Enrolment for the next edition of the international make me! contest for young designers organised by the Łódź Design Festival has started. The winners will be announced during the upcoming edition of the festival to be launched in May 2021. The prizes awarded will amount to EUR 13 400!
Since 2008, the make me! contest for young designers organised by the Łódź Design Festival has been attracting the most talented designers from all over the world. During the 12th edition, almost 2000 contestants submitted their works, out of which 235 were selected and presented at the final exhibitions. The most important goal of make me! is to anticipate upcoming trends, promote bold ideas and support young designers. Finalists of previous editions highlight the opportunities they gained by participating in the contest, including the possibility to make a name for oneself in the design community and promotion through numerous publications or further exhibitions.
An effort worth undertaking
The last edition of the contest saw as many as 268 submissions from 23 countries, and 22 projects made it to the finals. The works of the finalists were presented at a unique exhibition in special glazed display pavilions. In the final round, the jury distinguished as many as six projects from six different countries. The special Interprint Award of EUR 1 100, funded by INTERPRINT Polska, went to Francesca Pievani and Alice Zantedeschi (Italy) from the Fili Pari start-up, for “The lightness of marble”, a project of a new textile made of waste powder from marble processing.
The third PARADYŻ AWARD of EUR 2 200 was divided between three projects. The first one was "Anomals" by Einav Ben-Asher (Israel), a series of toys including five animals, all of which have a dominant feature representing a certain anomaly. The toys serve as tools to educate children and encourage acceptance and empathy. The second one, "Ignis" by Tobias Trübenbacher (Germany), was a special device transforming heat into electricity and storing the latter to provide light and power when needed. The solution helps solve the problem of sustainable access to electricity faced by people globally. The third distinguished project was "na balkon!" (“For the balcony!”) by Helena Wierzbowska and Agnieszka Cieszanowska (Poland), a set of furniture and accessories created to meet the needs of city dwellers with small balconies who appreciate functionality and are open to modern style solutions.
The second PARADYŻ AWARD, worth EUR 4 400, was presented to Seok-hyeon Yoon (South Korea) for "Ott / Another paradigmatic ceramic" – an alternative method of glazing ceramics using a natural Korean resin, a solution for the problem of hard-to-recycle glass components in glazing, which simply evaporates in the "Ott" furnace when heated to high temperatures. This allows the once-fired and glazed clay to be reused in production, which is not possible with other existing methods.
The first PARADYŻ AWARD, in the amount of EUR 6 600, was given to Eléa Nouraud, James Dart and Lola Buades (France) from the OnMateria design collective. They won the make me! 2020 contest owing to the "The Green Box" project, a compostable set of cosmetic utensils for a hotel bathroom, made of ecological agricultural waste, which after use, by means of an industrial composting method, will be utilised to generate green energy.
‘Looking at the entire tourism sector, the hundreds of thousands of hotels around the world, and all those disposable items, you suddenly realize that millions of those are thrown away every day, and the true scale of this phenomenon comes to your mind. If there is a project that can solve this at least partially, it means this is an effort worth undertaking’ this is how Professor Jerzy Porębski, representative of the make me! jury and head of the design studio at the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, explained the verdict.
A need for breakthrough solutions
‘Today's designers are more and more confronted with the fact that they are not aware of the impact of their ideas on the ecosystem. We have reached a point where there are more questions, problems, and challenges than answers. There is an urgent need for change, which is why, as a festival, we have decided to contribute to the search,’ says Michał Piernikowski, director of the Łódź Design Festival, and emphasizes that the event has always focused on conceptual works, new designs and products: ‘Societies need a space to test the widest range of possible scenarios and choose those that are most advantageous to them. This festival is about providing its audience and partners with the opportunity to test a diversity of solutions, from personalized, product-based activities to major systemic shifts’.
This is the idea behind this year's edition – a festival that is a space for experiment and debate. Its creators constantly remind that we live in a designed world – knowingly or not, for better or worse, but we design it constantly and it is up to our common actions what this world will be like. For this reason, the Łódź Design Festival creators are convinced that the make me! contest will become one of the most important parts of the event. ‘At the very heart of what we do is the desire to find smart, ground-breaking solutions which really serve people and communicate these solutions to a wide range of audiences. As part of the contest, we are looking for projects that can solve significant contemporary challenges, tackle problems such as the climate crisis or resource depletion. We are searching for new topics and want to show how true innovation comes about. We do realize that the world probably doesn't need any more chairs. However, it needs designs that provide new values changing the way we think, changing the way objects are. This is what we want to look at through make me!’, declares Michał Piernikowski.
A stepping stone to further development
‘The make me! contest is in many ways unique. The absence of categories and contest tasks allows us to gather ideas from various areas. The type of submitted work depends only on the designer’, emphasizes Katarzyna Ludwisiak, coordinator of the contest, and adds: ‘make me! allows ideas that in a distinctive, sometimes daring, sometimes subtle way respond to contemporary challenges to come to life. The opportunity to show a project to a wider audience is extremely important for young artists. It reassures them that what they do makes sense, and provides plenty of motivation for further research and work’.
The contest is open to participants aged 20-35 years. You can submit to make me! either a visualization of a model, a prototype, or a finished product. The design should be described in a detailed and interesting way and accompanied by additional materials required by the organizers. Before entering the contest, please read its rules and regulations at makeme.lodzdesign.com. The works will be evaluated in two stages by an international jury. Due to the open public presentation of the designs at an exhibition and networking with experts, make me! can be an indispensable stepping stone to your further professional development. The best projects will receive prizes from a pool of EUR 13 400, including a special Interprint Award of EUR 2 200 from its sponsor, INTERPRINT Polska. The deadline for submissions is 15.03.2021 at 23:59.
The organisation of Łódź Design Festival is possible thanks to the support of the Łódź Event Center and the City of Łódź.