Cooperation with University of Arts - interview with Ryszard Balcerkiewicz
An interview with Ryszard Balcerkiewicz, owner of NOTI and BALMA brands – by Hanna Rybarska.
What, in your view, are the most important benefits of the Education and Design Programme (PE-P)?
Above all, PE-P is open. NOTI and BALMA have been cooperating with the University of Arts in Poznań since the very beginning, with a close focus on the students’ development and their innovative ideas. We place an emphasis on trust. We respect the fact that the students have placed their confidence in us, delivering their designs and devoting time for their implementation. We also realize that we have assumed a great deal of responsibility. It is crucial to ensure that the entire production process is well prepared, and the students complete the Programme with new experiences, valuable knowledge and a lot of satisfaction.
What, above all, are the students able to learn in the factories?
PE-P gives students a chance to cooperate with the manufacturer from the very beginning of the design process. For obvious reasons, they have no such opportunities at the university. From the stage of prototyping onwards, the students are able to talk to process engineers from cooperating departments, whenever they need to, and in this way acquire a wealth of practical knowledge. As a result, after graduating they will be able to cooperate smoothly with technical departments in companies. What is more, the designs are often so appealing that they can be put into regular production. Another valuable aspect is that future designers expand their knowledge of the most advanced technologies used at industrial plants.
And what are the benefits of the Programme for the manufacturer?
Cooperation with young people is inspiring. They often surprise me with their brilliant ideas and their fresh outlook on things related to design. Thanks to PE-P, the manufacturer is in ongoing contact with the designers who will be setting new trends in several years’ time.
What would you list as joint successes after three editions of PE-P?
First of all, the excellent portfolios of all the people who have cooperated with us. In my view, a special credit should be given to the design created by Julia Pawlikowska, Olga Mężyńska and Urszula Burgeł who took part in the 10th edition of the Education and Design Programme. Their design, called Bouli, is very successful commercially. My personal favourite is Comfee, designed by Ania Hrecka, which is also marketed by NOTI.
What direction, do you think, the Programme should take?
I would want the project to continue and create an opportunity for many other young designers. I also hope that – through the presentation of it achievements at shows and in the media – the Programme will contribute to increasing consumer awareness. By purchasing furniture designed during PE-P, in addition to supporting NOTI, they support young Polish design and future designers.
EDUCATION AND DESIGN PROGRAMME (PE-P) – facts and figures:
PE-P was launched in 2001.
Signature programme created by Prof. Katarzyna Laskowska.
Fifteen editions of PE-P completed so far:
- with a total of 180 students and 49 companies,
- over 500 designs and 91 prototypes,
- 17 designs put into production (bathroom furniture, living room suite, and washbasins and aquaforma),
- another 13 designs being prepared for implementation.
For 15 years, PE-P has been supervised by Associate Professor Katarzyna Łaskowska, PhD (hab.), who heads the Studio of Educational Programs and Cooperation with Industry at the Poznań University of Arts.
PE-P has been supported by a number of companies including:
ATLAS Meble Kuchenne, Balma, Biznes Meble, Black Red White, Blum,
Bosch, BRW, DEFRA, Deign Alive, Egger, Forbo, Hettich,
NOTI, Marmorin, Meliński-Minuth, MBH, MIKOMAX, Międzynarodowe Targi Poznańskie, Moelke kuchnie, KRIS MAR, Kronospan, Kronopol, Kronospan HPL, Paged, Pfleiderer, Profap, PROFIm, PROFUNDO, POSNET, Ridex, Schattdecor, SIRO, SITAG, UMWW, VOX Meble, ZAMEK Cieszyn.
90% of University of Arts graduates who have participated in the Education and Design Programme work as designers.