Interview with Jan Godlewski – laureate of make me! 2018

Why did you decide to take part in the make me! competition? What advice would you give to designers intending to compete?


If you start in design competitions, make me! is almost mandatory. In my opinion, this is currently the most important competition for young designers. make me! does not impose rules, categories, such freedom is very encouraging, although it does not make competition easier. First of all, I would encourage them to start at all. I think competitions are mines of experience, a chance to show their talent. During my studies, I made almost as many projects for competitions as at the university and if it were not for competitions, my portfolio after graduation would be much poorer. The most important skill that I gained from competing is the ability to self-motivate, encourage myself to work. This is a feature that is very useful later in professional work. To those determined to participate I would suggest to submit projects addressing significant issues, introducing new content to the discussion about design, works from the borderline of experiments and science. It’s about digging deep, researching topics at the source, rather than focusing only on the superficial style.


You took part in the final of the make me! competition twice: with the first project Patyczaki in 2014 and with the second project Wstawacz in 2018. What’s up with Patyczaki?


The project is alive, from time to time I get an order to create a set. Patyczaki have visited some parts of Europe, were exhibited a couple of times, among others in Milan, Sempering as a part of Triennale di Milano (curators: Luisa Collina, Cino Zucchi), Do It Your Way under the care of Mrs. Ewa Solarz and Tabanda.


In mid-December prizes were awarded in the Technotalent competition. Wstawacz got the main prize, honorable mention and one of three special prizes awarded on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the competition. What awaits the project in the future? Do you think about introducing it to the market?


The project has implementation potential, but still requires a lot of work, refinement and resources to create another prototype. Wstawacz attracts interest, if I manage to finish the project, there is a good chance that it will be implemented.


What inspired you to design Wstawacz? After the warm reception it received, do you still want to help older people?


I was inspired by changes in society and the observation of my closest surroundings. In 30 years, the number of people over 60 will double. Wstawacz was first, but I have a pile of concepts on my desk that could make everyday life easier for the elderly. I will try to implement them on a regular basis.


Together with your sister Ewa, you run GDL2 Design Studio. What are you currently working on?


I am responsible for 3D, Ewa deals with 2D visual identification. We are currently working on several projects, we are finishing the implementation of industrial power tools, we are carrying out a comprehensive 2D + 3D project for a manufacturer of measuring devices and recently we completed the conceptual stage of the project for the producer of LPG installation.


Born in 1985, studied at the Faculty of Interior Design of the Białystok University of Technology (2003–2011) and at the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2006–2011). His designs include interiors, furniture, means of transport, lighting, clothes and shoes. Since 2012 he has been running his own design studio involved in the fields of design and interior design. He is an academic of the Faculty of Architecture of Bialystok University of Technology and member of the Association of Industrial Designers. In the make me! competition he was awarded twice: for the “Patyczaki” project in 2014 and for the “Wstawacz” project in 2018.