15. ŁDF - May edition guide

15. ŁDF - May edition guide

After last year’s changes caused by the global situation, the 15th edition of the ŁDF returns to its May date. On this occasion, as many as a dozen interesting exhibitions and… floating gardens will be created in Łódź! The attractions will also include online meetings and discussion panels that will catch the attention of anyone interested in designing a new and better reality. The jubilee 15th edition of the Łódź Design Festival will start on May 14 under the name BETTER. The festival will last 10 days, and the whole event will be prepared in a hybrid form, just like last year’s edition. You will be able to view the rich program of the festival for free without any registration!

– We are organizing this year’s edition with full awareness of the changes that have taken place in our lives. Changes, catalyzed by the pandemic, and which in many cases only accelerated the current processes – says Michał Piernikowski, the director of ŁDF, adding that the greatest attention will be paid to innovation aiming at wiser and more careful design: – So that we can effectively diagnose problems and propose solutions. This will secure our health as well as improve our psychological comfort and safety. We will suggest different ways of designing to improve not only the situation of individuals but also entire communities.

An important topic of this year’s edition will be activities devoted to urban issues. During the, together with the invited specialists, we will focus on how to design cities to make life more convenient. Similarly to the previous edition, the lectures and debates will be carried out in an online transmission formula. It will enable a larger group of recipients to participate in the events taking into account the current conditions. A discussion block led by Filip Springer, the popular ARCHIBLOK, will be based on this solution.

Exhibitions in the most important locations

Our main exhibitions will be located in glass pavilions located in the most popular areas in the city, so we can invite everyone to visit them in a safe way, adapted to the current situation.

The members of the audience interested in the best items created by leading Polish designers are invited to the famous Manufaktura. It is there, on the popular market square called Rynek Włókniarek Łódzkich, that the exhibition of the works by the artists that were awarded in the must have plebiscite will take place for the second year in a row. This plebiscite has been selecting the best Polish implementations created thanks to the cooperation of designers and producers for 10 years. The list of 75 rewarded objects, selected by the Board of Experts of the plebiscite composed of Anna Grużewska, Dominika Olszyna, Agnieszka Gruszczyńska-Hyc, Magda Świew and Paweł Rafa, Agnieszka Polkowska, Iwona Ławecka-Marczewska, Katarzyna Księżopolska, Zbigniew Maćków, Michał Mazur, Paulina Górska and Michał Piernikowski, will be published just before the start of the 15th edition of the festival. This year special attention was paid to product concepts that meet the essential needs of modern consumers, that is, products that are ideal for home offices, socially sensitive, created out of concern for resources, as well as products that do not create unnecessary waste but help care for health. We can already reveal that you will be able to see as many as 50 of them at the exhibition entitled "nature culture". The exhibition will be prepared by Joanna Góra-Raurowicz, Magdalena Michalczyk, and Katarzyna Similak from Pracownia w przestrzeni and 2x3 creative studio.

The location of the exhibition accompanying the make me! contest for young designers will also be super attractive. The popular OFF Piotrkowska complex will feature the most interesting projects by artists from all around the world in specially arranged glass pavilions. It is a unique space combining creative studios, music clubs, restaurants, and showrooms as well as a place that won the first prize in the "7 new wonders of Poland" plebiscite. It is a must-see location for weekend outings located in the former spinning and weaving mill of Franciszek Ramisch which was hailed by CNN as "the coolest district in Europe". The exhibition designed by Katarzyna Ludwisiak from the Łódź Design Festival will present as many as 26 works. The authors of these works will find out if their projects have earned them an award in the make me! Design Awards to a total value of EUR 15.500 on the opening day of the festival. Thanks to the support of Ceramika Paradyż, the most talented individuals will receive financial awards, that is the make me! Paradyż Awards to a total value of EUR 13.300 PLN. The make me! Interprint Award to a total value of EUR 2.200 will be given by its sponsor, INTERPRINT Polska.

– We are glad that both the most important and emerging designers from Poland and abroad will be able to present their achievements to such a wide audience due to the festival. The character of Lodz lends itself perfectly to supporting creative activities that can help us adjust to the surrounding reality. Thanks to our partners, such as OFF Piotrkowska and Manufaktura, the residents of Łódź will be able to look for inspiration and stimulate their creativity in their favorite locations – says Maciej Łaski, the director of the Łódź Event Center.

The identity of the city

For the third time, thanks to our cooperation with the Municipal Art Gallery in Łódź, the most talented Polish illustrators will attempt to present words and expressions functioning in the language of the residents of Łódź in the form of graphic designs. The exhibition "A Dictionary of Łódź/Human Culture" will be a continuation of the "Dictionary of good expressions used in Łódź. Interpreted by Polish illustrators" from 2019 and last year's "Dictionary of modern expressions used in Łódź". The project aims to enrich the dictionary of illustrations with new entries documenting Łódź as seen through the eyes of the best Polish graphic artists. 14 large-format illustrations referring to the expressions used in Łódź, i.e. words from the local language that are currently used in the speech of the inhabitants of the Łódź agglomeration, will be hung in the Re:Medium Gallery at 113 Piotrkowska Street. The expressions used in Łódź, or łodzianisms, are not only the names of items or dishes typical of the region but also the names of places characteristic of Łódź and nearby areas. This year, the artists focused on various popular places and sights such as Mirmiłła, Grandka, Bociany, Beczki Grohmana, Łódzki Luwr, Koncertówka and Pomnik Sera.

As before, the task of the graphic artists was to depict a selected entry from the Łódź dictionary in the form of a language combining a verbal and a pictorial message. − The illustrators have created works that show their excellent skills as artists and are visually attractive as well as tasteful, stylistically individualized, arousing emotions and curiosity among viewers, touching and even provoking, encouraging viewers to discover meanings and come up with their own interpretations − says the curator of the exhibition Adriana Michalska.

The invitation to take part in the project was accepted by Paulina Adamowska, Edgar Bąk, Piotr Gruszczyński, Magda Danaj, Krzysztof "Kuki" Iwański, Paweł Jońca, Jakub Kamiński, Bartosz Kosowski, Paweł Mildner, Ola Niepsuj, Patrycja Podkościelny, Dawid Ryski, Jakub "Hakobo" Stępień, Aleksander Walijewski and Jakub Zasada. The original idea of this edition is the fact that it refers to architecture and places, i.e. the symbols functioning in the common awareness of the residents that comprise the identity of the city – symbols which are connected to events and people because that gives the symbols meaning and bring them to life. That is why the exhibition will be enriched with a series of fourteen portraits – drawings created by Magda Danaj – depicting well-known and valued residents of Łódź. The portraits show figures such as Władysław Strzemiński, Katarzyna Kobro, Artur Rubinstein, Agnieszka Osiecka, Daniel Liebeskind and Roman Modzelewski. Some of them were born in Łódź while others linked their lives to Łódź, becoming part of its history forever.

LDF21 zaproszenie gif


What is the message here?

At the unusual In a cave. Objects of the "visible type", which will be placed in the exhibition pavilion at Piotrkowska 217, we will display the unfinished works of the craftsmen from the NÓW Association. New Craft. Some of the works are recent incomplete creations that the artists did not complete on purpose with the intention to present them at the exhibition. The artists stopped creating them at one of the stages of the creative process. It is not known what the works were supposed to be. Their final form remains only in the sphere of ideas and possibilities. That is why the works have been described in the subjunctive mode, which defines their shape, pattern, and goal in an implicit way. What is the implication of the works? What is their pattern? What is their goal? The creators themselves will answer these questions – the exhibition space contains links to video interviews with the craftsmen behind these works of art.

In May, the partners of the Łódź Design Festival – INTERPRINT, Mazda, and Porta – will also present their unique exhibitions in the exhibition pavilions – more details coming soon!

Environmental education and improving the quality of space

Good contemporary design combines aesthetics and concern for human well-being with ecological and social sensitivity. In this spirit, we have been preparing projects in the city to improve the quality of public spaces for several years. After the ceramic mosaic in the vicinity of the Teatr Nowy, the functional and artistic city bench welcoming visitors at the Łódź Fabryczna station and the rain gardens that improve the climate in frequently visited locations, this year it is time to take care of water reservoirs.

– The industrial heritage of the city of Łódź is associated with the presence of numerous reservoirs located on the premises of former factories. As part of the festival, we will prepare wetland islands to support water purification. Such an island is a decorative element, enhancing the aesthetics of water reservoirs, while performing additional and important functions in terms of the environment at the same time – explains the director of the ŁDF festival Michał Piernikowski.

The islands are mobile so, if necessary, they can change their location. Thanks to the vegetation that grows on them, they help remove nitrates and contribute to the improvement of water quality in the reservoirs. Additionally, in the plant root zone niches with microorganisms participating in the purification process develop. The islands shade the reservoirs, lowering the water temperature, which reduces the risk of cyanobacterial blooms. The islands are also a place where you can observe water birds that feel safe and happy to stay there. – The main goal of the project, however, is environmental education and raising awareness of the processes affecting water quality in the city. The maintenance costs are very low, the only procedure that needs to be carried out is the annual mowing – ensures the manager of the project Elżbieta Urbaniak.

ŁDF online & more to come

– We would like to invite you to a series of lectures and debates conducted online from May 14 to 23. During these meetings, specialists and experts in contemporary design will share with viewers their thoughts on what should be designed better and what should be abandoned altogether. At a time when apartments become home offices, schools, fitness centers, we will think about better ways to arrange them to suit our needs. As part of ARCHIBLOK, we will discuss how to design our cities in more efficient ways. Moreover, during our brand-new series of conversations with Marcin Szczelina, the critic and curator will talk to the masterminds of contemporary architecture and design about the challenges posed by the contemporary industry, especially in connection with the ongoing climate change – informs the spokesman for the ŁDF festival Ola Kietla.


These are not all the attractions that we are preparing for the festival audience. To find out more about them, we encourage you to follow the lodzdesign.com website, the festival's social media accounts:

The organization of the Łódź Design Festival is possible because of the support of the Łódź Event Center and the City of Łódź. ŁDF was co-financed from the Fund for the Promotion of Culture by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage, and Sport.

15. Łódź Design Festival