Poetics of necessity

In times of need, urgency and uncertainty begin to enter the creative process, while architecture and design mix with social activism. Those are the days of change, adaptation and hope – new sources of creativity. The exhibition explores how unexpected objects such as reclaimed windows emerge from the world of reuse, and crisis collaboration.

In times of crisis, especially when available resources change and shrink, the world relies on new communities and new processes. Designers have to divert from aesthetics to functionality, but still remain creative in their work. This exhibition aims to reinterpret objects and tools that spontaneously emerge in grassroots humanitarian aid activities. 

Here, a building element, the humble window, transforms from waste into a chance for safety. It becomes a transmitter of new relationships, a barometer of the most urgent needs. The window serves as a starting point for a discussion about new aesthetics in design in times of sudden geopolitical shifts.

The installation is inspired by the WINDOW project – a call to action to collect reusable windows, given by Poles to Ukrainians stripped of dignified living conditions as a result of war. 

When donors give windows, they are connected to the receiver who may be thousands of kilometres away – there is a fascinating trajectory of a window from home to home. Windows are often abandoned in Polish garages, hastily removed during renovations, yet they have become valuable treasures, not only from an environmental perspective – but for human survival.

The pavilion asks questions around the durability of the objects on display, built for times of crisis and insecurity – and what is expected of a modern designer at these moments? The window installation at the heart of the pavilion is just as shapeshifting and open as the collective images of Europe’s fate. In this world of shaken fundamentals, there is still space for empathy, new collaborations and ‘new poetics’, which attempt to grasp the complex emotional temperature and logic of our times.

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Zofia Jaworowska

Michał Sikorski

Petro Vladimirov


Nicolò Signori

TŁO Michał Sikorski Architects

Michał Sikorski

TŁO Michał Sikorski Architects


Adam Mickiewicz Institute

2023 Exhibitors