„The Experts 2” was an innovative project of Culture Shock Foundation addressed to people over 55 years old. The aim was to make participants interested in design, art and model manufacturing. We had led two cycles of workshops in two different cities: Warsaw and Błonie.
The workshop consisted of: interactive lectures referring to design and manufacturing history in Poland and worldwide, philosophical discussions about the objects, but first of all, an opportunity to put oneself in the real designer’s shoes. “The Experts 2″ gave the unique chance to create an idea and a three-dimensional model of an object, which fulfills specific tastes and needs. New technologies and innovative solutions, which promote openness and the sense of sharing elaborated outcomes, which can become useful for a wide range of recipients were engaged in the project – the object designed by the group was printed by a 3D printer. The object is available on the license of Creative Commons.
“The Expert 2” was a second edition of previous workshop – “The Experts” – but it was also enhanced by new motives, such as: public space, interior design, fashion, DIY and others. A greater stress was put on Creative Commons and open design. Invited guests contributed to the workshop’s new quality.
The action ended with “Design mixer” – an event combining conference, medialab and recently popular form of business mixer, with participation of art, design, new technologies and business representatives.
Program of workshops
Workshop 1 „ What is industrial design?”
The workshop aim was to introduce participants to the term of industrial design and its history, regarding the elderly people needs. The industrial design was discussed in the historical context. Design’s evolution was discussed in the European and global culture context. Through the workshop, we could present various designing methods. We showed solutions dedicated to the elderly people, on the example of existing products. The first meeting had a bonding character. Participants were given homework which, was to keep a journal of reflections on using the objects and the space of the city.
Workshop 2 “The objects’ philosophy”
This workshop presented a different perspective, which was crucial for stimulating the creativity and openness of participants towards the industrial design, art and material culture. The philosophical interpretation of the objects allowed participants to accomplish profound dimension in their activity. The workshop consisted of interdisciplinary exercises and tasks referred to philosophy and sociology of the subject, based on various theories (reism of Tadeusz Kotarbiński, the philosophy of everyday life of Joanna Brach-Czaina and the sociological approach of the everyday use items of Marek Krajewski).
Workshop 3 „Me vs. The surroundings”
The third workshop was devoted to team work. Participants took part in a discussion referring to the issues of people over 55 in contact with everyday use items, public space and devices. The diagnosis of elderly people needs was carried out in terms of inconvenience, which they come across using the objects and devices. There was also the analysis of the problems specificity (health, motor issues) and its cause. After that the group and the designer were looking for the best solutions for the most common problems.
Workshop 4 „Design – a creative way to make the world better”
On the basis of the previous workshop decisions, the project guidelines were established by the designer and the sociologist. Briefing of the guidelines, which the final project should consist of to resolve selected problems: budget, technology, material, aesthetics, utilization. There were also presented the technological capabilities of prototype workroom, production technique, manufacturing methods and innovative solutions of 3D printer.
Workshop 5 “Me – designer”
During the workshop participants were put in the designer’s shoes. They made a conceptual draft of the product on the basis of the guidelines and features established at the previous meeting. There was an overview of the resulting solutions.
Workshop 6 „Me – constructor”
This workshop was a continuation of working on creative design of participants. The collective realization of the final project had been planned. There was also a summary discussion. Some work was put off to the next meeting.
Workshop 7 „Me – producer”
The group was working on individual projects and was trying to establish the market quality of the products. Internet research of similar projects in order to determine the innovative level.
Workshop 8 “Final”
Due to the long printing process of 3D printer, which lasts about 6 hours in case of a small object, participants could see a finished product and observe the 3D printer in action. The important element of the meeting was a discussion on renderings made by the designer, from materials delivered by the participants.
Workshops were led by:
Paulina Jędrzejewska – she is engaged in free and informal education, new technologies and intergenerational projects. She creates installations in public space, which she regards as a place for building social capital and dialogue. Co-founder of Hedoco, which produces open-source design and fashion. Experienced coach, sociologist, cultural anthropologist, urban activist. Paulina graduated from Group Coaching Study at the TROP School, Applied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw. She studied Design Management at the Warsaw School of Economics, Gender Studies at Polish Academy of Sciences. firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcela Kawka – graduate of the Faculty of Industrial Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She is an industrial and visual communication designer. She is leading a design office – Locomotif Design Studio. Marcela is engaged in designing new market products, corporate identity, supervision of implementation and consulting in the design implementation strategies.
Workshops' scenarios by: Paulina Jędrzejewska and Marcela Kawka.
Why design? Why 55+?
We’re surrounded by objects. They are part of our everyday life. They influence our mood. They can make our life easier or more complicated. Do the objects respond to our needs? Are they functional? Are they pretty? Are they useful? When are they too few, when are they too many, and when are they enough? It seems like we can’t get away from the objects, but we can influence them, we can shape them as we please. The workshop participants learnt how to look at the reality with the designer’s eyes, notice the problems of everyday use items design, and finally, they designed objects, which correspond with their needs.
Paulina Jędrzejewska, Culture Shock Foundation president: The “Design Thinking” approach is relevant to me. According to it, the design is too important to leave it only for the designers. It should be brought out to people. Our project is an attempt to provide the design for people. The participants don’t have to be artistically skilled. Curiosity, openness and readiness to create are all you need!
How things are?
The participants made 14 new objects according to their own preference, answering such questions as: how to improve the public space, forgetting, carrying (heavy shopping bags) or comfortable ways to read books. The participants not only resolved this kind of problems but also took care of aesthetical attractiveness by using especially selected materials to the objects’ production.
We’re sure that the project has a large educational and cultural potential. It gives people over 55 an opportunity to become the active creator, to do something for others. It shows the benefits of sharing the knowledge and using the open technologies. That’s why we see the need to continue this action and to develop it. We want to be open for new recipients, go out of the capital, engage business representatives and people from specialist manufacture fields.
The first workshop edition was held in spring and autumn 2012.
Media about us (only in Polish):
Effects of participants work can be seen in the catalogue:
Projects created during "The Experts 2" are under the Creative Commons license Attribution - Share Alike 3.0 Poland (CC BY-SA).
Pictures (from Warsaw edition) by Julita Matusiak.
Full gallery can be found on Facebook.
Film summarising two editions of workshops:
Project was co-founded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.