“Parawaning” i.e. using beach windbreakers to shut oneselves off from other holidaymakers on the Baltic Sea has been developing intensively in recent years.As architects, we should observe this process.

We are wondering what the next stage could be? Is this phenomenon positive or negative? Should we intervene, or perhaps watch carefully?

It is neither an utopia nor a dystopia. The French philosopher Michael Foucault called such atypical spaces as heterothopic.

HETEROTOPY OF TIME_ Every year during the summer, the empty beach is filled up with colourful windbreakers. Then, every day, people create temporary structures anew.

HETEROTOPY OF PLACE_ In an open space of the beach, within the framework of windbreakers, we set our own world. We match together inconsistent spaces in one place.

AVALAIBILITY_ The structure is simultaneously open and closed. It isolates one man from another, but also force to interact at the same time.

FUNCTION CHANGE_ One can easily imagine how to change the function of windbreakers on the beach. Without ceasing to exist, they can function in a completely different way. We can use them, for example, as a spacious board for games or as an art gallery.


When people go to a gallery of contemporary art, they often grant themselves a right to decide what art is and what is not. They evaluate the work without knowing the context. They think that they are able to create something similar by themselves. Note that they are right.

I encourage you to try. You will see that something exceptional, full of your emotions will come into being. In addition, when you discover that a piece of art is always a part of a dialogue you will experience it is not just an empty “dauber”.

Can the “parawaning” be an art?

Every day an artistic installation is created again by hundreds of people. Apparently, it is not subject to any rules, but everyone knows how to create it. Variable in time. Always unique.

Let’s experiment and play a game the end of which is unknown. Let’s treat the “parawaning” as an art, and each beachgoer as an artist. Let’s take people into the space that will intrigue or even shock them at the beginning.


How about the “parawaning” in its pure form? What is the next stage of shutting off? Total. Uncompromising. Consistent.

The uncompromising structure and the transformable material, combined with the human factor, have the potential to create something unique. Once construction is complete, as architects, we lose control on the project. Now the sunbathers are entering into the game. They take over the role of the designers. Our experiment is in progress. People adapt to the situation. Or maybe as time goes by, this ordinary game awake hidden creativity in them? Seeing that we are a part of the whole, working together we could even create a piece of art.

* A key aspect of the “Parawanowiec” project is technology. Sand is a material with many contradictions. It is simple and complex at the same time. Calm and dangerous. Always the same and never the same. It is sand that we use as the basic building component in our project. The seemingly bulk material, combined with a suitable adhesive, allows for the creation of durable, stable constructions. We want to control something imperceptible in order to give it back to nature after using. Looking at the coastal landscape, any permanent intervention would disturb its natural character. The measures to be taken in this respect should therefore be temporary. It is advisable to use such a structure, which will decompose during the use, until it disappears.

Let’s experiment and play a game the end of which is unknown. Let’s treat the “parawaning” as an art, and each beachgoer as an artist. Let’s take people into the space that will intrigue or even shock them at the beginning.


Who influences you graphically?

We try to get inspirations from our surroundings. By using all of our senses to explore the world. It can be the smell of a grass, touch of a stone or even a color of the sea. Everyday life has a huge impact on us. It is a contemporary art which gives us the next portion of inspirations. Generally we derive from drawings and poems. As for this project, the biggest impact on us had Giorgio de chirico, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall and Bolesław Leśmian.

How important was the drawing as tool for the development the project?

Drawing is a basic tool, which allows at the very beginning of designing presenting our thoughts.

It is an artistic mean that allows the first verification of ideas with a tangible reality. As the sketch is the first step in the development of the concept, every next image approach us to the final project.

What defined the medium of the photomontage as main means through which you choose to explore the project?

Photomontage is a reflection of seeminglychaotic reality. At first glance, we combine non-matching elements, but each is significant and lack of them would disturb the perception of the whole. What’s more, only by considering all the elements we can say that we actually describe reality. After all, can we say that the surrounding world is harmonious? Does any item always fit others? Of course it doesn’t, but looking at everything as an indissoluble whole, we can perceive something unique.

What is the effect and purpose of the GIF? How does it relate and sit in relation to the static drawings?

A crucial aspect of the Parawanowiec is multidimensional variation in time. On one hand, people literally appear and disappear at an unknown moment, and on the other hand, we can observe the spatial, short term structure, which is an exceptional work of art. Every day an artistic installation is created again by hundreds of people. Apparently, it is not subject to any rules, but everyone knows how to create it.  Parawanowiec is made out of an unsustainable material which will decompose during the use, until it disappears.Variable in time. Always unique.

GIf allows us to enhance the effect represented by static images. They make us realize that small changes have a huge impact on our reality. Thanks to the GIFs, we can see that everything we create is constantly changing.

Did you ever think of exploring the animated image further through a proper animation?

Yes, if we realize that everything we create has a direct impact on people. In our opinion, animation is a great way to reach the society. We are still learning and experimenting with new graphic design options.

What is the role of the silhouettes? How do they inform the reading of the intervention?

Diversity of the silhouettesis directly related to the character of the Polish sunbathers. There is the whole cross-section of society: beginning with the youngest children, who have just appeared in the world and ending with the old people who simply want to feel young again. There are no restrictions on the beach. Despite being a public place, informal and private behavior are still permitted. The truth is that on the beach people duplicate familiar patterns with which they deal on a daily basis.

Moreover, characters come from the time when the problem with our beach hadn’t concerned us yet. The silhouettesreveal, that today it is still possible to take care of private needs and remain the beauty of the surrounding.


Ewelina Wiciak & Barbara Romańska have been collaborating and taking part in many national and international competitions in the filed of architecture, city planning, graphics design and music since 2013.

Ewelina Wiciak is a Polish architect. She is currently studying Architecture at Wrocław Uniwersity of Science and Technology. In 2015 she took part in an international students exchange Reseau des ecoles d’architecture francaises d’Europe centrale et orientale (REA) in Bratislava. Ewelina is currently working in Paris at Dominique Perrault Architecture studio.

Barbara Romańska is a Polish architect, studying Architecture in Wrocław Uniwersity of Science and Technology. Recently she has been working on her Master’s diploma.