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The Polish School of Design

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Translation by:

Joanna Parlak


Wallpaper with a promise of holiday madness in the tropics or maybe one with dolphins swimming amongst the clouds? Or how about a “coffin-like-wall-unit”? Engineer Karwowski, founder of The Polish School of Design (PSD), tells us all about the uniqueness of Polish design, its eclecticism and creativity.

Poli­sh School of Design joined Facebook on 30th January 2013. It currently has 53,431 likes. It ended its run in November 2014, but we can still enjoy their photos on Facebook.  

Ca­fe­ba­bel: What is the Polish School of Design and where did you get the idea from? 

PSD:  On the one hand, the idea was born when looking at property announcements advertised on the market; either for sale or rental. On the other, there was this need of an attempt to shed some light on those horrendous pictures. Every uploaded picture comes with a description, a comment to the events happening during a given moment, or a temporary result of inspiration. Actually, the idea came out of nowhere; once when talking to my mates, we agreed that when we were checking the announcements, we had all come across something that's burned into our brains. Next, came the idea of gathering all of our findings with our own comments in one place. Its success has exceeded our wildest expectations. It turns out that we are not the only ones with such observations and the stuff that we are addressing is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ca­fe­ba­bel: Do you work on your own? 

PSD: At the beginning there was my friend Gazda and I - the engineer. At the moment, I am the administrator, but in reality the whole fan page consists of over 46,000 people. Fans send over a bunch of  good pics every single day. The folder with pictures is bursting at its seams - I'm really grateful for that.

Ca­fe­ba­bel: You have so much to say about design, have you studied the subject? 

PSD: No, I study Russian philology. I work according to the rule: "I don't know, therefore I have plenty to say." 

Ca­fe­ba­bel: Where does most of your inspiration come from? 

PSD: From the pictures that are sent to me by the followers of PSD. I receive stacks of them every single day, but just a handful is posted on our page. I tend to choose just the most extreme cases, pics that I have an idea for and an actual rush of creativity.

Ca­fe­ba­bel: What’s the philosophy behind the Polish design?

PSD: I don’t think there’s just one particular philosophy behind it. In my opinion there are a plenty of different philosophies – starting with some specific themes such as Egypt, Tsarist Russia or Paris and ending with eclecticism and creativity. 

Ca­fe­ba­bel: What’s so unique about it? Why do you think other countries' designs will never equal ours?

PSD: I think it’s because of the early mentioned eclecticism. In my practice, I tend to shun away from laughing at things that were made out of necessity; because someone that’s poor tries to make something that has “arms and legs”. What I’m trying to do here is to laugh at those horrendous ideas that cost people a lot of money and take a lot of time to create. I try to appreciate the furniture that is made because “Poles can.”  Why will other countries' design never equal ours? Well, because we are able to make something out of nothing and nothing out of something. 

Ca­fe­ba­bel: Should it change in any way? Is there an excess or lack of anything in Polish design?

PSD: It should remain the exact same way as it is now – completely diverse. What would I be doing if it changes?

Ca­fe­ba­bel: In your opinion, what is the most beautiful trend in Polish design?

PSD: That’s a tremendously complex question. It’s really hard to choose just one leading trend amongst so many; hidden beds, coffin-like-wall-units, toilets in the kitchens and showers in all the wrong places. Personally, I’d most likely go for coffin-like-wall-units – they are always number one on my private ranking.

Ca­fe­ba­bel: What does the future hold for Polish design?

PSD: Even more wall units, more wallpapers with dolphins swimming amongst the clouds, and even more plaster, inclduing plaster ornaments!

Ca­fe­ba­bel: Who in Polish show business could become the face of Polish School of Design? 

PSD: Definitely, Boh­dan Ga­dom­ski!

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