Exkursion Warschau 5

Excursion Warsaw

Lorenz Andexer & Matthias Pöschl,

At the beginning of the 5th semester the students of the Communication Major were on an excursion in Warsaw, Poland. An unusual destination for designers, but all the more interesting because not everything is perfect and hip as in the big design capital Berlin – there are real problems.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening to the West, Warsaw was flooded by a wave of wild capitalism. There hae been advantages and disadvantages, but the public sphere changed particularly dramatically. Chaotic, gaudy and colourful advertising was suddenly to be seen everywhere and destroyed the cityscape. Especially young designers tried to establish new rules for the communication of advertising and brands in order to "clean up" the public space. We were very impressed by the commitment of the people when it came to redesigning the public space.

In the Poster Museum Wilanów numerous posters from Cuba, the former Czechoslovakia and Poland of the 60s and 70s were on display. The discussion with designers about the "Polish poster" was also particularly interesting - opinions differ greatly. While some try to revive events and markets with posters, others declare it to be history and want to redefine contemporary Polish design. Kwiaciarniagrafiki is a design collective that runs a design office and a screen printing workshop, where they experiment and allow young artists and designers to print their works themselves. The analogue work means a lot to them - they organise workshops and show children how screen printing works, in order to pass on their enthusiasm and creativity.

Magda from Print Control, a magazine that presents the best Polish designs, showed us the latest edition she researched and designed. She has been involved with the design scene in Poland for over 7 years now and publishes a successful publication every year. She is in constant contact with local designers and has been able to tell us about problems and trends. Some are also under political pressure from the government and its supporters, media houses are bought and subsidies withdrawn. Out of resistance, protest posters are created, distributed thousands of times, and also critical events and people are supported - design must also be political!

All in all Warsaw is a very interesting city, which also has a lot to offer in the field of design. The stay has shown that design here has much greater tasks and opportunities, in a country that is still in a process of change, towards a more open, freer and fairer state - there is much to do!