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In Conversation with TRIAS' Dawid Polasik

In June we spoke with Dawid Polasik from TRIAS, a new exhibitor and sponsor at the 2023 Ecsite Conference in Malta. Dawid shed light on the intersection between science centres and museums and technology, especially in regards to state of the art multimedia systems. Check out some photos of TRIAS' work here.

Please introduce yourself, where you are from and what your background is.

My name is Dawid Polasik, Commercial Director and partner at TRIAS. I have worked with science museums and centres for more than ten years, for nearly six of those, I have contributed to TRIAS' commercial success, assembling a remarkable team of specialists. Together, we have embarked on multiple captivating projects and achieved significant milestones.

Can you tell us more about your company and what inspired you to specialize in creating multimedia systems for science centers and museums?

TRIAS is the Polish general contractor that creates science centres and museums, from concept and design through to implementation and ready to use facilities. Our company, operating for 26 years, is a leader in tailor-made, 360-degree solutions for large scale projects carrying out over sixty science centre and museum. Our priority is to create unique exhibitions, integrating state-of-the-art multimedia systems with the latest technology with traditional exhibits and vintage museum pieces. We also provide advanced audio, video, light solutions for venues in Poland and all around the world.

For the last ten years I have been involved in projects incorporating or developing innovative technological components, however, it is for science centres and museums that I found the freedom to integrate diverse, cutting-edge equipment in a truly creative and unrestricted manner. At TRIAS, multimedia systems are just one tool we employ. We bring advanced mechanics, mechatronics, woodwork, metalwork, architecture, graphic design and software development together to create a total exhibition.

I am proud to take part in to creation of facilities that inspire younger generation to become scientists, engineers and researchers. Exhibitions such as Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, Epi-Center of Science in Bialystok, Maritime Science Center in Szczecin or Science Island in Kaunas have a positive impact on children and teenagers, enhancing the influence of the school curriculum.

How do you ensure that your team delivers high-quality solutions that meet the specific needs and expectations of your clients and users?

The obvious answer is to create a great team of talented specialists. Only extraordinary people will allow the company to achieve extraordinary goals. I am happy to say that we have managed to gather a bunch of unique specialists in the fields of multimedia systems design, architecture, graphic design and software development. Add to that some of the project managers, engineers and technicians in our industry and you are bound for success [laughs].

To meet the needs and expectations of our customers, it is crucial to understand them. This requires our full comprehension the concept and is where our professional sales, creative and design teams come into play. Their role is to understand the future project at least as well as the client and, in many cases, help them to specify their needs and expectations, leaving no room for ambiguity.

How do you integrate the latest technologies into your projects while keeping in mind that technology is not an end in itself, but a means to realize plans and strategies?

Whilst creating science centres and museums from concept and design to implementation, we constantly seek that unique factor, without just chasing flashy effects. Teams of experienced architects and designers provide ideas that help us create projects that tell the best story. Sometimes the simpler hands-on exhibit may be more interesting and effective than large 4K LED screen. For example in case of Motoexperimentarium exhibition in Art Depot in Szczecin the theme was automotive transport, so we used almost exclusively analogue, hands-on exhibits with multimedia devices serving as complementary elements.

Can you share some examples of the most interesting and challenging projects your team has worked on?

Every project is unique in its own way, but one that particularly stands out is our recently secured project for designing and creating Science Island in Kaunas. It is the first science centre in Lithuania, so expectations are high. Not only did we need to overcome international competition but we also had to show something that will make our northern neighbours proud. We are now in phase of manufacturing the exhibits.

Another project that I am especially proud of recently opened for visitors. That is the Maritime Science Center in Szczecin. It is 3000 sq. m, with 3 floors and more than 200 exhibits, and one of the biggest science centres in Poland. What is interesting, in addition to standard IT and AV installations, this project had to include a complex water system, with dedicated filters.

How do you keep up with the latest advancements in technology and design, and what role do you see these advancements playing in the future of multimedia systems for public spaces?

I have always been interested in technical innovation. Some might say that I fit definition of a ‘geek’ perfectly. On the other hand in my field of work I naturally have an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technologies. At TRIAS, we have a team of specialists dedicated to specific technologies, ensuring we stay informed and learn from one another.

Events like the Ecsite Conference are a great opportunity to see new ideas, learn about newest trends and meet many interesting and knowledgeable people.

I am sure new technologies including multimedia will only develop and cover more aspects of our lives. I think that personalization of multimedia content will also evolve and with recent boom in AI and not so recent Internet of Things, this will only be easier to achieve. You will not visit a science centre but your science centre delivering tailor made. New technologies, such as personalized AI created content, high-resolution displays, interactive touchscreens and augmented reality will only intensify the experience in public spaces.

It is also worth mentioning that advancements in technology and design have a positive influence on accessibility and inclusiveness. Features like user personalized content or innovative tactile interfaces ensure that people of diverse abilities and backgrounds can engage with the content without barriers.

How do you approach sustainability in your projects, both in terms of the materials and resources you use, as well as the long-term impact of the solutions you create?

It is in everyone’s best interest to create the most durable and energy efficient exhibitions, so you might say sustainability is in our DNA. We choose natural materials that relate to the theme and location of the exhibition. We preferably use local suppliers, limiting our carbon footprint and the supporting local economy.

How do you work with clients to develop a vision for their project, and what role do user experience and accessibility play in your design process?

Extensive discussions with the client and internal brainstorming sessions are essential parts of design process. We also seek inspiration by visiting the future venue and learning about the history of the host city. We often challenge ideas presented by clients and offer tried-and-tested solutions. For software development we have specialists who follow the latest UX trends and test our apps. As a standard we also design our projects with people with disability or reduced mobility in mind.

Can you tell us about any exciting projects or partnerships you have planned for the future?

We are now working on other European and US projects but it is too early to say anything more.

Can you tell us why did you decide to exhibit at the 2023 Ecsite Conference in Malta?

For a long time we have been creating science centres in Poland and with expansion to other European countries we feel the need to be more visible abroad. We have been a regular guest at Ecsite and this year we wanted to present our company to other participants. The last 5 years have been very intensive and fruitful for us. We would like to present some of the best projects in our portfolio and introduce ourselves as provider of comprehensive, 360-degree solutions for science centres.