Interview with Pola Salicka about the programme

July 7, 2019

Pola Salicka

2019 – Original post

Pola is an international graduate of the Master’s of Industrial Design programme from Poland. During studies, she completed and exhibited many projects, including Sea Forager and Kelapack. Pola graduated in from the programme in 2019.

How did you find out about this programme?

“I learned about the programme through the internet – the School of Industrial Design exhibits at major European design events/festivals, which I follow. A fellow design student also recommended it to me.”
What do you think of the programme so far? Does it live up to your expectations?

“Right now, I’m near the end, so I have quite a good overview I would say! It is a very diverse programme, which is expressed both in the variety of courses but also in the teaching approach which enables and encourages you to go your own path and develop an individual take on a subject. During these two years, we dived into topics of materials and production, sustainability, psychology, sociology, aesthetics etc. Most of the designers would find something for themselves in the syllabus. It’s definitely good to know what you want to work with, which probably applies to all education at the Master’s level.”
What has been your favourite course so far and why?

“I would say that every course enriched me in a different way. I’m definitely very fond of the workshops the school offers, both the facilities on the spot – wood and metal workshop – as well as extra courses in ceramics and glass. It’s incredible that we can manufacture almost everything in here!”
What is studying in Sweden like compared to studying in your home country?

“It’s very international! That is definitely one of the biggest advantages and excitements of studying here. This kind of environment opens your mind and prevents you from getting stuck in the ‘design bubble’ when you specialise. For me, Sweden was also an important choice when it comes to the advancement in approaching sustainability issues – through implied changes but also discussion that is very present in public and academic space. I have gained a lot of knowledge in that field.”
What do you think of the teaching style and way of studying here?

“The focus is on your personal responsibility and maturity in handling the design project or other task. It requires a driven approach and a certain discipline. On the other hand, the teachers will always be there if you need help and do their best to understand your struggles and guide you when possible. Also, failure is just a part of the process.”
Do you get a lot of practical experience in the programme?

“Practical experience in design is connected with collaborations on the projects – either working for an external body or with it. This always changes depending on the curriculum for the current year and students’ individual projects. I personally got the most valuable practical experience from a study trip to Indonesia. It was quite special, but nuances of intercultural exchange and collaboration have a universal character. The experience that all of us have gained is connected to exhibiting our works as well as to creating an overall exhibition concept and dealing with the logistics.”
Have you had any opportunities for networking within the department?

“During the first year we had a lot of group projects. We had an opportunity to get to know each other and learn different ways to approach a project.”
Why do you think prospective students should choose the Industrial Design programme?

“The Industrial Design programme here is very open to different ways of pursuing design. At the same time, it gives a solid base for professional activity. It teaches you to make your ideas more concrete, to argue for them and most importantly to analyse how they respond to the surroundings and ongoing changes.”
Are you involved in any extracurricular activities in Lund?

“Yes! I’m co-coordinating a gardening project in a culture house run by Lund Municipality. We grow organic vegetables and host open workshops and other events. I’m also engaged in climate movement activities – sometimes through direct action but also through helping out with graphic design etc.”
What do you think of the city of Lund and the surrounding area?

“Being in Lund is a very refreshing experience since I’ve only been living in big cities before. I think that a small town is a great place to stay focused and really devote yourself to studying! There is also quite a lot going on in terms of student life, and the proximity of Malmö and Copenhagen provides a lot of opportunities.”
Do you have any advice for prospective students coming to Lund?

“Profit from the academic life in Lund by getting insights from other disciplines that might influence your design practice and broaden your horizon in general!”