A Thing for Art. Design in Kraków

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  • Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Late autumn traditionally brings myriad events exploring the latest trends in design. It becomes clearer each year that designers are increasingly concerned about how their work will affect future generations.

This year’s fifth edition of “A Thing for Art. Design in Kraków”, organised by the Department of Culture and National Heritage of the Municipal Office of Kraków, focuses on the concepts of zero waste and reuse, promoting an environmentally-friendly life philosophy. We should all strive to only use products which do not pollute the environment, and reuse and recycle materials and packaging to give them a new lease of life. Such design concepts are driven by changing consumer demands.

The exhibition Inflatales at the Dystans Gallery (14 Św. Krzyża Street) presents bionic utility sculptures made at the Zieta Design Studio in Wrocław using state-of-the-art. technologies to optimise their appearance and minimise waste and energy.

The UFO Art Gallery (13 Krakowska Street) draws our attention to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. As we find ourselves overwhelmed by objects and products, many utterly unnecessary, the exhibition Great Patch invites us to take a long, hard look at ourselves to re-evaluate our relationship with the rest of the world.

The Huta Sztuki Gallery (C.K. Norwid Cultural Centre, 5 Górali Estate) commissioned ten printmakers to examine the rapid – and frequently painful – changes affect - ing all spheres of our lives. The result is an exhibition of ten posters exploring the mostimportant aspects perceived by the artists.

The exhibition Marian Sigmund –Designer of Nowa Huta at the Kombinator Club (25 Szkolne Estate) explores works by this legendary interior designer. Marian Sigmund designed the fixtures of business premises at Centralny Square, the offices and halls of the Administrative Centre of the Lenin Steelworks, and the interiors of the Ludowy Theatre and the “Gigant” food hall at the Willowe Estate. The exhibition is accompanied by a specially prepared guided tour of selected premises. By introducing the iconic post-war designer, the organisers note the fact that Nowa Huta was originally constructed following the principles of an ideal city. “When the district was being built, concepts like good access to local goods and services were seen as a priority,” add the organisers. Local residents have praised the district’s extensive green spaces and accessibility of schools and playgrounds.

The project Smoke and Souls by the Henryk Foundation is an exhibition and performance at Stary Kleparz, “taking us on a journey to the past intertwining with the future”. “The exhibition presents works by Cracovian artists referring to artefacts found in the time capsule held at the tower of the Redemptorist Church in Kraków, to revolutions quashed by capitalism, and to consumption, overproduction and complex desires. The title refers to 19th-century terms for numbering, with smoke representing buildings and souls –individuals,” explain the organisers.

The Post Office project by the Liberty Art. Foundation recalls the heyday of the building at 2 Wielopole Street. The site was home to Kraków’s post office for decades, but recent closures of traditional spaces mean the city is losing one of its iconic destinations. The foundation wants to give Cracovians a final opportunity to explore the fascinating history of this location. Participating artists Joanna Bernat and Anna Sermak engage in an artistic intervention by combining traditional techniques with street art and state-of the-art technologies in the stylish interiors of the former Post Office Club. The exhibition will be accompanied by a discussion on the building’s architecture and design, such as its beautiful polychromies, and the social role it played for many years.

As usual, care for the environment is the tenet of Cracow Design Days 2022 organised by Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design this year held under the banner “Green Design. In Harmony with Nature”. A Thing for Art is more than just exhibitions – there is also a wide range of meetings, workshops, guided tours of the city and fairs, all of which focus on ecology and sustainable development. Don’t miss the Design Kids project. Miarologia hosts architectural workshops: leaders will show children How to conjure up eco-friendly transport and green spaces in a city at the Centre of Quality Systems of the Kraków University of Technology. The Krakow Glassworks (3 Lipowa Street) reveals traditional manufacturing methods. Young participants will learn about glass recycling and build colourful eco-trees from glass bottles and other waste materials.

We will learn about the ambitious visions for Kraków’s development from the turn of the 20th century during the lecture Kraków 1910. Garden City at the Kraków Cultural Forum which also hosts the annual Vintage and Retro Kogel Mogel Fairs. Can the ring shape of the traditional Cracovian obwarzanek reflect the concept of socjety working in concert to meet our needs while not overstretching the Earth’s natural resources? The question will be explored during a discussion organised by the Spółdzielnia Ogniwo collective. It invites participants to its headquarters at 11a Smolki Street for conversations on topics such as experimental and speculative design (how should the design process be structured to prevent superfluous production?), as well as questions such as whether we should abandon making paper books as part of the zero waste philosophy. The Photon Foundation hosts the webinar Does digital mean zero waste? Eco-friendly and ethical online tools and digital wellbeing, revealing the extent of the carbon footprint we generate by using devices such as computers and smartphones without even realising it. These are just a few selected topics of meetings and workshops introducing important environmental issues society is indifferent to, usually simply due to a lack of knowlegde... This lack of awareness and numerous distortions in issues concerning the environment are reflected by topics of discussions prepared by the “Otwarte Mieszkania”Association: From Helplessness to Agency and Green Lies.

You’ll find the full programme of A Thing for Art on the event’s Facebook page. Note: registration required for certain events! (Dorota Dziunikowska)

The text was published in the 3/2022 issue of the “Kraków Culture” quarterly.




  • Organiser: Department of Culture and National Heritage of the Municipal Office of Kraków
  • sztukadorzeczy
Kraków Travel
Kids in Kraków
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