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New generation design. Finalists of the international make me! competition organized by Łódź Design Festival have now been revealed!

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Łódź Design Festival
Hose Pillar, a 3D printed ceramic brick, design: Fania Kolaiti, The Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław

Łódź Design Festival has presented 25 entries that made it to the final of this year’s edition of the international make me! competition. Organized with emerging designers in mind, it is already for the 16th time that the competition will show pioneering, daring ideas and new design perspectives, as well as formal and technological experiments. All the nominated designs will be presented during the final exhibition which will be part of the Łódź Design Festival 2023.

171 entries were submitted to the international make me! competition, the designs came from Poland, Germany, Holland, the UK, Ukraine and Hungary, among others. Out of the submitted entries, the 25 shortlisted designs represented the highest aesthetic, functional and artistic level and also stood out in terms of social sensitivity or responded to urgent problems of contemporary time. The designs were assessed by a jury composed of both esteemed practitioners and experts in the theory of design, i.e. Maurizio Burrato, Maja Ganszyniec, Szymon Hanczar, Joanna Krokosz, Michał Piernikowski, Tomek Rygalik and Ingrid van der Wacht. As emphasised by the jurors, the entries reflect both high professional and formal quality of the designs submitted by young artists, as well as distinct changes occurring in contemporary design.

“The level of the designs was very high, so the selection of the 25 finalists was not simple. I think that the common denominator of the shortlisted entries is their innovative approach – we appreciated innovations not only in terms of materials, but also social ones, as well as designs created with the future in mind, e.g. based on artificial intelligence.Many entries featured solutions responding to various challenges of contemporary times, e.g. the war in Ukraine, energy crisis, biodiversity, locality, the future of craftsmanship or the quest for new, alternative materials. Young designers submitting their entries to make me! proved to be very sensitive, not indifferent to social or environmental problems. “Design and activism very often tread the same path these days” – explains Joanna Krokosz, designer and lecturer and juror in this year’s make me! competition, and a finalist for three times in the past.

“The designs presented in this year’s exhibition perfectly illustrate the changes that have occurred in our thinking about the future throughout this past year. For the first time in the history of the competition, we’ve presented solutions responding to the challenges brought about by fighting on the front – they’re designs already tested in the battlefield or such that will shortly be forwarded to medics in Ukraine. The make me! exhibition is also going to offer a unique opportunity to have a glance in the nearest future which is revealed by designers experimenting with new technologies, AI, 3D printing, robotics. However, most of the designs sent have to do with issues related to climate crisis and health challenges, including such related to mental health, which speaks volumes about our condition here and now, both of individuals, as well as societies” – emphasises Michał Piernikowski, the director of Łódź Design Festival.

Finalists of the international make me! 2023 competition:

1. The triumph of everyday life – a series of illustrated ceramics, design: Judyta Antoniuk, The Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź

2. Shaping methods, design: Sonia Bąk-Tokarska, Michał Tokarski (Tok Studio), The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

3. Soft Assembly: Being dressed by a soft robotized garment, design: Pola Demianiuk, ViaModa, The Swedish School of Textiles

4. Interactive wooden construction, design: Agata Dróżdż, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

5. candlamp, design: Juhász Enikő, Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design

6. Tableware to share and bond, design: Sara Francuz, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

7. SYGNIS Tourniquet – 3D-printable, field-tested, design: Maciej Głowacki, Olga Kozłowska, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

8. Kinderbal – double set of glasses in two color versions CMYK and RGB, design: Anna Eliza Gwiazda, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

9. Hose Pillar, a 3D printed ceramic brick, design: Fania Kolaiti, The Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław

10. Vasen, design: Barbara Koniecka, Maximilian Stahl, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd

11. Oikos means home. Citizenship and coexistence between species in cities, design: Olga Kozłowska, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

12. Pose – sex education set for the blind people, design: Karolina Kruszewska, The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Katowice

13. Unwhite, design: Lea Mader, Folkwang University of Arts

14. Miniministry of Education, design: Klara Malinowska, Oliwia Warchałowska, School of Form SWPS University

15. Zydelek, ryczka, stołek, design: Marlena Norowska, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

16. LAMP-002, design: Jakub Pastuszak Studio, The Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk

17. Therapautic crayons, design: Aleksandra Satława, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków

18. Vespertine, design: Tim Schütze, Max Hausmann, Berlin University of the Arts

19. SWAYING LAMP, design: Magdalena Szatyńska, School of Form SWPS University

20. Alone eating stand, design: Zuzanna Telka, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

21. Life Chariot, design: Piotr Tłuszcz, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków

22. Me, myself, AI, design: Jan Wilczak, The Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

23. Philia, bio-plant, design: Laura van de Wijdeven, Wilem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam

24. Body Holes – The Future Will Be Queer, design: Paweł Włodarski, Central Saint Martins

25. Weighted Collar “UTUL”, design: Magdalena Znamienkiewicz, The Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław

A distinction in the make me! competition is a prestigious, expert recommendation for designers taking their first steps in a professional career. It’s also an opportunity to present their designs to a wider audience: designers, manufacturers and actual consumers. Authors whose works have been presented during the make me! final exhibitions before, are nowadays often esteemed designers in Poland and overseas.

The works of this year’s finalists will also be displayed during the competition exhibition accompanying Łódź Design Festival. The winners will be announced during the final ceremony on the 18th May 2023.

This year’s exhibition is also a reflection of the changes taking place in the design of make me!.  The display, made entirely of recycled materials, often ones used in the previous years’ Łódź Design Festival, is the first reveal of the “Innovations Laboratory”. It is the response to the advancing trend in the design world of shifting the centre of gravity from manufacturing, mass production and consumption maximalisation towards experimenting, improving and saving.

The make me! project is a place where creators can experiment, look for new qualities and test innovations, whose purpose is to contribute to actual improvement to our everyday life.

You can find photographs of all the make me! awarded designs  at https://www.flickr.com/gp/lodzdesignfestival/85y1FJ42uQ

You can find more information about this year’s Łódź Design Festival, the dates, agenda and other permanent features of the event at https://lodzdesign.com/

Łódź Design Festival was created with the contribution of the Łódzkie Centrum Wydarzeń and the city of Łódź.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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