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Yesterday we visited our local design festival, Gdynia Design Days, on our way home, and we saw a couple of small exhibitions. We felt it lacked something as engaging for us personally as last year’s exhibitions of illustration for children (here) but several things drew our attention.

This year’s identity of the festival is again by Patryk Hardziej. Here are a few elements of the signage.

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This student diploma project by Paulina Kozicka attracted our attention because, first of all, illustrated animals, but also it looks like an interesting educational tool. It’s meant to teach children to read and while we didn’t exactly understand how (we wish there were some instructions exhibited), our son, who loves letters, got immediately drawn to playing with the elements. Also, bonus points for the lion’s mouth as one of the game spaces.

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The elements of the game are made of wood, increasing the tactile value of the diploma.

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This is a small exhibition which we found the most interesting, eco-freaks that we are. It shows various ways in which trash can be recycled into everyday products. Some of them we found decidedly not aesthetically pleasing (but an interesting trend nonetheless) but others seemed very promising. Paradoxically the best part was the obvious one, showing results of the well-known recycling of glass and paper (below glass made from glass, which is nothing strange but still right).

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And this exhibition focused on climate changes and products you can buy that are a bit more eco-friendly. We liked that the products were buyable on the market but if an exhibition wants to talk about countering climate change maybe it should show more ways to act than just buying stuff. Like composting, composting is awesome.

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An exhibition about cross-over between space exploration and design. It felt almost mystical (also because we weren’t sure what some of the presented things did).

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Gdynia Design Days is a local design festival happening in our city and this year it includes two small exhibitions of illustrated books for children, which, as you know, is totally our thing. We took our son and went to see the works by some of the most popular Polish illustrators of today. Even though we already knew most of the presented works, we still enjoyed seeing them together and the way the exhibitions were arranged and J had a real blast, making a mess: moving stuff around and ruining the careful arrangements. Luckily, nobody minded because, well, that’s what you expect from children in a gallery. If they don’t touch anything, they’re probably not having fun. (Sidenote: we wouldn’t let him touch stuff in the Louvre, don’t worry.)

A series of books illustrated by Joanna Bartosik.

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A nice exhibition idea.

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What Do We Travel by? (from a selection of one-off books)

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Hedgehog.

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Map-inspired lists of attractions for various Polish cities by Ładne Halo.

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The Palace of Culture in 3D from Architekturki by Robert Czajka.

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J just couldn’t get enough of this fox cutout, carrying it around the whole exhibition.

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A selection of books to read and enjoy.

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Paper animals, also by Robert Czajka.

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Wolves.

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Children enjoying an animation based on Iwona Chmielewska’s illustrations.

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An illustrated labyrinth.

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re-infobox-02This is a little job we did a while ago for InfoBox, which is an institution of Gdynia set up for the promotion of the city and for chronicling the changes happening (such as investments and urban development). We designed a T-shirt for the opening of InfoBox, illustrating their tagline “The Observatory of Changes.” We wanted the illustration to be simple and playful and to engage the element of the logo (we also designed the logo a longer while ago). The number of colors was limited by the printing technique but that was actually for the best. As Gdynia is located by the sea, seagulls are a common (and sometimes a little scary) sight here. (Seriously, seagulls are creepy.)

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re-model_city-02This year the Museum of Gdynia celebrated the Night of the Museums with a presentation of the city’s special brand of modernism. We had the pleasure of designing and illustrating an activity card for the participants. It gave us the rare joy of drawing buildings and playing with modernism-inspired typography. We showed you sketches when we were working on them but today we have the final product to share.

re-model_city-05The card is double-sided and folds into a map-like shape, with an actual map on the back. Each part presents one characteristic building and suggests tasks to work on, such as drawing, comparing facades or filling in a crossword puzzle.

re-model_city-06As you may imagine, we had a lot of fun with the buildings, and just as much with the illustrations of people in their old-fashioned outfits (Gdynia was built at the beginning of the 20th century and is rather proud of its relatively fresh legacy).

re-model_city-03 re-model_city-04These days Gdynia has a nicely modernized train station (it used to be pretty horrific a few years ago) and during renovations they discovered quite charming mosaics, which look something like this:

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Obviously, this was another part that we quite enjoyed illustrating.

re-model_city-07 re-model_city-01And the fun model of the building made of laser-engraved wooden board is courtesy of Architektura+ foundation, who were responsible for many aspects of the whole event.

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