1.02.2021 - 15.08.2021 Events, Visual Arts

ECO Solidarity at ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan 2021

May 18: ECO Solidarity on CLOSEUP Trade Show RSVP to watch the recording

The 1st session (10:05 AM EST) entitled, Design with Empathy: Public Spaces and Social Impact will feature Aha Objects (Malta), Atelier Ad Hoc (Romania), EOOS NEXT (Austria), and Hermann & Coufal (Czech Republic). 

The 2nd session’s (10:45 AM EST) entitled Sustainable Material and Process: Research and Innovation , will spotlight Studio Plastique (Belgium/ Wallonie-Bruxelles), Alga Life (Goethe-Institut Germany), NAS-DRA Paulina Grabowska HOME OF TOMORROW (Poland), and Livable (Belgium/ Flanders). 

June 15-August 15: Online exhibition at WantedDesign.online

Polish Cultural Institute New York is proud to present ECO Solidarity program at WantedDesign Manhattan and ICFF Virtual Trade Show as well as an online exhibition at WantedDesign.com.

At a moment when the world grapples with climate change, bold new ideas are needed more than ever. It is with this urgency in mind that eight countries have come together to announce the second edition of ECO Solidarity, an international project, movement, and initiative focused on design solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time. Eight visionary designers were selected to share products and projects that thoughtfully consider positive social impact, design empathy, and sustainable materials. ECO Solidarity will launch as part of the CLOSEUP 2021 presented by ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan event on May 18th, 2021 during two thought-provoking sessions, followed by an expanded online exhibition in June.

This inspiring movement, initiated in 2020 by the Polish Cultural Institute New York and Tomek Rygalik of Studio Rygalik in partnership with WantedDesign, continues its mission with eight European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) organizations to address the imperative need for human-centered design in response to humanitarian and public health crises by focusing on ecology, the climate emergency, public health, wellbeing in public spaces, and how shifts in the economy affects people’s lives. In alliance with WantedDesign’s co-founders Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, the ECO Solidarity 2021 program will also strive to address the key objectives of the Green New Deal, through interior and product design as well as spatial planning. “At WantedDesign, we have focused on sustainability as a topic in our programming for several years as we understand the importance of always keeping it top of mind,” explains Hainaut. “ECO Solidarity is not only a design exercise—it shines the light on designers who think about our future and propose ideas that push the conversation forward and help create a more sustainable, conscious, and harmonious way of living. Pijoulat adds, “The international exchange of ideas is key to what WantedDesign does, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring eight European countries and regions together for the ECO Solidarity project at CLOSEUP in May and the WantedDesign Online Exhibit in June.”

Paulina Grabowska NASDRA has been selected as a Polish designer to participate in ECO Solidarity at ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan 2021. She investigates the possibilities of the circular urban farming methods, where functional foods are grown. Her main objectives are to use the least resources; re-use all of the byproducts of the process; cultivation of organic foods that have an impact on our mood, cognition, and health.  The company NASDRA has a mission to promote and facilitate implementation of circular economy principles in business and design strategies in Poland. Paulina focuses her work on changing mindsets and at the same time providing strategic tools helping to implement those new models.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nasdraconscious
Instagram: @nasdraconscious  

Paulina Grabowska – NASDRA Conscius Design – Sustainability Specialist, Innovation Designer, Circularity Architect, Author Kroniki Studio
Relax, anti-migrane, anti-headache room – Televisor Warsaw. Author NASDRA Conscious Design – Paulina Grabowska
Paulina Grabowska of NAS-DRA Conscious Design was invited to the IKEA Home of Tomorrow to design interior landscaping, urban farms and circular solutions. Photo by Kroniki Studio.
Marta Samsonov
Mateusz Książek
Gustaw Jakubowski
Katarzyna Grzeszczak
Ewelina Sośniak
Justyna Beata Puchalska
Jo Jurga
Paulina Grabowska

ECO Solidarity brings to attention sustainable contemporary design solutions and places special importance on bringing unity to the fractured social fabric. 

The virtual trade show CLOSEUP will include designers’ product launch, brands and projects presentations followed by a panel discussion, all in two 45 min session between May 16-18, 2021. The online exhibition at WantedDesignnyc.com curated by Odile Hainaut, in consultation with the Advisory Committee comprised from academic field experts nominated by each participating institution, will take place between June 15-August 15, 2021.

Polish members of the ECO Solidarity Advisory Committee who will select designers for the project from each participating institution’s nominations are Tomek Rygalik and Ewa Bińczyk. 

©Tomek Rygalik portrait. Photo by Monika Olszewska.

Tomek Rygalik a designer and educator, creator of Studio Rygalik, and Circula.org, created in response to ECO Solidarity principles. Rygalik represents a sensible, holistic approach towards design, and who had been involved in ECO Solidarity since its foundation and took part in the last year’s WantedDesign + ICFF CLOSE UP. His design work is focused on sustainability, responsible consumption of material goods and the resources of our planet. Rygalik develops a wide variety of comprehensive projects. The focus is on furniture, products and spaces. The scope is wide – from design, development and implementation of new products, through interior design of public and commercial spaces, to site-specific installations, design & build and production of limited editions, as well as objects, dining experiences and workshops. He remains on the fringe of distinctly commercial activities, while engaging in cultural practices and building its experimental identity.


©Circula wood 2020 for ECO Solidarity. Image courtesy of Studio Rygalik.
©Ewa Bińczyk portrait. Courtesy of Ewa Bińczyk.

Ewa Bińczyk works at the Department of Practical Philosophy in the Institute of Philosophy at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, a contemporary philosopher who specializes in environmental philosophy and controversies in science. Her research interests include philosophy of science, sociology of scientific knowledge, environmental ethics and philosophy, and technology studies (STS). She is the author of (among others): The Epoch of Man. The Rhetoric and Lethargy of the Anthropocene (2018), Modeling Technoscience and Nanotechnology Assessment. Bińczyk has been awarded scholarship grants from the Foundation for Polish Science (2005) and The Fulbright Foundation (2006-2007), as well as the “Zostańcie z nami” scholarship of Polityka weekly (2010). She has published articles in The Anthropocene Review, Constructivist Foundations, The International Journal of Social Economics and a number of leading Polish periodicals.


To create a timely, forward-thinking project of the scale of ECO Solidarity, the eight EUNIC institutions tapped some of the most innovative emerging and established designers and leading field experts from their countries. The partnering organizations and their nominees include: Austrian Cultural Forum New York in cooperation with Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Vienna Business Agency (Lotte Kristoferitsch, EOOS NEXT); Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA (Sep Verboom, Livable); Wallonie-Bruxelles International New York (Theresa Bastek and Archibald Godts, Studio Plastique); The Czech Center (Eduard Herrmann and Matěj Coufal, Herrmann & Coufal); Goethe-Institut New York, (Renana Krebs, Algaeing); Arts Council Malta in New York, (Anna Horvath, AHA Objects); Polish Cultural Institute New York, (Paulina Grabowska, NAS-DRA Conscious Design; and Romanian Cultural Institute (George Marinescu and Maria Daria Oancea, Atelier Ad Hoc).

EUNIC European Union National Institutes for Culture

European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) is the European network of organizations engaging in cultural relations. Together with our partners, we bring to life European cultural collaboration in more than 90 countries worldwide with a network of over 120 clusters, drawing on the broad experience of our members from all EU Member States and associate countries.

WantedDesign founded in 2011 by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat, is a platform dedicated to promoting design and fostering the local and international creative community throughout the year. Its two marquee events are held in New York during NYCxDESIGN.

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) is where designers, retailers, developers, and architects converge to exchange inspiration and ignite a competitive drive for contemporary residential and commercial interiors. With a selection of both established and emerging designers, the ICFF delivers a selection of the globe’s finest, most creative, individual and original avant-garde products showcased in one venue. Exhibitors from 36 countries come to the ICFF each year to showcase the newest frontier of high-end, contemporary interiors.

ECO Solidarity initiated by Polish Cultural Institute New York and Tomek Rygalik at Studio Rygalik, in collaboration with WantedDesign Manhattan, and in partnership with the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) organizations: Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA, Wallonie-Bruxelles International New York, The Czech Center, Goethe Institute New York, Arts Council Malta in New York, and Romanian Cultural Institute New York.

More information: CLOSEUP 2021
Arch Daily
Office Insight
Gulacanbozkurt’s Blog

Past events:
ECO Solidarity 2020

Tomek Rygalik presenting Circula at CLOSEUP 2020


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