who am I

I was born and raised in Poland, which obviously shaped my identity on many different levels. What I mean by using these words is that most of my teenage years’ memories are connected to struggling with patriarchal and conservative structures. If there is anything I could say about my background it would be admitting that it is a chain of incredibly twisted, and sometimes quite painful, stories. My journey with design started the moment I realized that there are some things in my background that are missing. One of these things was not receiving support and not being understood whenever I wanted to question these patriarchal structures which I grew up in. Ever since then I have been trying to materialize my personal experiences using different kind of mediums. My main interest is exploring how can I translate the things I have been through into something which would make society rethink certain norms, stereotypes and constructs. Precisely the ones causing oppression and harm. Even though I was born after the democratic transition took place in Poland, I have experienced a lot of struggle growing up as a female. Especially in a place wherein patriarchal traditions as well as oppressive behaviours were and are still present in the culture and society. The need for understanding how these traditions, norms and stereotypes are passed through generations I started experimenting with design. The knowledge I gained The knowledge I gained during previous years of studies I summed up in my BA diploma „Critical design in the face of stereotypes. Feminism, gender and self-creation” and made a set of objects through which I raised questions about constructing gender norms and stereotypes. While designing this project I worked with a variety of materials: metal, glass, concrete, ceramics, wood, textiles, resin, but also human hair and blood. In parallel to this, I have also manufactured paper and worked for a year in a printing house. Nevertheless the most interesting project I have done so far was designing a tool for sex education as it is connected to the topic I find very important.

Do not jump. Take small steps.

winter 2018/2019:

While studying at Konstfack I want to rethink who I am and where I place myself in design. I want to become more critical, but at the same time more reflective. I want to discover more about the change which could be made in people’s minds to raise self-awareness and make them understand they do not have to fit into societal norms projected on them. I want to explore more about design history from a female perspective, learn more about female designers, who created at the same times as male ones, but are still not mentioned enough. As it has been a while since I started being interested in feminism and gender inequality I want to learn more about these topics and how they can be explored through art and design. I would also like to gain more knowledge about different genders and sexualities and create a tool to educate society in this field. The most important long term aim for me is to find the natural habitat for my projects.

spring 2019:

Since I last wrote my Individual Study Plan, I believe I have developed as a person. I am now more aware of the language I should use to make my work more inclusive. This is the thing I learnt in Sweden and I plan to continue implementing it into my work. I am also sure that sex education is the subject I would like to work with for a little longer and improve it through design. I found out that there is a need for educational tools related to this subject and that people are willing to use my design proposal. This semester was unquestionably one of the most influential for me and my self development. I discovered how to reach out to external organisations, how to observe, listen and take advices. I explored patience and devotion. I learnt that sometimes I do not have to jump, but take small and confident steps to push my work further. That was a valuable lesson. I have also become more reflective and critical when it comes to political and societal matters. As I was interviewed for the Calvert Journal Magazine, I was given a chance to organise my thoughts about my background and reasons why I started my journey with design. 

Eyes closed. Eyes opened.

As Jonas once said “Sometimes you close your eyes and imagine great solutions for your project. But then you open the eyes and face the reality full of surprises and challenges you have not predicted.” More or less it went like this.  

For the future, I would like to start a small production of my sex education project. I plan to send it out to Svensk Form competition and share it with my collaborators both in Poland and in Sweden. As I was invited to go back to the school, I collaborated with, I will conduct more workshops with teenagers and test my project with even more than 80 of them. I will also visit KTH and show my work there. By the end of summer I want to have as many answers and solutions for my sex education project as it is possible. But who knows what will happen when I open my eyes on this one. 

Invisible. Visible.

Recently I have been thinking about my degree project and decided not to focus on sex education. As I have already gained a lot of information in this field, I believe that I can work with this subject on my own. Before I applied to Konstfack, I already had an idea for my MA diploma. I would like to work with Storytelling and explore how to translate emotional experiences into objects in order to tame traumas and painful stories. I imagine huge and tiny objects made of various materials through which people could demonstrate how heavy some experiences have been for them. This proposal could be either a tool kit for healing traumas or my own personal story tamed and told through objects. Retrospective. Maybe it is not too early for one.

As much as I love to plan, I do not want to think too much about my degree project yet. I am not ready to leave Konstfack. 
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