concordia design: poland has now a design and creativity centre for business

Poznan’s town hall at the Old Market Square

Last month was an eventful month in Poland. The School of Form, a design school that combines humanities and design co-founded (some would say initiated) by trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort. On top of that Concordia Design, a unique center that aims to combine design with business, officially opened on the same weekend. The focus is a new approach of Polish design.

At the opening Li Edelkoort hold a speech about the potential she always saw in Poland, how she got on touch with the Polish culture through Zuzanna Skalska, Senior Consultant Trend Research at VanBerlo Eindhoven, and Agnieszka Jacobson-Cielecka who has curated many exhibitions supporting Polish design. Li thinks good things shouldn’t be rushed and that we can expect good things from a new generation of Polish designers.

Ewa Voelkel, president of Concordia Design, wants to create an arena linking designers and entrepreneurs and creative agencies with business. Also outside of Poland. Her father, Piotr Voelkel, is the owner of the School of Form. It is located just 5 min walk away from the refurbished historic building of the old printing house in which Concordia found its place. I appreciate when people preserve old buildings instead of building new ones. The town hall pictured above for example is now used as a museum.

‘Designing the future’ – big words. Will they come true?

Champagne and work by Polish designer Oskar Zieta and his team. He has definitely something to celebrate at the moment. Not just because he is the head of the industrial design department of the School of From, also because Tokujin Yoshioka has nominated him for the Audi Mentor Prize.

Klara by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso

Part of the opening of the new center is the exhibition ‘The Mothers of Invention’ of Patricia Urquiola and Patrizia Moroso. It is the first time that they present their work together in one show curated by Li Edelkoort.

The Spanish designer and the creative director of Italian brand Moroso have been working together since eleven years. Both became good friends in this long time. Patricia Urquiola designed a complete house for Patrizia, which was one of the topics they presented during the lecture.

Both women are part of the new curriculum of the School of Form. They will be the godmothers of the Domestic Design Department. They have so much energy together. It was a real treat to watch them talking about their work. Apparently the joint lecture was one of the first they did together.

Termo by Tomek Rygalik for Noti

There are also two more exhibitions dealing with Polish design, which should be pointed out. “Comforty – Real Industry” by Tomek Rygalik, Art Director of the furniture brand Comforty focuses on products walking the paths of industrial furniture tradition.

The other show is called, ‘Polish Design’ curated by Dorota Koziara. Some people would say it’s not an in depth title. At least it’s obvious what you get. =) The lamps above are designed for Polish brand Schattdecor.

Another piece by Oskar Zieta, which is similar to the Architonic Pavilion he did for the IMM Cologne couple years ago. Maybe it’s the same. I should find out.

After a long, eventful day a lovely dinner is necessary; together with the head teachers of the School of Form, the Architect of the ‘Stary Browar‘, an impressive shopping mall combined with cultural institutions, and his wife, journalists, all trend forecasters and supporters that are involved including their entourage. Things are happening in Poland, people!

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