Everyone works differently – some are influenced by culture while others follow their own path. Design initiator and curator Matylda Krzykowski has teamed up with media-based designer Agata Karolina to found Common Methods – bringing different approaches together. What do we have in common and what can we learn from each other? The ongoing venture aims to establish strong relationships between designers, locals, craftsmen, manufactures and the public. Leading up to the platform’s first initiative in Cape Town – as part of World Design Capital 2014, we spoke to both Krzykowski and Karolina about their motivation.
Where did the idea of bringing different stakeholders together originate?
Agata Karolina: We began by questioning how collaboration could stimulate new developments and knowledge exchange. Looking at the essence of cooperation, It was important to see how such engagements could improve. I first came to know Matylda as a colleague and then as a friend. Sharing Polish heritage but diverse upbringings, we wanted to explore our commonalities and differences – to see how our experience could repeat itself.
What steps will designers Lio De Bruin and Phil Procter take in Cape Town?
AK: Introduced on a social level, both designers will meet Capetonians Matthew Neilson and Natalie Du Toit. Together they will tour the city and find points of shared interest but also discuss three main issues: designing, living and production. At the same time, the team will be introduced to locals and professionals – experiencing Cape Town’s full diversity. After team building exercises, the designers will begin to develop concepts based on specific materials and processes. Over the course of six weeks, everyone will keep a diary.
How will you facilitate these collaborations?
Matylda Krzykowski: In our experience, the discourse surrounding contextual design fails to address mistakes and misses a portion of self-critique. Reflecting on obvious issues, we want to show struggles as much as success. A growing walk-in exhibition will survey the process behind each project we initiate – from conception to realization. Documenting the interaction, Agata and I mediate team play.
Reviving under-utilised crafts, what are your long-term goals?
MK: Craft has had a major influence on design in recent years. Mixing cultural attributes with design thinking, Agata and I would like to continue experimenting in other parts of the world – Poland, Czech Republic, South American and Taiwan. With our expertise, we want to support designers developing their own approach but to also provide exposure. With a great plan in mind, we cannot predict the outcome but hope to find many collaborators.