Presentation of the best projects from Edition 2013

Selected projects are presented on the Review website
and at the exhibition at the Castle Cieszyn (until March 30)


The jury deliberations for the review of the best graduation projects were held, as usual, in Cieszyn. There were some new twists, however (apart from the unusual lack of snow in December). For the first time the jurors were divided into two groups. One dealt with the visual communication works (2D), and the other with industrial design (3D). This solution turned out to be most apt. The judges had the chance to take a more careful look at the various works, there was more time for arguments and discussions, the rejected works were examined time and again and rediscussed. The other change involved concealing the names of the schools and the supervisors during the selection process.

This year 246 graduation projects were submitted – 111 fewer than last year, and 38 fewer than the year before that. 133 were in the graphic design category (last year was 208), and 113 in 3D (149 in last year’s edition). The drop in 2D submissions could testify to a shift in interest toward industrial design. At the same time, despite the decreased number of works in both categories, we noted a higher overall standard of the projects, which bodes well for the future of design in Central Europe. 163 works from Poland, 42 from the Czech Republic, 21 from Hungary, and 20 from Slovakia (this last country had the least significant drop in numbers, as last year there were only two more submissions) were reviewed. Only in Poland did graphic design works outnumber the 3D pieces (99 to 64). In the remaining countries the majority of works were industrial designs.

The jury assessing the graphic design works included: Marcel Benčík (Slovakia, 1977), Filip Blažek and Linda Kudrnovská (Czech Republic, Typo), Jacek Mrowczyk and Kuba Sowiński (Poland, 2+3D), and Anna Pilch (Castle Cieszyn). The industrial design jury consisted of: Sylvia Jokelová (1977), Michael Vasku (representing Typo), Czesława Frej­lich, Bogdan Kosak, and Andrzej Sobaś (representing 2+3D), and Ewa Gołębiowska (Castle Cieszyn). Krisztina Somogyi and Zsolt Czakó (Hungary’s Plusminus Visual Intelligence) were unable to take part in the deliberations, though they submitted their votes and remarks by e-mail.

The discussion was observed by Katarzyna Pełka and Agata Korzeńska, who will be responsible for arranging the exhibition of the winning projects in Cieszyn (7.2–30.3.2014) and creating its design. In the voting period, each institution from the various countries (regardless of its number of representatives) had two votes, and additional vote came from the Castle Cieszyn.

Every year we are astonished by the subjects addressed in the graduation projects, which is not, of course, insignificant to us, as the gravity of the issue and an unconventional approach are among the crucial evaluation criteria. The vast diversity of the work submitted, both in terms of formal solutions and the multitude of the issues involved, creates a major challenge for the judges. It can sometimes be very difficult to compare the incomparable, such as social design with typefaces, or transport design with conceptual works. A partial remedy for these difficulties was the fact that the jury included specialists from various disciplines.

The descriptions of the graduation projects on the foregoing pages (often with critical commentaries) are based on the transcript of the discussions and the notes of the various jurors, which accounts for their various takes.

The sitting in Cieszyn just before Christmas was not only jury duty; it was also a meeting of old friends who have more in common than just design. This is all the more reason to look forward to the exhibition in Cieszyn, and to further editions of the review.

Sylvia Jokelová, Marcel Benčík