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This exhibition surveys the development of Polish design after 1989. It shows how design artists coped with the budding capitalism in the 1990s, what imprint Postmodernism left on their works, how they joined in the international trends in design at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, and how they strive these days for individuality in an attempt to measure up to the competition on foreign markets. The economic efficiency is not always the only determinant of the form of a product.
Yet the exhibition brings out the various aspects of design. Activities that are not profit- or market-oriented hardly ever have wide outreach, and their key objective is experimentation with materials, processes or new aesthetics, which is sometimes unacceptable for the mass audience. Many designers focus their attention on the search for a national identity, in doing which they gladly fall back on folk culture, locality or the past. Still other values are invoked by the youngest generation of artists, who tackle current social issues or carry out projects that engage them in environmental movements. Presented at fairs or in galleries, works by design artists are a special case: on the borderline of various disciplines, taking on the form of reflection or commentary.
This diversity bespeaks the ongoing change in the role design plays in contemporary world, but also bears witness to the condition of our material culture, our sensitivities, aspirations and the values we espouse.
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