Discover 100 Years of Polish Design

In 2018, Poland celebrated a full 100 years of independence. To mark the occasion, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute created a virtual journey through the history of Polish design.
Prior to gaining independence in 1918, Poland had disappeared from the map for 123 years. Even through its ‘nonexistence’, Poles had not given up hope of regaining their country, and their artwork and activism reflected these desires. When Poland officially returned to the map of Europe a new question arose: what did it means to be Polish?
Designers readily rose to the challenge of answering this question, and the new nation was greeted with an explosion of artistic talent, and a race to find a ‘national style’. The Adam Mickiewicz Institute’s new Guide to Polish Design is a comprehensive tour of changing Polish tastes, which were sometimes minimal, avant-garde or eccentric, but always unique.
Designers touched upon every part of life: architecture, furniture, children’s toys, teapots and cars, among others. Through World War II to the first free elections, design changed and adapted to the times. Poland’s unique style can be found in the folk architecture of Zakopane, the spherical clocks that graced every Pole’s mantel or in non-functional wicker chairs that never quite fulfilled their intended purpose.
Design is a lens through which one can find the history of a people – not only those that created it, but those whose lives were imperceptibly shaped by it. Find history or artistic inspiration in’s Guide to Polish Design.


Text provided by the authors of the project. / Source: