bbo Blog I am going for a meeting!
By  Beata Bochińska

I am going for a meeting!

It has all star­ted in War­saw, now it’s time for PoznańWro­cław, War­saw aga­in and who knows whe­re else? In Empik’s salons, as in the old days, in the atmo­sphe­re of an intel­li­gen­ce discus­sion, I have a chan­ce to meet hun­dreds of people with simi­lar inte­re­sts. Oh, it tempts to do some­thing toge­ther…

That what hap­pe­ned after I wro­te my book, that was publi­shed thanks to Mar­gi­ne­sy publi­shing house in 2016 is an extra­or­di­na­ry phe­no­me­non. Tho­usands of people reach for me on vario­us gro­ups: they wri­te, col­lect, sell, show, sha­re the­ir know­led­ge, seek infor­ma­tion  it has beco­me a Real Natio­nal Sport. I am pro­ud! My coun­try­men have star­ted to appre­cia­te and save discar­ded, often unwan­ted eve­ry­day objects that some­one has tho­ught thro­ugh and desi­gned. A num­ber of real aesthe­tes is gro­wing mon­th by mon­th. Now it is a snow­ball effect, that grows fast and doesn’t seem to stop soon.

It’s not that I am taking cre­dit, but it often turns out that my book and Bochiń­ska desi­gn face­bo­ok page has been the begin­ning of a hob­by that chan­ged into a real pas­sion. And pas­sion is a serio­us thing! Fri­day mor­ning, holi­day mor­ning, tho­usands of people get up ear­lier to… sne­ak away for a local flea mar­ket to hunt and buy some­thing. Objects, that have cau­sed no atten­tion for ages are now awed and desi­red.

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I remem­ber how a few years a famo­us museum cura­tor and a lec­tu­rer at an este­emed uni­ver­si­ty discus­sed how our nation is aesthe­ti­cal­ly une­du­ca­ted and has no respect for desi­gn thin­king and how much it lacks sen­se of sty­le. Hm, I’ve always doub­ted such asses­sments of our sen­si­ti­vi­ty. Why some Finn or a Dutch­man living in a small town sho­uld have a bet­ter eye and taste than ours? I didn’t under­stand it and unsuc­cess­ful­ly sought an answer to why it sho­uld be this way and one day I was enli­gh­te­ned by a very nice col­le­ague of enga­ging inte­re­st, not real­ly arti­stic.

I was leading a work­shop for acqu­isi­tion direc­tors in a big reta­il network. The class went in a ple­asant atmo­sphe­re. We were sup­po­sed to cre­ate a beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of pro­ducts. For a moment a very skil­led spe­cia­li­st got stuck and cra­shed. It tur­ned out he didn’t know what cri­te­ria the pro­duct had to meet to be reco­gni­sed as well-desi­gned. Ha! That was it! What seemed obvio­us to me, for him was a myste­ry, dif­fi­cult to tell. Form, colo­urfac­tu­re, pro­por­tions, deco­ra­tion were not cri­te­ria he used in his eve­ry­day life, so he couldn’t use apply them quic­kly and witho­ut hesi­ta­tion. Yes, yes, that short discus­sion led me to pre­pa­re tool work­shops and… it went easy.

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We don’t ima­gi­ne play­ing a sona­ta witho­ut pre­pa­ra­tions, do we? It is obvio­us  we can­not play the instru­ment. Can­not read notes and don’t know how to inter­pret and use them. That seems obvio­us, but we don’t see it that cle­ar with arti­stic valu­es. We assu­me eve­ry­one sees the same and can assess the aesthe­tic value of an object becau­se… we see.

Sur­pri­se! Our bra­in works by com­pa­ring to a bench­mark  com­pa­res to known exam­ples and is then able to assess: cor­rect or incor­rect… and how is it sup­po­sed to do so if it doesn’t know any bench­marks as it has never seen one? Well, that’s what I’ve lear­ned from that par­ti­ci­pant. We all need know­led­ge, pat­terns and expla­na­tions. Then we can reco­gni­se and attri­bu­te objects to a pro­per gro­up  well or badly desi­gned. Inter­pre­ting and cho­osing what I like most bey­ond tho­se well-desi­gned is the next level of fun. To reach it one must prac­ti­se a lot, but fun incre­ases with reco­gni­sing more and more good desi­gns.

Each of us sha­pes the­ir taste but to do so must know the rules, or they will… distort. And none seems to get offen­ded, that they can­not sing becau­se they’ve never tried to, but with taste… well they’re appa­ren­tly not discus­sed 😉 So it tur­ned out that tho­usands of people wri­ting and hun­dreds of people coming to work­shops pro­ve that they are discus­sed and how well!

And I am most hap­py that they’re not only discus­sed, but also discus­sed calm­ly and cul­tu­ral­ly  at least in my gro­up and at our work­shops. That’s why I like to pre­pa­re and run them across Poland, just so.

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