A Tour to Poland: Explore and Discover the Country’s Design

In the early 1980s, Bruno Barbey took the occasion to embark on a journey over an eight month period, living in a camper and discovering a tormented people and a country torn, where the word solidarity meant something. At first glance, Warsaw doesn’t appear like an interesting destination, but if you explore the historic squares and micro-breweries away from the cities, there are plenty of highlights, so banish the grey image.


In the last couple of years Poland’s fame has gone beyond its hearty meals, as the the 20s and 30s is being revived, leaving room for minimalism and respect for the environment. Did you know that there are chairs that you have probably never heard of, although they are instantly recognized by millions of Europeans due to their compactness?

You can also discover the art of Communist Polish poster design, even if the role of the poster has dwindled to irrelevance.


  1. Magda Butrym

It was a sit-up-and-notice moment when a dress designed by a young fashion label, buzzed about by influential stylists appeared during the four-week fashion show that spans New York and Milan. Editors swiftly made a beeline to see just what the exclamations were all about, only to find out that it was the creation of Magda Butrym, who created her namesake label debuting with a line of feminine dresses, in an aesthetic of punk-tinged romance around the body, perfectly nailing edgy glamour. Her customers are strong and modern women who use her pieces as a reflection of their personality, feeling confident but not overdressed by combining a long dress with a boyish jacket.


  1. Vzór

The brand’s first discovery was the design of Roman Modzelewski, a sculptor and former long-standing chancellor of the Academy of Art in Łódź. Despite garnering praise, the prototype of his armchair never became a marketed product due to political circumstances, but as an advocate of the idea of reviving vintage design, Profim decided to become a professional investor, getting involved in the launch of the RM58 soft and RM56 and contributing their design and production potential. The RM58 classic prototype was a pioneer use in Poland, an example of a homogeneous organic seat shell, using a new material allowed the offering of a product which can be produced relatively cheap, and a version of the armchair made using the rotomolding technology, with high gloss lacquered.


  1. Polska Design Programme

Thanks to this project, the Institute has made it possible for designers to begin working on an international scale, by working with partners, and in the past years, projects have been implemented and a series of books has published, including Polish Design Uncut (2013) and VeryGraphic: Polish Designers of the 20th Century (2015). Since 2012, the Institute serves as a platform for presenting contemporary culture creativity, in order to build the renown of design and continuously work with leading designers, organizing exhibitions at the sector’s most important events. Additionally, alongside the projects, initiatives will be developed, showcasing the history of Polish design.

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