Common Knowledge Society

Common Knowledge Society (Towarzystwo Wiedzy Powszechnej), Poznań branch is an organization established in 1950 which serves an role when it comes to lifelong learning for the region. Its purpose is to propagate education, culture as well as the pro-social attitude. Thousands of graduates of courses and postgraduate studies have entered and left the TWP. Numerous cultural events organized for the sake of residents of Poznań were held in the TWP headquarters located on Saint Martin street 69. The organization has been involved in the discussions regarding the revitalization of the Saint Martin Street for several years. The premises of TWP are one of the most beautiful tenement houses in Poznań. It was designed by Oskar Hoffman for Gustav Haase – a merchant, and for the publisher and editor of the Posener Neuste Nachrichten journal – Georg Wagner. Since almost two years the Society has been building the so-called Saint Martin Coalition bringing together local businesses, school children and above all the citizens – all of whom wish to return the street to its former glory.



The director of the Poznań branch of TWP is Hanna Sierocka. She has also became a social leader of the nascent Święty Marcin coalition. The group was established at the initiative of TWP and gathers both the inhabitants and institutions of the Św. Marcin Street. The area of concern and action of the Coalition are the contemporary problems of the immediate neighbourhood, such as the move-out of residents and commerce resulting in an excess of vacant space, transportation problems or underfunding of the old buildings. 


The backyard is also the scene of various artistic events: meetings, workshops, exhibitions and concerts.  Some of the concerts were held as a part of festivals, e.g. „Martin’s Rhythms” or the Martin Street’s Name-Day, or the everyday activities of TWP.



The concerts planned to be held here in the future will most likely follow a similar formula as those which have already been organized in the past. This means that singers, bands and choirs will be invited to perform. Both professionals and amateurs or even children-bands will be present on stage. The audience of the concerts usually consists of locals and visitors in different ages.


The primary need of the tenement house at Św. Marcin Street 69 is a mobile stage suited for concerts. It should be both mobile and modular,  So that it is possible to assemble a small stage for a single performer, an expanded one for a band or even a stage with steps suitable for a choir.


A group of students under the watchful eye of Iza Rutkowska, an artist from Warsaw, and Hugon Kowalski, an architect from Poznań, has created a mobile stage consisting of a set of modules, with its shape and functions resembling that of a wheelbarrow. The „wheelbarrow”, made of black formwork plywood, thanks to a well-thought-out method of putting the components together, safe and resistant, forms a stable platform-stage that may be successfully used for concerts, lectures and other events. The designed facilities offer many different applications. Each wheelbarrow can be used as a seat, a device for carrying loads, or a plant pot. Yet even a wider range of new applications of this multi-purpose solution is to be further explored by the users.


Student participants:

Katarzyna Krefta, Lenka Levíčková,  Julia Dankmer, David Zatloukal, Magdalena Priefer, Patrycja Łysoniewska, Karolina Ogiołda, Lukáš Kvaššay, Ivonne Ruge

Iza Rutkowska + Hugon Kowalski

Artist and architect from Poland

Iza Rutkowska

Polish artist, founder of the Forms and Shapes Foundation. Her activities, which combine design, architecture and performance, focus on giving new forms and shapes to the public space, involve local communities and often win international renown. Her installations and designs have been exhibited in various countries, such as the Czech Republic, Brazil, Italy, Austria and Portugal. She was nominated for the Person of the Year 2011 award in Gazeta Wyborcza’s ‘Wdechy’ poll. Her activities have been written about in such magazines as Coriere della Sera, La Repubblica, Designboom, Cut magazine, Przekrój, Polityka, Przegląd, Architektura and Wysokie Obcasy.

Hugon Kowalski

Architect. In 2011, he graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Studies of the University of Fine Arts in Poznań. Since 2010, he has hold the position of the Assistant Director of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of the University of Fine Arts in Poznań. His graduation work, “Let’s Talk about Garbage”, concerning the slums problem in Mumbai, allowed him to become the first Pole to receive the prestigious Archiprix International Hunter Douglas Award for the world’s best architectural graduation work defended in 2009–2011. He has worked as a trainee at many studios in Poland, such as Front Architects, as well as at the famous Studio Foster and Partners in London. He is the owner of UGO architecture and the winner of 25 awards, including many international ones. He was the first Polish architect to be invited to present a solo exhibition at the main exhibition of the Venice Biennale of Architecture in Arsenale (Reporting from the Front).