Guide for the Refugee Status Seekers in Poland
Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice
Department of Design
Prof. Tomasz Bierkowski
Although last year Poland celebrated the 25th anniversary of regaining independence, our democracy still seems immature and self‑gratifying. Focused on ourselves, we seldom recall the debts we accumulated in times when other countries were mindful of Polish citizens, helping us and providing shelter. In 2013 only 1% of foreigners applying for refugee status received a positive decision from the Polish government. Only 3% of the 19,000 applicants received protection of any kind (data supplied by the graduation project). What happened to the rest? The designer sees the unavailability of information as a factor that causes this problem, and has created a work that tries to help refugees be aware of at least their basic rights and the procedures involved in applying for shelter in Poland. The user of this Internet guide can check if he/she meets the conditions to receive refugee status. The procedures, in the form of interactive infographics, are accompanied by more generous descriptions. The service lets you print the guide and distribute it to people with no Internet access. We appreciated the apt definition of the design problem and the accessibility of the resulting guide, also in terms of the legal/bureaucratic content. An undeniable advantage of Martyna Wawrowska’s work is that it addresses a growing problem and supplies a solution that could be implemented.