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The largest permanent art déco exhibition in Poland. Koza Nostra Studio is responsible for the arrangement of the exhibition

08 of December '21
Technical data
Name: Exhibition Art of the interwar period - art déco
Investor: Mazovian Museum in Plock
Location: Poland, Plock
Studio: Koza Nostra Studio
Photos: Almond studio
Area: 1000 m²


  • design
  • realization


The exhibition "Artof the interwar period - art déco" has been on display at the Mazovian Museum in Plock since September this year. Located in the new wing of the museum - a three-story building at 6 Kolegialna Street - the exhibition is the largest permanent exhibition devoted to art déco in Poland. The Koza Nostra Studio is responsible for the design of its visual setting . We talk to the designers about their work on the arrangement, inspiration and enchantment with the museum's collection.

© Mazovian Museum in Plock

The 2520-square-meter historic building in Plock, which is the new wing of the Mazovian Museum, is the venue for the presentation of the entire collection of art déco art, consisting of as many as 1800 exhibits. On display are, among others, residential interiors, glass, ceramics, textiles and lamps, painting and sculpture. Also arranged here is a fashion house with a collection of period costumes, a jewelry store with an exposed Tiffany powder room and Cartier case earrings. The curators of the exhibition are: Michal Burdzinski, Malgorzata Szadkowska and Mariola Adamska, and Koza Nostra Studio is responsible for the arrangement and artwork.

Wystawa Art Deco
w Płocku

One of the most important exhibits is a red Jowett from 1926

© Koza Nostra Studio

Dobrawa Bies: What do you think the arrangement of a museum exhibition is? Is it to create a backdrop, a context, or perhaps a setting?

Koza Nostra Studio: It very much depends on the type of exhibition. Exhibit exhibitions are designed in such a way as to build an appropriate background for the artifacts without distracting from them. It can be a different background each time. On the other hand, exhibitions based on scripted narrative, which are meant to draw the visitor into a story, need evocative scenery. It's even different with science centers, whose goal is to learn through play, there ergonomics and practical minimalism are important. Often exhibitions are on the borderline between these different types, and the choice of exhibition means is determined by the intuition and experience of the designer. Besides, intercession is a rather paradoxical field of design. The paradox is that it develops quickly, we try every time to come up with something that hasn't been done before, but at the same time, exhibitions must be timeless, not give in to fads.

Wystawa była inspirowana
również szkłem

Inspiring the authors was, among other things, a collection of colored glass

© Koza Nostra Studio

We believe that exhibitions are more than a collection of artifacts. They are a place where new ideas are born from the dialogue between culture, nature and technology.

Dobrawa: How did you come to work on the art déco exhibition in Plock, where did you start?

Koza Nostra Studio: As is usually the case, we started with a competition for the design of the arrangement. In competition design, the most important thing is the so-called bold vision, then usually trimmed and edged accordingly. In this case, the management was immediately clear: the exhibition has to be world-class and make a memorable impression. As a result, we immediately moved on to finding solutions for these bold ideas, among other things, where to get a period car from, and how to put it on a rotating platform. It was also important to define the underlying design principles: a monochromatic color scheme, the use of noble materials associated with the style, and the key role of light and darkness.

 Wystawa art déco w Płocku, rzut parteru

Art déco exhibition in Plock, first floor plan

© Koza Nostra Studio

The next steps were already similar to the design of any exhibit exhibition - following the precise scenario of the museum staff, we deployed all the key zones and accompanying exhibits in the space. Each zone, was designed according to its characteristic aesthetic key.

Parter wystawy
w Płocku Biżuteria na wystawie art

The first floor is an urban jungle portrayed at night

© Koza Nostra Studio

The space has been divided into three, differentiated zones: we start with a glowing neon and light urban j ungle portrayed at night - it's a kind of agora, a square where the facades of various stores, a cinema, a jewelry store, a bank or the facade of an art déco tenement house drawn from the light meet. In the middle of this space, a shiny red 1926 Jowett Special Roadster car is parked on a rotating platform. Background music and a linear projection on glass complete the impression of glitz and sophistication.

Wystawa art deco,

The first floor is a space of exclusive apartments

© Koza Nostra Studio

On the first floor we enter the space of exclusive private apartments. The furniture arrangements have been placed on platforms and separated from the visitors by semi-transparent screens - this reinforces, in our opinion, the impression of participating in someone's private life, but also of peeping into a sphere reserved for the elite. The final space of the exhibition is an arrangement referring to the World Expo and the Polish pavilion. We wanted it to emphasize the prestige of the presented objects and take visitors to another dimension, where aesthetic experience is the most important.

Światło na wystawie
art deco Zbiory szkła na wystawie art

an important function in the exhibition is light

© Koza Nostra Studio

Dobrawa: Is there an exhibit in the museum's collection that particularly inspired your work? The exhibition is also about building a mood with light, shadow and shapes. Tell us, please, about thematerialsused .

Koza Nostra Studio: The Mazovian Museum in Plock has collected more than 1,800 exhibits. Each of them is a complete masterpiece, so it is difficult to choose one. Undoubtedly special is the above-mentioned car, he strongly fired our imagination. Also very inspiring is the unique collection of different colored glass, with unusual textures and colors including iridescent vases. The glass, arranged in multi-story display cases, juxtaposed together, shimmers with color. We very consciously narrowed the color palette of the materials used to derivatives of black and white, and made chrome-plated steel the main metal.

Art deco
w Polsce

The exhibition is the largest permanent exhibition of art déco style in Poland

© Koza Nostra Studio

Dobrawa: The exhibition Art of the Interwar Period - art déco is the largest permanent exhibition devoted to art déco in Poland, its realization was undoubtedly associated with considerable expectations. What was the most difficult for you, and what are you most satisfied with in the project?

Koza Nostra Studio: We often hear that the client expects us to design the so-called wow effect. Years later, we feel that we are specialists in this effect. Designing in the art déco style, is pure pleasure. Noble forms and materials, balanced geometry, respect for detail. The most difficult thing in the design process was to balance the means used in such a way that the visual setting we designed provided an elegant, minimalist background, building a sense of uniqueness and momentum of this unique era.

Dobrawa: And this was achieved! Thank you for the interview.


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