The slogan of the 12th edition of Gdynia Design Days, which will take place between 6 and 14 July 2019, is POLARISATION. This concept encompasses a number of interpretations. How to understand them?
The world around us is a place of encounters between individual interests and the common good. Now it is potent individualism and raging narcissism which mixes with mediocrity, glorifying simplification and reduced access to material goods. Consumerism cannot be combined with minimalism – the same is true of a love of beauty and perfectionism with simple ugliness and imperfection becoming more and more popular. High standards of collectible bric-a-brac, objects desired by a small group of privileged aesthetes, go against the mainstream of mass produced single-use everyday household goods, flooding our markets from far-off factories. Massive corporations driven by the force of collective workaholism have little in common with a growing group of self-employed freelancers whose workplaces are wherever they lay their laptop. Influencers absorbed by raising the visibility of their online profiles will fail to find a common language with those trying compulsively to evade Wi-Fi signals in search of digital anonymity.
Polarisation means a clear differentiation, a dichotomy of views and opinions, broadening of collectivity, separation into opposing camps. This is a process of differentiated attitudes in the face of key problems, in extreme situations, those that cannot be ignored. Polarisation excludes mediocrity, indecision and lack of engagement. Every dispute can be positive or negative, the key is to manage it effectively. Only dialogue among people certain of their convictions allows innovative strategies of working to emerge.
During the 12th edition of Gdynia Design Days between 06-14.07.2019 we will gather together professionals and lovers of good design around this polarised reality. We will seek out alternative materials which are kind to the environment; analysing possibilities for better usage of AI for our age of information overload; considering how to redefine economic ideas in relation to politics; studying more closely the human body as a source of previously unused raw materials; while also asking questions about empathy and knowledge about psychological and physical health of those living beings involved in design.
Let's meet up as we do each year in Gdynia, an open minded city, which allows the chance to establish wise dialogue, confronting opposing viewpoints, in line with the interests of various social groups. This will be where we will establish a forum for debate while drawing conclusions which will point the way for further progress.
See you by the seaside!