bbo Blog Is it good that my book sells in Lidl like hot cakes?
By  Beata Bochińska

Is it good that my book sells in Lidl like hot cakes?

Beau­ty for eve­ry­one and for eve­ry­day”
Wan­da Tela­kow­ska, 1960.

Last week has been very inte­re­sting. Ah! To say more, it could be a mine of infor­ma­tion abo­ut our emo­tions for a socio­lo­gi­st, and for me an impor­tant moment!

In my pro­fes­sio­nal life I’ve had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk from vario­us sta­ges and lec­terns. On a few con­ti­nents. I took part in nume­ro­us con­fe­ren­ces and was a juror in many com­pe­ti­tions invi­ted by known firms and insti­tu­tions. But that, what’s hap­pe­ning now is for me of the same, or may­be even gre­ater, impor­tan­ce. Then the­re were many spe­cia­li­sts liste­ning to me – we’ve argu­ed abo­ut nuan­ces and “lay­ered” appro­aches. We’ve been sho­wing known exam­ples and dispu­ted on the cri­te­ria of asses­sment and inter­pre­ta­tion. Today I have the chan­ce to be in eve­ry Poli­sh house! And that is ter­ri­bly impor­tant. Real­ly. That is pro­mul­ga­ting, pro­mo­ting, or wha­te­ver you want to call it, of the Poli­sh desi­gn and its histo­ry.

Yes, yes – if you think it is easy to exhort a network of mar­kets to pro­mul­ga­te desi­gn you are wrong (well, they can sell much more cat­chy sub­jects, such as nail care or mirac­le diet reci­pes that we all so like to read… :)). Hats off for my publi­sher, that per­su­aded Lidl to distri­bu­te the book that can help many people find real col­lec­tors’ rari­ties and objects well-desi­gned by Poli­sh desi­gners aro­und them.

Lidl (a gro­ce­ry depart­ment sto­re ??) gives us what IKEA once gave the Nor­dic people. It gives the access to the know­led­ge abo­ut desi­gn to eve­ry­one and eve­ry­day. Eve­ry­one! Am I hap­py that ones can put my book to the­ir trol­ley – betwe­en rol­ls and cans with corn? I AM VERY HAPPY! At last – that is the real suc­cess of my book. Now the traf­fic on flea mar­kets, in the Inter­net and in our homes will start for good. Final­ly, inste­ad of buy­ing any­thing “up to 50 PLN” for friend’s bir­th­day will give one ano­ther old flo­wer vases, pla­tes and flo­wer-bed – and that would be a gre­at gift! That will hap­pen becau­se not only will we know that is no sha­me but also we will under­stand that this is fashio­na­ble and impor­tant. Thanks to that we will save some­thing more valu­able that its pri­ce – we’ll save a big chunk of our eve­ry­day histo­ry. A beau­ti­ful eve­ry­day histo­ry. What makes it possi­ble? It’s the fact that we will know what is valu­able and that we can be satis­fied with it and that is SOMETHING – ori­gi­nal gift with histo­ry!

- Beata, I have bought your book in Lidl and you know what? My hus­band was per­su­aded to my col­lec­ting. – Kasia wro­te on one of the Inter­net forums.

- Unthin­ka­ble! Now we will buy desi­gn toge­ther with car­rots, by weight! – Witold was deeply outra­ged.

- Poli­sh desi­gn of the People’s Poland era in a super­mar­ket 😛 — added Łuka­sz iro­ni­cal­ly with a fun­ny emo­ji.

Atten­tion! I’d like to anno­un­ce that I am hap­py… despi­te the con­se­qu­en­ces that I face now :) I can­not take per­so­nal­ly eve­ry remark as eve­ry­one seems to have a dif­fe­rent one, but I can be hap­py that the sub­ject reached the people and the conver­sa­tion starts. As long as the conver­sa­tion is poli­te it is wor­th having it J and thin­king what does a well-desi­gned object mean and how much it is wor­th to whom.


I am reading the col­lec­ted memo­ries and liste­ning to my recor­ded talks with famo­us desi­gners, who­se care­er and suc­cess came in the 60ties and 70ties: — I’ve always wan­ted my objects to be acces­si­ble for eve­ry­one. You know, that is real­ly a designer’s dre­am came true. Not the pri­zes and awards, but being on sale in shops for the people – I can hear the moved voice of a known desi­gner. – I was so hap­py when I saw my pro­ducts in a shop for the fir­st time. Eve­ry­one could buy them. They were che­ap, and you know, that made me more satis­fied than an indi­vi­du­al exhi­bi­tion in the BWA gal­le­ry. But I would never admit it, becau­se what would my friends-arti­sts say… -

That’s it. What would people say 😉 As always. What would the people say?

Yes, the histo­ry came full circ­le. The­ir desi­gn (indu­strial desi­gn, pro­ject – cho­ose what term you want to use as they are all right) has ente­red the mass mar­ket aga­in. In pic­tu­res of my book eve­ry­one can read and see that tho­se known object from our homes were tho­ught thro­ugh and desi­gned by some­one – and that is why we like them today so much and why they bring back warm memo­ries and evo­ke posi­ti­ve emo­tions.

Alri­ght, not with eve­ry­one the emo­tions are posi­ti­ve. But they are with some and are a ple­asu­re not only for the eye… If some­one cho­oses to asso­cia­te them with the People’s Poland histo­ry and can­not see the beau­ty of the­ir form and the sty­le of the times when our moms and grand­mas were hap­py, that’s the­ir loss. If you are in doubt that only our histo­ry in the era was dif­fi­cult you sho­uld read abo­ut the histo­ry of Fin­land, Swe­den and a few more coun­tries who­se desi­gn we value and admi­re so much. Eve­ry­one has some bad memo­ries and “the grass is always gre­ener at the neigh­bo­urs’”. But may­be it is wor­th to just look clo­se­ly at our objects and disco­ver them aga­in.

So, to the trol­leys and buy some desi­gn for your family’s after­no­on tea!