The New Generation
Gdynia, al. Zwycięstwa 96/98
What if instead of producing new goods, we’d focus on how they are used and recycled? This isn’t a fiction, but rather a new direction that leads us away from a linear system towards a circular economy that inevitably changes the way we think about the role of the designer and the design process.
Rather than focusing on a single product outcome, new and existing designers should focus on the whole production cycle, including consumption, utilization and afterlife.
The ways in which products are used, distributed and discarded should be within the designers’ scope. The design discipline is not limited to shaping an object. It entails foreseeing how it will mature, when and how it will break and how it can be repaired. Alternatively, how its’ materials can be reclaimed or how the objects itself can be reused.
Above all, the new generation of designers is expected to design in an inclusive way — including users with various disabilities, (also neurodivergent people) sensitivities, different capabilities and resources. The end-goal of designing a fantastic product regardless of the price is not the objective, but rather about designing an object or service that caters to and improves the public needs and is accessible to all.
When looking at students’ work, I continuously ask myself what sustainable growth really means today and how to practically approach it. Shall we balance it, show it down or radically change direction and seek alternatives? I’m eager to see the students’ ideas.
The New Generation exhibition is a selection of the most interesting graduation projects from three design school in Poland : School of Form in Warsaw, Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk and Polytechnics in Koszalin (Architecture and Design Department).
Agata Nowotny, curator of the exhibition, underlines:
“I’m observing the way todays’ graduates deal with emerging design challenges. How accurate are they in foreseeing the future needs of not only individuals but producers and service providers? Are they able to be and stay ahead of the times or are they just reacting with ad hoc solutions to contemporary issues?
I value works that discover invisible problems or those that find new perspectives and solutions for well-known challenges. I appreciate solid research that informs the projects. Superficial projects cater more to ego or expression while real designs have the ability to observe and draw conclusions. I appreciate practical creativity because one has to find innovative solutions for identified challenges. In students’ work I search for freshness and novelty — I’m intrigued by their perspectives and ability to see things differently from what is visible in the mainstream.
What’s more, I don’t believe that student work has to be ready for market implementation. The educational realm is not limited by distribution and market realities but the work has to be rooted in and addressing real insights and needs. I appreciate creators who, instead of being purely reactive, are able to foresee future events or needs and find game-changing solutions".