About 20 years ago, somewhere between 2002 and 2004, the history of conceptual design under the banner of poor design began. What Poor Design actually is, even the author himself does not know; however, he sometimes calls his drug-induced and compulsive need to create a burden. Critics have described the work in different ways. For artists it is design, for designers it is more like art. There were terms such as theatrical props, three-dimensional posters or simply gadgets.

Poorex, or poor design, is an experimental ‘institution.’ The aim of its work is to catch moments from reality where there is a peculiar phenomenon of the meeting of several hard-to-define variables: an object in a given context, a user with a given need and a commentary on a given situation. All this with added sauce of a rather ambivalent attitude to life and the necessity of being apprenticed on Earth. When there is a brief clash, bastard objects are created. Unwanted children born between the lines of some boring and predictable story. What characterises the objects created in the Poorex studio is the genesis of their creation. The pedigree of each project parallels that of the artworks. Each work, each object, is born in the author’s mind as the result of observation, a genuine spiritual need, inspiration by a more or less banal phenomenon, however stimulating to design action.
Most of the projects are a representation of the adopted idea, a kind of tool to illustrate the philosophy behind the whole activity. Four elements characterising this philosophy can be found, and these are, in turn: Relying on what might be called ‘narrative looping,’ the use of simple mechanics, the apotheosis of simple, often degraded objects. And everything, one way or another, is encapsulated in the brackets of breaking the Functional Fixation known from psychology. Fixation not allowing the object to be looked at in a novel way, crosswise its originally intended function.

The exhibition at Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz presents a selection of works from 20 years of activity; the title and poster are reprints of a postcard advertising Poor Design at its very beginning. The strong, self-ironic message is still relevant today, as it presents a distanced attitude both to oneself and to the role of creators in the artistic and design world.

Bartosz Mucha – studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (diploma 2004) and at ESAG in Paris. 2D and 3D designer. In the years 2004-11 the vocalist and author of lyrics of math rock band Maria Celeste. Founder of the Poorex design studio, which is a one-man design and artistic enterprise. The studio is focused on the design and construction of unique objects and short series of such objects, occasionally produced and distributed. Poorex operates mainly in the gallery circuit or in other forms of cooperation with cultural institutions. The activity is based on three foundations: the experiment, the object and the para-architecture. The works are often accompanied by short videos that complement the situations that are happening. Book publications are an important element of finalizing particular series of objects. The experience gained in the studio is an important element in the didactic work in design faculties where students are taught conceptual and experimental thinking about design. Currently employed at the Faculty of Design, SWPS University.

Coordination: Danuta Pałys

Opening 02.03.2023, 18.00
20 Gdańska St.
End 07.04.2023

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