Original Old 2017

Title Original Old
Fair and Exhibition
Location Leipzig
Year 2017
Client Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig
Curator Lilly M. Bozzo-Costa
Team Zou Wei, Stephan Wein
Susanne Wurlitzer (graphic design)
Leslie Ocker (English translation)

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

Nordwerkesign 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

Supervising professors

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


Franziska Heinze

Jenny Fischer


Promotor and Sponsor

Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig



Grassi Museum

Designers’ Open

Polish Institute Leipzig

Łódź Design Festival

CiCi Centro interdisciplinare di cultura italiana

Istituto italiano di cultura Berlino



europafoto Klinger