14.10.2021 - 30.09.2022 Design, Events, Visual Arts

CIRCULA for ECO Solidarity 2020-2021

CIRCULA for ECO Solidarity 2020-2021
Opening Thursday, Oct 28, 2021 | 12:00PM
At Golden Triangle

Courtesy of the Polish Cultural Institute New York and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland

Facing the environmental challenges of today, bold new ideas are needed more than ever to foster positive social change that advances ecology, sustainability, and wellbeing. It is with this urgency in mind that the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) together with the Polish Cultural Institute New York (PCINY) and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland announce the opening ofCircula  by a renown Polish designer, Tomek Rygalik at Studio Rygalik. This site-specific design installation was created in response to the ECO Solidarity movement, to stimulate solidarity through sustainable design that reduces social isolation and strengthens societal bonds.

The ECO Solidarity mission is to address the imperative need for human-centered design in response to climate emergency, humanitarian and public health crises, through design with empathy, sustainable materials, having the public wellbeing in public spaces in mind, and embracing the key objectives of the Green New Deal.

Crafted as a seating area, Circula provides a symbolic, functional space for dialogue, facilitates direct social interactions, and advocates for an ecological approach based on the concept of circular economy in two contrasting ways: one of the circular benches is made of recycled plastic, and the other is made of a naturally renewable resource – wood. In dialectical conversation the objects navigate both, the area of sculpture and public furniture, to reflect on the best use of eco-technologies, comparing the centuries old wood processing tradition and the newest technology of repurposing of the currently unrecyclable plastics, while restoring integrity in fractured communities. Circular in every sense, Circula is the tool for togetherness and a conceptual synthesis of circular design. 

The name of ECO Solidarity initiative was inspired by the Solidarity social and political movement. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Solidarity formation (Polish: Solidarność) in 1980, which united displaced communities and various disciplines in a common cause and led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, setting the nations on course toward democracy.​ Following that spirit, ECO Solidarity brings various disciplines together to focus on sustainability in public spaces, thus to humanize design.

CIRCULA for ECO Solidarity 2020-2021 is presented by the Golden Triangle, and made possible by the Polish Cultural Institute New York, with the generous support of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland. 


Tomek Rygalik is the lead designer at Studio Rygalik working on architecture and products for premium companies and international brands including Cappellini, Moroso, Ghidini, Siemens, Heineken, or Ikea; founder and creative director of furniture and accessories brand TRE Product; cofounder of the rural creative campus Sobole, and an openminded educator at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, with international teaching experience and PhD in industrial design. His work is about the engaging nature of new typology, longevity and simplicity holding power to responsibly elevate everyday life.

Golden Triangle 

The Polish Cultural Institute New York was founded in 2000. It is a diplomatic mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, operating in the area of public diplomacy. The PCI is one of 25 such institutes around the world. The Institute’s mission is to disseminate around the world comprehensive knowledge of Poland, Polish history and national heritage, as well as to promote Poland’s contemporary contributions to the success of world culture. The Institute does so through initiating, supporting and promoting collaboration between Poland and the United States in the areas of art, education, research and in many other aspects of intellectual and social life. The Institute’s main task is to ensure Polish participation in the programming of America’s most important cultural institutions as well as in large international initiatives. instytutpolski.pl/newyork.

The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C

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