination of the “buy-use-throw away” model, companies producing clothes and accessories are among those who have the most on their conscience. She herself shows the direction of changes, being one of the pioneers of upcycling in Polish jewellery. She has created jewellery from items such as lead toy soldiers, old coins and clock mechanisms, tableware from her family home, and she has even used electronic and car parts, trying to give them a second life and a noble form.

I can see you, my man

In response to your requests, during BETTER 2.0, we will once again show the exhibition whose première was in May at the Re:Medium Gallery. Słownik kultury łódzkiej/ludz-kiej [The Dictionary of Łódź/Human Culture] is a project aimed at enriching the dictionary of illustrations with new entries documenting Łódź as seen through the eyes of the best Polish graphic artists. At the Festival Centre, 14 large-format illustrations will be displayed relating to the inhabitants of Łódź, words from the local language, currently used by those living in the Łódź agglomeration. On this occasion, we have prepared a surprise for the festival audience - everyone who follows us on Facebook and Instagram will be able to draw a special “Łódź selfie” using the festival photofilter!

A unique event covered by the BETTER 2.0 programme will be the première of an architectural radio play for children, prepared in cooperation with Archizo and entitled Widzę Ciebie mój człowieku - mądrość dobra w każdym wieku. O sztuce projektowania LEPIEJ. [I Can See You, My Man - Wisdom Good at All Ages. BETTER about the art of design]. Its characters, nice siblings - Nela and Felek - discover the world of architecture by wandering around unusual places on Earth. Using a unique “pencil for the world”, they go through a magical door leading into the embrace of architectural gems. After a trip to Paris and Warsaw, Nela and Felek get to Łódź. But this is not just an ordinary journey and a story of Łódź monuments. This new radio play is a search for an answer to the question of what wise design is. It is drawing listeners’ attention to a need of creating a human-friendly space and to the aspects accompanying this process. 

The presentations of our long-term partners will also be special. Interprint will present an innovative, vertical TOTEM spatial form, displaying the company’s decors. Maja Palczewska, an author of, among others, a beautiful installation which the festival audience could see in the exhibition pavilion that was located in May at the entrance to OFF Piotrkowska, is responsible for its design. In turn, Porta will encourage you to OTWÓRZ DESIGN [OPEN DESIGN] by presenting doors from the “4 elements” collection, which is the result of fascination with beauty, combined with quality and functionality.

But that’s not all! At the Festival Centre, you will be able to visit the stand of the Bookoff art bookstore, and in the courtyard of Art_Inkubator, a YADAY foodtruck will be parked for you, serving dishes inspired by Israeli, Arabic and Jewish cuisine.

Did we mention that admission to all exhibitions is free of charge?


The organization of the Łódź Design Festival is possible thanks to the support of the Łódź Event Centre and the City of Łódź. ŁDF is co-financed by the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sport from the Culture Promotion Fund.


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