Fun & Games Department

European Solidarity Centre


The new premises of the European Solidarity Centre (ECS) located at the Gdańsk Shipyard were opened in August 2014, marking the 25th anniversary of regaining freedom and the 34th anniversary of the signing of the August Agreements. The ECS is a cultural institution and educational centre of science and research. Its mission is to preserve and popularise the heritage of the Solidarity movement.

The ground floor of the new building houses the Fun & Games Department – an over 400 m² hall designed for exhibitions and educational activities. A number of stations are intended for learning and entertainment of children under ten years of age, who, under the watchful eyes of their parents, can experience, for example, what it means to be in solidarity, and why it is important to cooperate. A self-printed flyer referring to the shipyard underground publications is a souvenir from the visit.

Together with Grupa Smacznego from Gdańsk, we designed that special place for the ECS. The space is to resemble a ship, in the middle of which guardians can take the helm in a Control Centre. Numerous stations where children can play games clearly refer to the location and industrial function of the yard. The room is divided into two zones. The first one, located closer to the entrance, is dedicated for younger children. The attractions of this part of the Department include, among others, Bridges inspired by the industrial infrastructure and a sound installation Broadcasting Centre that allows for analogue communication between distant places and for regulation of voice by means of valves and knobs.

The zone for older children has independent stations equipped with tablets, which can be combined in order to jointly create the hull of the ship. The impression of staying on the high seas is enhanced by a LED floor and screens displaying sea-travel landscapes. Colourful blocks and containers made of soft and sensuous material are not just a “payload” of the ship, but they also start videos and animations as they are connected to the computer. Moreover, they make a reference to the symbolic domino – the installation presented at the shipyard during the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism and regaining freedom in Eastern Europe (2009).

Thanks to the use of mobile solutions and careful design the space of the Fun & Games Department can be adapted to several scenarios – from having fun together and constructing the ship hand-in-hand to individual activities and original thematic workshops.