For a long time, we have been told to be ready for constant, sudden change – an inherent part of the contemporary world. Recent years have shown us that nothing is certain. We need stability to plan our actions and gain a sense of comfort. During Gdynia Design Days 2023, we want to do just that and look for stability in our unstable world.
Stabilizing the climate crisis is one of the most poignant challenges of our times. A stable world requires us to counteract the consequences of sudden climate extremes. We can achieve this by balancing our economies – designing in line with sustainable development principles and going circular. A healthy environment is, first and foremost, in the interest of the people. It is high time to realize that our economies no longer need to grow. We need stability, not growth.
How much and what do we need to lead a stable life? What is the minimum amount of resources, objects and goods to keep us happy? Stability is the art of letting go of our possessions and finding a point where we can successfully function, fulfil our passions and stop flooding ourselves with things.
The art of letting go also refers to mental health, which should be an important point of reference in the unstable global situation. Our culture keeps forcing us to be more effective and productive. However, it is time to realize that human beings are not a project. We need stability, balance, breathing. We need to learn to let go.
One place where we frequently seek a stable refuge is the virtual world, which enables us to escape the chaotic, unpleasant reality and build everything from scratch. However, often it is only seemingly so. Digital reality enables us to cut ourselves off from the world, select the content we surround ourselves with and create a small new enclave, operating based on our own rules, where we feel safe. Yet, instead of offering a solution to our problems, it is merely a way of escaping them and turning away from the inconvenient truths. And that seemingly safe reality is incredibly brittle and may shatter at any moment. A power outage or server error suffice to destroy it.
Everyone deserves stability. Everyone deserves to live in a world that follows known, foreseeable rules. At GDD 2023, we also want to focus on democratic, inclusive, and universally available stability. Its absence is most poignantly felt by those who fail to fit in with the rigid, established divisions and rules – most of which are at odds with our contemporary world. It is time to build a new, stable reality for all.
Gdynia can become a sanctuary of stability, a place where everyone can feel safe. More than an innovative, forward-looking city, it is a safe space where everyone can find balance.