According to the Federal Statistical Office, Germany is one of the largest waste producers in the EU, generating 618 kg of waste per capita every year. However, Germany is also Europe’s best recycler, reusing 64 per cent of its wastes. Upcycling, i.e. the process of transforming waste materials into products of better quality, is now a booming trend. Since 2015 the Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig has been presenting current developments in this field with its annual international upcycling fair and exhibition Echt Alt/Original Old.
The third event was hosted here from 20 to 22 October 2017 in the context of the Grassimesse and the Designers’ Open 2017. Some 40 artists from four different countries (Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and Germany) presented their unique solutions for combining sustainability and design in the form of high-quality and unique products from the fields of product design, fashion, jewellery, textile design and art. All of the works were handmade from reclaimed and repurposed materials. Recycling and upcycling have long since made the leap from “green” niche to trend market. The reuse of scrap and waste materials is an important theme in art and design. Recycled and upcycled products are being made with impressive quality, ethical approaches and contemporary designs.
Special Exhibition Poland
After focusing on Italy in 2015 and Africa in 2016, the 2017 Special Exhibition turned the spotlight to Poland. The highly sophisticated and multifaceted Polish design culture has earned an excellent reputation worldwide. The four featured design studios and projects provided a good overview of the current design and upcycling landscape of our eastern neighbour. The featured artists and studios included REC.ON, Alicja Patanowska, Daria Wartalska+Priska Wüst_Tohu & Bohu and MiserArt. In the field of design, we can certainly learn a lot from our Polish colleagues. They combine high standards for design and craftsmanship with social commitment and a sense of beauty.
The project “MiserArt” from Wrocław incorporates social activism and environmental sustainability into its design work. Its special upcycling workshops take a stand against the social and cultural exclusion of homeless people. The project’s aim is to help individuals develop their creativity and handicraft skills as an initial step towards reentering social life. In the context of the fair, the group “MiserArt” presented its work in the form of an open workshop.
The Special Exhibition was co-sponsored by the Łódź Design Festival, the Polish Institute Berlin, the Polish Institute Leipzig and the Europa-Haus Leipzig.
Henry Baumann DE
Marc Rexroth*Reditum DE
Luise Wonneberger DE
Michele Baldassare IT
Bastian Demmer+Oliver Bahr*Statthocker DE
Angelo Lussiana IT
Frank Gibbemeyer DE
Lucia Gossmann DE
Mona Geissler DE
Michael Grzesiak*THEZIMMER DE
Anne Zeitler DE
Anne Katrin-Döll DE
Julie van den Boorn NL
Waltraud Münzhuber DE
Carlotta Scarabeo IT
Applied Arts Schneeberg
Faculty of the Westsächsische Hochschule
Zwickau University of Applied Sciences
Prof. Dorette Bardos, Prof. Thomas Knoth
Franziska Heinze, Jenny Fischer
Special Guest Poland
Daria Wartalska+Priska Wüst*Tohu & Bohu
Alicja Patanowska, PL/UK
europafoto KLINGER Leipzig – Damián
Promotor and Sponsor
Polish Institute Leipzig
Łódź Design Festival
CiCi Centro interdisciplinare di cultura italiana
Istituto italiano di cultura Berlino