Icon 144: Poland 30.04.15

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  • The cover of our June issue, available now, which celebrates Poland

  • We visited the new concert hall in Szczecin, designed by Estudio Barozzi Veiga

  • Polish designers are showing a renewed interest in craft, colour and pattern, says Warsaw-based curator Klara Czerniewska

  • Laura Snoad visited Polish duo Maciej Chmara and Ania Rosinke in their Vienna studio

  • A series of images by pilot and photographer Kacper Kowalski

Our latest issue (out on 1 May 2015) presents the most exciting design and architecture coming out of Poland. We visit the acclaimed Philharmonic Hall in Szczecin, we interview Gdansk-born design duo Chmara.Rosinke, and Warsaw-based curator Klara Czerniewska reveals a passion for pattern in the Polish design scene

Poland is not unique – except in a very literal sense. Nor is it vibrant, exciting, innovative, dynamic, or all of those strange, ubiquitous words. But it is large. And interesting. And important. And, of late, we've admired a wide range of design and architecture coming out of the country. This issue presents a selection of that work, with thanks to the many individuals and organisations who've helped us along the way.

For our cover story we visit Szczecin, home to a new Philharmonic Hall by Barcelona-based practice Estudio Barozzi Veiga. Commissioned back in 2007, it's been widely acclaimed as one of the best new projects in Europe, but why has it been built in a city barely known for its culture – or much else – even within Poland?

Poland is now investing in design to an unprecedented degree, as we discovered when visiting Chmara.Rosinke in Vienna. The beguiling duo embody a new internationalism permeating the nation's design scene, as Warsaw-based curator Klara Czerniewska explains as she reveals its current passion for pattern, whether traditional or post-internet. We've also included Kacper Kowalski's aerial photographs, which show the impact of industry with brutal eloquence.

And, scattered across the issue, are other examples of Polish talent, from veteran artist Wojciech Fangor's striking designs for the Warsaw Metro, to the golden age of the Polish film poster. We've even cranked in a display font, Grotesk Polski, inspired by a 1930s Antiqua by Adam Poltawski, providing an infusion of Polish typography that's given our art director unbounded pleasure.

There's a tendency to extremes when reporting on Polish culture, heralding new projects as part of the emergence of a nation, or detailing the past with a fascination that tips over into nostalgia. The truth is muddier – only those who have lived in the country both before and after 1989 have the right to compare past and present. But hopefully this issue does confirm one thing. Poland, as stated above, is interesting and important. And I, for one, am planning to return as soon as possible.

Scroll down to see this issue's contents and click here for the chance to win a copy of the issue and a selection of Present & Correct stationary



John Jervis


Cover image

Simon Menges



quotes story

The Szczecin Philharmonic Hall has been widely acclaimed as one of the best new projects in Europe, but why has it been built in a city barely known for its culture – or much else – even within Poland?



Barozzi Veiga Have the Barcelona-based duo created an icon for Szczecin with their new Philharmonic Hall?

Pattern in Poland On the creative nation's craze for patterns, drawing, doodling and collage

Chmara.Rosinke The Gdansk-born pair designs living and cooking tools that suit a generation on the move

Vantage point Pilot and photographer Kacper Kowalski shoots a series of industrial landscapes from 150m up


Heatherwick's debut in Asia, Wilkinson Eyre revamps Oxford's New Bodleian, DCM's Australian pavilion for Venice, in the studio with Raw Edges, Warsaw's new metro line by Wojciech Fangor, an urban laboratory in Mexico City, a look forward to Clerkenwell Design Week, and highlights from St-Etienne and Design Shanghai

Reviews Glenn Ligon, forensic science, African design, creative hoarding, and nocturnal rambling

Rethink Type and paper samplers
Icon of the Month The Polish film poster
Comment Edwin Heathcote on kitchen politics
Five Most Wanted Piero Lissoni picks five favourites
Crimes Against Design The trouble with bridges


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