2000 POLAND AT THE MILLENIUM

Storms across Poland

HOPE

At the begging of the new era, there was more optimism in the country. A date was set to join the European Union. Some western countries opened their job markets to the new EU members. The economy in Poland was not great at the time, it was far from good. The exodus of young, educated, skilled workforce started after the 01 of May 2004. Few millions of people have left and settled across Western Europe. Money earned in euro by the young Poles was sent to Poland and invested in properties, land, new businesses or paying back the loans. Some did not want to integrate within the cultures they arrived to. Their main purpose in leaving the motherland was to earn cash and invest back home.

Polish sky, fresc in Gdańsk
Hall of the former Junior High School of the Polish School. The unveiling of the reproduced painting “Polish Sky”, which was destroyed by the Nazis

IRELAND

At the time I already have left Poland. I went to learn English in Ireland with a plan of staying there for 6 months instead I ended up staying in Dublin for the next 20 years. At the time I had no idea Ireland was going through an economic boom. My idea of the country before I arrived was very different from what I saw, I had a very romantic vision of the place.

Dublin resembled a mini version of London the megacity I visited a few years before. Everyone rushing with a head down to the ground. Fast driving cars through the O’Connel street as if it was a highway. Hectic lifestyle in a town with a smell of the sea and barley in the air and noisy seagulls sitting at the top of the buildings.

The Irish countryside appeared the way I imagined it. If you ever visit Ireland the coastline will not disappoint you. Travelling through, one gets the feeling the country exists off the ocean mercy, that decided to leave the piece of land above the water, creating a unique culture of jolly good fellows.

The Oracle at O’Connell St. Bridge, Dublin by Sean Hillen
The Oracle at O’Connell St. Bridge, Dublin by Sean Hillen

POLAND

Back then it was my holiday destination. In early summer the fields were covered with green crops or yellow patches with flowering rape. Ocean of food waiting to harvest. One of the greatest threats at the time to the common European market was the inflood of the cheap Polish food that was meant to take over European shelves in the supermarkets. The Western farmers would lose their livelihood, that was the propaganda at the time, but it has never happened. Today, the food in Polish supermarkets is as expensive as it is in the west despite much lower wages. One of the highest monthly expenses.

storm across Polish country side
storm across the Polish countryside

2005 is the year when the Polish Pope died. Something in the country has changed forever, we lost the moral backbone and until now the nation has no one to lean on. Today our stomachs are full, we live in nice houses, go on holidays, drive good cars. We are proper consumers the way we always wanted to be. Spend, spend, spend like if there was no tomorrow, indulging ourselves with short-lasting pleasures keeping up with Joneses.

There is a new generation rising, filled with the young integral Poles that are searching for authorities and values their grandparents fought for. Not realising, they become authorities themselves during their lifetime. The circle of life brings hope.

All images are linked to the sources.

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

THE MARKER HOTEL, DUBLIN

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014

ERODED NATURE THE INSPIRATION FOR THE MARKER HOTEL IN DUBLIN

The Marker Hotel was another educational pearl at The Open House Festival in 2014 in Dublin. The architect involved in the project gave a clear understanding of the inspiration for the design and its functionality. Once I was aware of the inspiration it became obvious what I was looking at. The building is inspired by cliffs at the coastline of the West of Ireland.

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin

The geometric glass elevation resembles the bottom part of the cliff. The part that gets washed and eroded by powerful Atlantic Ocean waves. The process creates a number of caves and gaps that are found deep in the rock, often used as a shelter for seals and birds. The use of the transparent shaded glass material at the front of the hotel mirrors the stormy ocean waters. The base part of the cliff is the location for the reception, lounge and the restaurant at the Marker Hotel. The toilets on the grand flour are just another little adventure. It is like walking into a dark cave where rocks are wet and a deaf echo joins the whistling wind. The wall sparkles in the dark just like minerals on the wet rock inside the cave.

The vibrant colours carried through the whole interior are taken from the mustardy yellow moss that grows on the rocks. The colour is repeated inside and outside of the hotel and is reflected in ornamental grasses at the front of the hotel too. The energetic lime and mustardy colours follow into the rooms.

Irish moss
Mustardy colour

The view from the rooftop bar of the Marker Hotel is overlooking the city, Dublin hills, the sea and it is a great spot to chill out. All in the close proximity of Airbnb headquarters and The Bord Gais Energy Theatre.

THE LOUNGE

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014

THE RESTAURANT

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014

THE CONFERENCE ROOM

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014

THE BEDROOM

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014

THE VIEW

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014

THE ROOFTOP BAR

The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014
The Marker Hotel, Dublin, The Open House Festival 2014

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska A. Walkowska

YELP HEADQUARTERS DUBLIN

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

WHAT IS YELP?

In a few words, it is a website that publishes reviews of local businesses. It also trains small businesses on how to respond to reviews and how to hosts social events.

Yelp headquarters office was part of The Open House Festival in Dublin in 2016. The office is located not far from St. Stephen Green Park and it is just beside the Iveagh Gardens at Hatch Street.

The interior of Yelp headquarters is a splash of primary colours. The positive, welcoming yellow at the entry in combination with black is followed by a geometrically shaped desk and wavy hall. Contrasting colours and shapes. As we go along more colours are introduced. The playroom is inspired by the 1970ties style. The colours are muted, relaxed, natural. The working space area and the canteen are brightened up with red. In the same colour are chairs, the counter and other decorative elements. No need for a coffee among those vivid colours!

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

YELP ENTERTAINMENT ROOM

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

OFFICES

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

MEETING ROOM

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

CANTEEN

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014
Yelp Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland – Open House Festival 2014

Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014Yelp Headquarter in Dublin, Ireland - Open House Festival 2014

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska

SENTIMENTAL DETAILS

Brass letterbox in Dublin, Ireland

THE DEVIL IN THE DOORS DETAIL

The details are not the details. They make the design.

Charles Eames~Architect&Furniture Designer

WHAT WILL BE REMEMBERED?

Recently I had to move out of a place where I spent a good few years of my life. The time has come and the change was needed. Time to make space for something new. Humans will get used to anything. We often find comfort in strange places and situations. Adaptation is the survival skill. The rescue and the trap.

What makes a place? What’s remembered? Smell, air, texture, light, sometimes sounds. The small details. The Edwardian house I had to move out from in Dublin had some hidden characteristics, original, historical details. Brass door handle, letterbox frame, door press that has not been working for a hundred years! The front door resembles an old tree where history reveals itself. Here it is a symbol of transformation. Passing from one place to another. From familiar to unknown. Physical and mental transformation. I was experimenting with angles in my short photo documentary. The stains on the brass door resemble blood and sweat dripping from a human body after hard work. The Victorian door knocker looks like a crucifix …

Is it just me seeing it?

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paper lamp in the mirror frame
Reflection of a paper lamp

Illy coffee bed corner
Illy Coffee tin on the shelf

messy bed
Messy bed

Notes on table
Notes on the table

Notes on table
Notes on the table

Window with a view
Window with a view

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska

VICTORIAN PACKAGING

Victorian tea and coffee packaging

VICTORIAN STYLE PACKAGING FOR TEA & COFFEE

This is a mock project for Victorian tea and coffee packaging. The aim of it was to design 3D product following the styling of the set and then a photo shoot.

The Thompson Tea and Coffee Company based in Britain has been importing their products from Kenya for almost 150 years, so it would mean they started their trade journey during The Victorian Era. This was my starting point of the concept development.

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Looking back now, I think I must have been inspired by the book I read as a child called In Desert and Wilderness wrote by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It tells a story of two kids travelling through Africa. The description of nature in the book is so superbly written that as a child I was able to imagine and feel the dust, the humidity, the burning sun heat, the smell of camels, leather, tea and yes coffee too if such was present.

I wanted to create a scenery of a picnic after a very long journey, somewhere in the middle of the desert beside rocks. The crew is sitting by the fire, preparing for the night. Dust, sand and scorpions are the company of the set.

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For the typography I followed a tutorial on vintage signing, the link is here. My tea packaging was meant to be more green but the printer we had in the college caused some problems. I borrowed some old books and the scarves, bought the vintage cup at the antique shop and some old photographs with handwritten envelop at the flea market. I remember I paid €5 for the lot after negotiation! I guess I paid for the fact that I did NOT have it more than anything else!

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After printing and folding the boxes we were ready for the styling and photoshoot. The final product is an ad campaign for Fallon&Byrne which here in Ireland is an exotic products store and a restaurant.

 

Victorian tea and coffee packaging
Victorian tea and coffee packaging

Victorian tea and coffee packaging
Victorian tea and coffee packaging

SIGNAGE&TYPOGRAPHY

PACKAGING CUT OUTS

 

Kericho tea packaging

 

Kericho coffee packaging

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska

VICTORIAN FRONT GARDENS

Victorian front garden

VICTORIAN CLUES

To complete the journey on the Victorian architecture, here are some photographs that were taken in May 2018. Victorian gardens and houses in the Rathgar area.

In Ireland watering the gardens or the grass is totally unnecessary, in fact, I do not think I have ever have seen anyone doing so. Because of the humidity in the air everything around is full of life and greenery.

    

During the Industrial Revolution, there was a rapid development of the Dublin city, which at that time was under British rule. I am not a great fan of the city centre, but I do really like the neighbourhood in which I live. It has a lot of character. When walking around it I have an impression I travelled back in time to the British colonial period. Something Irish people would not see as intriguing or entertaining as I do, at all. I only want to admire the aesthetics of that period.

Solid front doors with ornaments made of brass. Sparkle cleaned every Saturday, by very well-educated housewives. Perfectly matched colours of the doors with the facade of the buildings or with the plants in the garden. Romanticism hidden in organic vault lines over the front doors. Refined British black gates, fences and barriers. Perfect set for a romance during an Art Nouveau period.

 

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Victorian front garden
Victorian front garden

Written by: Aleksandra Walkowska

A. Walkowska