Design Across Borders_

ALMA MATER: University of Tehran, Iran
ORGANISER/COLLABORATION:  The Institute of Industrial Design, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Iran
PARTICIPANTS: 70 architecture and industrial design students
DATE: from 2021
LEADERS: Joanna Jurga, Fater Saadatniaki

From 2020 I have been mentoring the Polish-Iranian educational program Design Across Borders / Design Bez Granic.


Design Across Borders is a Polish-Iranian educational project initiated in 2020. As part of this project, experienced experts work with design specialists on solutions for current social and environmental problems. 

Projekt powstał we współpracy z Instytutem Wzornictwa Przemysłowego, Ambasadą RP w Iranie oraz Wydziałem Wzornictwa Przemysłowego w Szkole Sztuk Pięknych Uniwersytetu Teherańskiego.  

Organisations which collaborated on this project were: The Institute of Industrial Design, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Iran and the Department of the Industrial Design of the College of Fine Arts of the University of Tehran.

The substantive part of the workshops is based on familiarising students with the ins and outs of synesthetic design (multi-sensory design) and speculative design (concerned with future solutions). Our aim was to inspire students to see their potential clients not just as consumers but also and most of all as beings with feelings.


Design on its own won’t solve the world’s problems. Nevertheless, educating designers about creating solutions based on science is a chance (even if to a small extent) to make the process of helping our planet a bit easier.

Intercultural and interethnic understanding of our world is the basis for projects which could resolve such problems as military conflicts, migrations, climate change or environmental crises. On the other hand, designs which engage users on the neurological level can help them in their daily struggles such as for example mood disorders, anxieties or isolation.

Polish Design Summer School

Workshops with students from the University of Tehran took place twice as part of the Polish Design Summer School, under the headings: “Design that supports physical health and takes into account isolation and limited social contacts” (2021 edition) and “The use of synesthetic design in creating spaces and their artefacts in the post pandemic life” (2022).” (2022) 

Overview of projects

Students noticed that there is a need for design solutions which would integrate society and improve communication in the real world. They also raised the issue of alienation and shared their own experiences around the difficulties of functioning in a group.