20 years of Graduation Projects

This may be hard to believe but the first edition of the Graduation Projects review took place 20 years ago. In 2002, the editors of the 2+3D design quarterly invited graduates of design programmes at Polish universities to present their diploma projects. As a result, 45 works were submitted, out of which 7 were published in the magazine.

Four years later, Zamek Cieszyn joined in to organise regular exhibitions of the selected works. Apart from getting a chance to show their projects in 2+3D, the selected graduates were able to present their ideas to the visitors of the exhibition. In 2010, the review became international, as students from the Czech Republic and Slovakia were invited to take part in the review; the following year, Hungary was included as well. The organisers were joined by new partners from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary: Typo, 1977, and Plus Minus Intelligence. The review received its official name: Graduation Projects. In 2017, more international design institutions supported the event: Hungarian Design Council, CZECHDESIGN, and Slovak Design Center. Zamek Cieszyn became the main organiser of the review. Other partners of Graduation Projects are: Association of Applied Graphic Designers in Poland (STGU), Association of Industrial Designers in Poland (SPFP), and FORMY.xyz. 

The subsequent editions of the review exhibition travelled to design festivals and important design centres in Europe, including Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Kaunas, Łódź, Poznań, Prague, Tallinn, Vienna, and Warsaw.  

The review has never been a competition: there are no rankings or money prizes. The projects are evaluated in two categories: 2D – applied graphic design (including website design, active design, and application design) and 3D – industrial design (including textile, fashion, glass, and ceramics design). The works selected by the jury are presented on the review website, in a catalogue, and at exhibitions. The participants are graduates of design studies from the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary or citizens of these countries who study outside of the territory of the Visegrad Group. Both Bachelor and Master projects can be submitted. 

In the 20th edition of the review, 312 projects were submitted (131 – 3D; 181 – 2D). In total, 30 projects were qualified for the exhibition by the jury members: 2D – Balázs Balogh (Hungarian Design Council), Filip Blažek (TYPO), Agata Korzeńska (Idee), Marcel Benčík (1977, Slovak Design Center), Filip Tofil (STGU); and 3D – Ferenc Laufer (Hungarian Design Council), Czesława Frejlich (Formy.xyz), Kateřina Matějková-Žáková (Czech Design), Michal Latko (Latko), Marian Laššák (Slovak Design Center).