Holis is an educational experiment to foster innovation through interdisciplinary education. Every year we bring students from a wide range of disciplines together to work on real projects with the support of outstanding team leaders.
We are living in the world of hyperconnectivity, hyper rapid changes and hypercomplexity. This setting is a hotbed for wicked problems. To solve such problems is extremely difficult because of the complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems.
We believe the answer to the escalating economic and social wicked problems can only be a complex, comprehensive solution. We believe that innovation carried out by interdisciplinary teams can lead to such solution. The recent educational system although does not support the work of interdisciplinary teams but often maintains the knowledge within defined disciplines.
A lot of people feel a sense of isolation. Social alienation is one of the top problems in urban and rural environment. This is true for the Lublin Province as well in eastern Poland where Sobole, the venue of HOLIS is to be found. Bringing a community together is a challenging wicked problem especially for outsiders as us.
We believe that change should be initiated with the most agile agents. We identified this agents in the local business community. This is why we partnered up with Spomlek, a local cheese factory. We asked ourselves: how a local business can serve the community around it?
Gosia graduated from the Design Department at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts (2010 MA). She also studied at the Danmarks Designskole and gained her first professional design experience in Copenhagen. During the studies in Warsaw she was a member of the PG13 platform – responding to experimental design briefs, exhibiting, organizing and taking part in design workshops and competitions as well as industry supported projects.
Tomek is a designer, curator and educator with a Ph.D in Industrial Design, born in Lodz in 1976. He studied architecture at the Technical University of Lodz, and graduated in Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute (1999 BID). He then worked with design companies in the United States, consulting for international clients such as Kodak, Polaroid, MTV, PerkinElmer, Dentsply, Unilever, and Dupont. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2005 (MA), he joined the RCA staff as a Research Associate and established Studio Rygalik in both London and Lodz, Poland.
Born in Libya in 1979, Monika Favara-Kurkowski studied Industrial Design in Milan. Graduated in 2004, she participated in the development of the Industreal business, becoming part of the management team. Then, she collaborated with the non-profit organization for art Careof DOCVA. Since 2013 she lives, studies (philosophy) and works in Warsaw.
Daniel is a London based graphic designer from Hungary. Having graduated from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest he is currently studying in the Visual Communication MA programme of the Royal College of Art, London. He is a founding member of Diaméter, a creative collective that combines photography and graphic design in identities, publications and campaigns.
I am a product / graphic designer in my 3rd year at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. I was the co-founder of Have a Bite (a media startup) and I have been working with Ergo Design - a design and consultancy agency.
Zsofia is a third year graphic designer at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest while holding a BA degree in sociology. She is most interested in the potential lying in the combination and interaction of the fields of design and social sciences. Currently she is doing her internship at an Innovation and Research Center in Berlin developing innovative strategies and sustainable future solutions.
I am designer and marketer. I develop ways how companies can better present themselves on the Internet. Over 7 years of work in this area means that I can efficiently carry out diverse projects. The wide education of the directions: management - marketing, computer science and cultural studies - new media helps me in my work.
I am a design strategist, thinker and researcher. I have a broad interdisciplinary knowledge and deep critical thinking that I can apply in various problem-settings. I have the ability to cooperate and collaborate within different kinds of groups. I also like to deal with unknown challenges in creative (design) processes with a set of special skills from business and design fields.
Studied at the Design Department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and the University of Economics in Izmir. She started working in a team with Gabriela Szałańska during their stay in Turkey, where they conducted design-related research on refugees’ situation in Izmir. Acquainted skills formed a base for her work with habitants of Targówek Fabryczny, a suburban district of Warsaw, which was a part of a topographic project „Targówek Mówi”. She is interested mainly in social design, particularly passionate about working with local communities with focus on projects/interventions in urban space. Current participant of the Architectural Residency Program in Łabiszyn.
I guess the two most important things about my personality is childish enthusiasm about different topics and the constant need of learning new things.
I am a design and project manager with a background in communication. My experience includes working at a startup and managing projects in agile environment. I enjoy supporting product development processes and working together with multidisciplinary teams.
Graduated from the Faculty of Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. During her studies at the Design Department in Izmir University of Economics, she gained knowledge on methodology of design research. Researching topic of transitional shelters for refugees and her professional experience in Das Packhaus in Vienna directed her towards urban resources and temporary use. She worked as a Visual Designer and visual facilitator of workshops in Innovatika. Together with Eliza Chojnacka in a team, they feel good both in product and contextual design.
The team developed 5 brand interventions and a magazine about the people of Spomlek. See the presentations and the magazine here.
"The proposal to participate in international interdisciplinary design workshop HOLIS was a great unknown to me. At the same time I was willing to participate. After two meetings with the project team, I was not sure if the proposals would be satisfactory to us. I was afraid if anything could be done in such a short time. With some uncertainty I was going to the final presentation of the workshop. My uncertainty was resolved a few minutes after the start.
Simple and wonderful ideas were presented to us. In addition, all the projects have been prepared in a very professional way, ready to be implemented without any additional work. We thank the entire team who devoted a week to a detailed analysis of our company's needs. We are proud to have known such wonderful people with passion." Aneta Mostowiec, Spomlek PR Representative
"The results of the work by the participants of the international interdisciplinary design workshop HOLIS held in Sobole were amazing to me. In a very short time the group was able to identify the needs of our company, that we are often aware of, but we never have time to address them. The majority of projects that are outcome of the workshops will be implemented. In fact, one of them, "Serdeczni", has already found its place in our internal magazine. The final presentation of Holis, where we saw the effects of the work of the teams was, on the one hand, a very professional presentation, and on the other a very inspirational meeting with fantastic people – workshop participants, the local community and the people involved in the project." Paweł Gaca, Spomlek, Vice President
Eszter is a curator and cultural mediator who is interested in CEE regional creative industry and local movements. She is the co-founder of MER, a regional design and lifestyle brand, REPLYtoALL, an art and tech initiative, and one of the founders of the Kitchen Budapest medialab. Previously she worked as a gallery assistant at Trafó Gallery and she is the former head of the Székesfehérvár St. Stephen King Museum’s Fine Art Department. She graduated with a degree in art history and Hungarian language and literature philology.
Maxim is is a design expert and organisational designer. Maxim has been part of the design scene since 2008. He is the co-founder of Hello Wood, an international wood workshop and festival, originator of HOLIS, a holistic design summer university, founder of MOME line, the design agency of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, founder of MOME ID, a user interface course and the driving force behind the Budapest Design Meetup. He was involved as a creative director in several projects of graphic design, industrial design, architecture, animation and media and is recently a PhD researcher at the Manchester Metropolitan University investigating tools and strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Since joining Nesta two years ago, Sonja has been instrumental in designing new partnership projects and programmes with UK, European and worldwide clients. She also leads on a number of pan-European programmes including Design for Europe, which enables European countries to share learning on using innovation methods and tools in the public and social sectors. Sonja drives a design-led innovation agenda across a range of initiatives in Nesta’s portfolio. Before joining Nesta, Sonja was Head of Design at the Design Council and was instrumental in the design and development of their Leadership Programmes for the public and private sectors.
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Roland Harwood is Co-founder and Managing Director at 100%Open, the global open innovation agency that works with the likes of LEGO, Ford, Unilever, UBS, Oxfam and Governments around the world to co-innovate with their partners. It was a spin-out from NESTA in 2010, the UK Innovation Agency and Investment Fund, where he was Director of Open Innovation. Graduating with a PhD in Physics from Edinburgh University, he has held senior innovation roles in the public and private sector. In addition has worked with hundreds of start-ups to raise venture capital and commercialise technology. He is both a failed astronaut and a keen piano player and has produced TV and film music for SonyBMG. Last but not least, he is a proud and often exhausted dad of 3 kids under 10.
Martyn is a Professor of Design, product designer and design academic with 20 years research, teaching and leadership experience and is Head of Manchester School of Art Research Centre. Interested in the strategic role that design commands in a variety of settings, his research explores the approaches designers use to conceptualise and communicate the future. With broad experience of design as future making, he has presented on this, and related, topics nationally and internationally. He is a reviewer for a number of research councils and was appointed as a strategic reviewer for the AHRC in 2017.
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Founding member of the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2007 together with Lilli Hollein and Thomas Geisler, from 2011 to 2013 directing the festival together with Lilli Hollein. Now director of the Kunstgewerbemuseum Dresden (Museum of Applied Art), part of the State Collection Dresden.
Alexandra is an interaction designer, product designer, entrepreneur based in London. She was named 1st in a list of 100 Internet of Things Influencers (Postscapes, 2016), 2nd in Top 100 Internet of Things Thought Leaders (Onalytica, 2014) and in the Top 100 Influencial Tech Women on Twitter (Business Insider, 2014), Smith & Williamson Power 100 (2017). She is the founder of the Good Night Lamp, connected lamps for your global friends and family. She is also the Director of designswarm a strategic consultancy focusing on the internet of things. Some of her clients include BBC R&D, P&G, British Gas, EDF R&D and Nominet, British Telecom and others. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the London Design Museum and galleries around the world.
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Richard is Professor and Chair in Architecture and the Visual Arts in the Liverpool School of Architecture, Director of the Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts (CAVA). He is also Associate Head of the School of the Arts, where he leads Research and Impact for five departments. He holds a professional degree in Architecture from Germany and two postgraduate degrees from the University of Cambridge in Architecture and the Moving Image (M.Phil. and Ph.D). Richard is founding director of CineTecture Ltd., an award-winning video production company based in Liverpool. Over the last decade, his films and installations have been exhibited at influential international architectural exhibitions, such as the Architectural Biennale in Venice, but also on film festivals and national museums worldwide, including in Rome, Florence, New York, Chicago and Liverpool.
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Daniel is an acclaimed curator and design educator deeply interested in the role of making in our future lives. He is creative director of the London based consultancy From Now On and co-founder director of the award winning social design initiative Fixperts. Charny is Professor of Design at Kingston University and guest professor at KADK in Copenhagen. He is best known as curator of the Power of Making exhibition for the V&A museum and as creative director of the Maker Library Network for the British Council and founding director of the hardware incubator Central Research Laboratory.
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Bettina is an associate in the IP and the Corporate teams in the Budapest office of Bird & Bird LLP. She has considerable experience in intellectual property matters including contentious and non-contentious trademark issues, commercial and transactional IP matters and customs measures. She is regularly advising small fashion labels, design and architectural companies on copyright law, branding and licensing. She also provides advice in general corporate issues, division and merger agreements, with special emphasis on protection and transfer of IP rights in startup funding. She graduated from ELTE Faulty of Law and prior to commencing university in Budapest she studied English in Auckland, New Zealand for two years. She completed the highest academic intellectual property programme available in Hungary organized by the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.
Geoff Crook's career has been informed by a passion for finding and sharing better ways of discovering and materialising innovation opportunity.
He gained a PhD at Goldsmiths for his research into the relationship between multi-sensory experience, aesthetics and our perceptions of value and meaning. As an Educator he founded and Directed the mould breaking 'MA Applied Imagination', a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural Programme at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in 1990, and established the Sensory Design Research Laboratory in 1999. Working as an artist he has exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery and works in an established creative partnership: Crook & Jones with the Artist Peter Jones. Dr Crook is the author of 'The Dream Cafe: Lessons in the Art of Radical Innovation' and is a founding partner of Dream-Lab, which reflect his interest in enabling businesses and institutions to embrace risk as a creative opportunity.
"I went to HOLIS with a vague idea of looking for new professional approaches and experience, and maybe to meet and think together with fresh, open people. I left with much more questions than I arrived with, having glimpsed an unforeseen world ripe with creativity and new ideas. I became full of newfound enthusiasm, and a drive to learn as much as I can about service design and design thinking. I can't thank HOLIS enough for the great experience, the people I got to know, and all the doors that have opened." Zsuzsi Polgár
"As an architect I try to use every possible idea that can come from anyone. I strongly beleive that considering these ideas can improve the quality of the answers I could come up with alone. HOLIS was a perfect prototype for this kind of diverse methodology and an exciting possibility to get involved in projects embracing this very concept. My experience in the first HOLIS was very lifelike - the participants and the organizers were very sensitive to the internal processes and conflicts, and everybody reflected on them, resulting a constant recapturing and reformatting, not just in the groups but also in the coordinators. I think that this varied way of critical thinking is crucial for any effective group work, and it is definitely present in the organizers of the HOLIS." Szabolcs Molnár
"Compared to others, the uncertainty of a design process was not a new and frightening thing for me since I was already familiar with it as it's my natural medium: I feel safe and sheltered in it. Therefore, I wouldn't only recommend HOLIS to people new to design but also experienced professionals, because every HOLIS brings together unique sets of people, diverse and inspiring communities, whose peculiar ideas contribute to a more holistic, and design conscious understanding of, and living in, the world. Therefore I see no valid excuse to pass it up!" Zsófia Szatmári-Margitai
"As a consequence of the continuous technological and social changes designers must take into account more and more aspects during their work. Many know this thesis but few practice it. HOLIS helped me to experience this complexity in practice. During the intensive and inspirational one week each participant realized two very important things. Firstly we could experience that in our own area of specialty there has boundaries, limitations. Meanwhile, we also realized that the common creative work hasn’t any." Bence Bán
"In 2014 I had the opportunity to visit Holis and participate in a very special design methodology based on cooperative thinking, interdisciplinary work, integrating different designer approaches in one common creative task, which was the revitalisation of the historical felt factory in Kőszeg, Hungary. It was a great experience for me (I’m not a designer myself, I mostly work on theoretical and design management projects) to learn the very different design thinking methods and processes and experience how social and economical issues can be managed by smart design solutions." Petra Hoffmann