I am going for a meeting!
It has all started in Warsaw, now it’s time for Poznań, Wrocław, 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.
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, colour, facture, 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.
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.