Fair Design

Beginning with 2015, the Faculty of Design at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts has started to organize a series of conferences named FAIR DESIGN. They will be dedicated to the theory and criticism of design in terms of its functioning in the quickly changing social, cultural, technological and economic circumstances. The conference is intended to serve as a forum for discussions which could stretch beyond the professional designer circles.

The first conference in the series has been devoted to different forms of activity observed in contemporary society, as the activity is a formative factor of our awareness to a degree much bigger than in the past. The traditional methods of learning about the world, which historically involved a passive absorption of knowledge generated and processed by others (education, literature, the press, television, etc.), are increasingly more frequently supplemented (or even replaced) by active/interactive forms. These new forms either overlap or intertwine with the traditional ones, particularly that, as never before, they are carried out – together or next to each other – by representatives of different generations, from small children to people 80 years of age and older.

download the information >>> FAIR DESIGN 2015


+ PDF to download

The planned duration of the conference is two days. It will be composed of six sessions. The first, theoretical one, will be focused on describing the status quo of the contemporary society from the point of view of the humanities and social sciences, as well as design theory. The subsequent sessions will be devoted to the presentation of the practical design solutions in connection to the following subjects: activity at work, activity in leisure, activity on-line, activity in post-digital society, nomadism, and activity of senior citizens at the age of 80+. The presentations will be accompanied by theoretical reflections to the different problems, as well as summaries of conclusions. The Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts will also publish all the conference materials after the event.


1ST DAY | THURSDAY, 24th September

9.30 – 10.15 – registration of the conference participants
10.15 – 10.25 – official opening of the conference
10.25 – 10.35 – welcome speech – prof. Ksawery Piwocki / Dean of Faculty of Design, Academy od Fine Arts in Warsaw
10.35 – 10.45 – welcome speech – Dr. Józef A. Mrozek / Head of Theory and History Dept. Faculty of Design, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

Theoretical Session (10.45 – 12.15)
10.45 – 11.15 – Prof. Lars Dencik / Roskilde University, Denmark – „The Functions of Design in an Increasingly Non-designable World”
11.15 – 11.45 – Prof. Mirosława Marody / Warsaw University – „Redesigning Society”
11.45 – 12.15 – Prof. Gianni Vattimo / Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy – „Redesigning Humanity” >>> change: prof. Andrzej Leder / Institute of Philosophy and Sociology Polish Academy of Sciences – „Unconscious design of the city space”

12.15 – 12.30 – coffee break

Activity and Nomadism (12.30-13.45)
12.30 – 12.50 – Prof. Krystyna Iglicka-Okólska / Lazarski University, Poland – „Activity and Nomadism”
12.50 – 13.10 – Dr. Anita Basińska, Agnieszka Jacobson-Cielecka / School of Form (SWPS) – „Between Necessity and Choice – The Contemporary Face of Nomadism”
13.10 – 13.25 – Joanna Jurga / Mortis Design – „Nomadic Funeral”
13.25 – 13.45 – discussion

13.45 – 14.45 – lunch

 after the break

Activity at Work (14.45 – 16.00)
14.45 – 15.05 – Prof. Alison J. Clarke / University of Applied Art and Design in Vienna, Austria – „Design Histories & Alternative Models of Work”
15.05 – 15.20 – Wiktoria Lenart / Faculty of Design, Acadmy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw – „Around the Office – changing forms of furniture depending on the contemporary needs of the active person”
15.20 – 15.35 – Magdalena Zadara / Polidea – „Active Professionals: a New Generation Products for a New Generation of People”
15.35 – 16.00 – discussion

16.00 – 16.15 – coffee break

16.15 – 16.30 – Dr. Ece Canli / University of Porto, Portugal – „FAIRLY AND QUEERLY: De-construction as a Method in Design”

16.30 – 17.00 – Prof. Guy Julier / University of Brighton, Victoria & Albert Museum, UK – „Design Culture and Design Economies” (closing speech)


2ND DAY | FRIDAY, 25th September

10.00 – 10.05 – opening of the second day of the conference

Activity in Leisure Time (10.05 – 11.45)
10.05 – 10.35 – Prof. Susan Yelavich / The Parsons New School of Design, USA – „Product(ive) Leisure”
10.35 – 10.50 – Dorota Kabała / We Design for Physical Culture – „Designing sport equipment for new disciplines – designer’s observations”
10.50 – 11.10 – Prof. Maria Benktzon / Veryday, Sweden – „Leaisure Activity of the Elderly People”
11.10 – 11.25 – Dr. Robert Pludra / Faculty of Design, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw – „On social design. Designing for us”
11.25 – 11.45 – discussion

11.45 – 12.00 – coffee break

Activity and Digital Tools (12.00 – 13.30)
12.00 – 12.20 – Dr. Alek Tarkowski / Creative Commons Polska – „Can Online Engagement Be Designed?”
12.20 – 12.35 – Bartosz Stodulski  / Laboratorium EE – „Resources / Cultural Objects in the Digital Space”
12.35 – 12.50 – Małgorzata Dzierżewicz / Polidea – „Active Knowledge Exchange”
12.50 – 13.20 – Dr. Paweł Pokutycki / Royal Academy of Art, Haga, Netherlands – „Post-digital Interactions”
13.20 – 13.45 – discussion

13.45 – 14.45 – lunch

after the break
14.45 – 15.05 – Zoe Ryan / The Art Institute of Chicago, USA – „Are you Looking? The Space of Exhibitions”

Other meanings of activity (15.05 – 16.00)

15.05 – 15.25 – Dr. Ewa Sidorenko / University of Greenwich, UK – „HUG Project – cultural intervention in public space: articulating social exclusion”
15.25 – 15.40 – Karina Marusińska /Faculty of Ceramics and Glass, Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw – „HUG project”
15.40 – 16.00 – Dr. Michael Leube, Dr. Dominik Walcher / University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg, Austria – „Vice Versa: The Underprivileged and Design”

16.00 – 16.15 – coffee break

16.15 – 16.30 – Dr. Iwo Zmyślony / Warsaw University, School of Form (SWPS) – „Verbal overshadowing and tacit knowledge as key aspects of design thinking”

16.30 – 16.50 – Dr. Daniel Zieliński / Faculty of Design, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw – „Being Inactive”

16.50 – 17.00 – summing up / official closing of the conference


The conference FAIR DESIGN 2015 will take place in the auditorium of the recently erected Academy’s building at 37/39 Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie Str. It was built as an extension of the old edifice, designed by Alfons Gravier in 1911. The enlargement was executed by the renowned Warsaw studio JEMS Architects. On the premises are loctated the faculties of: Sculpture, Stage Design, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art, and Management of Visual Culture. Within easy reach there are also the Copernicus Science Centre and the Fryderyk Chopin Museum. Other buildings belonging to the Academy of Fine Arts are located in different parts of the city.

Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
37/39 Wybrzeże Kościuszkowskie Str.


Strategic partner

The goal of, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s flagship brand, is to promote Poland and Polish culture abroad. Through the presentation of high-quality initiatives and events in the fields of art, music, and design, aspires to introduce an international audience to contemporary Polish culture.  The website provides daily fresh information on the most exciting Polish cultural events worldwide; it is also the biggest and most comprehensive source of knowledge about Polish culture. A special section dedicated to Polish design includes information about the latest trends, and the newest projects by Polish designers – the young and up-and-coming and the well-established and world-renowned. Worldwide promotion of Polish design and its continuous support is one of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s main priorities. Design serves as a platform for the presentation of contemporary Polish culture and the promotion of Polish creativity. Our success in the pursuit of this goal has been possible thanks to fruitful cooperation with such renowned partners as Ventura Lambrate (Milan), London Design Festival, Maison&Objet (Paris), Paris Design Week, DW! São Paulo Design Weekend, Inno Design Tech Expo (Hong Kong), Business of Design Week (Hong Kong), Istanbul Design Week, International Furniture Fair Singapore, Design Trade Copenhagen, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (New York), Wanted Design (New York), Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, What Design Can Do! (Amsterdam), Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven) and Wallpaper*.

Institutional partners

Media partners



Thanks go also to BMW Poland