Latvia

In the quest for humanity’s successful coexistence on this planet, design has an essential role; it must widen its presence and application. The prerequisite of design is to responsibly bring a vision of the future to today’s world. In the past decades, the tendency has been to use rare and expensive materials, making good design available only to an elite. Now is the time to break this mould, to build a world both sustainable and beautiful for everyone.

The true, and indeed only, objective of contemporary design is to replace worn out materials and forms, and discover new dimensions through innovation in the use of technology, allowing materials to be repurposed not just once but two, three, and more times. The work of Latvian designers exemplifies this mission. They challenge traditional forms and, by using locally sourced materials and through minute scrutiny of their properties, apply them to new generation designs. Their mission is thoughtfully, and with care, to save resources and create a better, more sustainable future. 

For the upcoming decade, Latvian designers see their work being devoted to the exposure of forgotten materials, changing formerly established uses, and repurposing the residue in new design objects, all with the aid of technology. Design does not have to be limited to a functional aesthetic, rather it can provide innovative solutions to real problems by combining elements: tradition with technology, mass production with aesthetics, and sources both local and sustainable.

Read our interview with curator Dita Danosa on Adorno Editorial.

Repurposing for the Future

Curated by Dita Danosa

 

Hatch
by Liene Jākobsone & Manten Devriendt

“Hatch” is a cabinet inspired by architecture and the aesthetics of raw building materials. It samples standard shapes, textures, and patterns, combining those in a multi-functional storage unit that plays with scale and context. Materials that are normally not considered beautiful and are often hidden behind finishing layers are the protagonists of this storage unit. Bringing these elements into an intimate living environment shifts the perspective and reveals their inherent beauty.

“H2O”
by Artis Nimanis

“H2O” by glass designer Artis Nīmanis is a nod to Claude Monet’s impressionist paintings of water. The designer uses innovative techniques — titanium coating and metallisation of glass — to capture the variability, depth, and reflection of water. The set of spherical mirrors blends with the environment, reflecting its changing nature. The arrangement of double glazing with an integrated adjustable light source optically increases the size of the artwork. The brass frame creates a linear rhythm like a net that soothes and holds the water ripples.

“The Bride” Pendant Lamp
by Ieva Kaleja

“The Bride” pendant lamp is a braided lamp, with references to the traditional hairstyle of Latvian brides. Definitely – unique lamp, certainly – emotional lamp, absolutely – feminine lighting design. The Bride’s “dress” is created from paper presenting this traditional lamp material in unique design solution. As light shines through the paper, you will find yourself infused by an aura of airy lightness; almost as if the splendid lamp were not subject to the law of gravity. Entirely handmade, each Bride lamp has her own braid pattern and unique personality. Each lampshade interacts with the light and space uniquely, providing highly emotional lighting design.

The Muses
by Ieva Kaleja

“The Muses” lamp series is created using gypsum, an entirely natural and sustainable raw material extracted in Latvia. For this piece, designer Ieva Kalēja has abandoned the geometrically precise shapes conventionally used in gypsum building elements and plays with coarser, more natural shapes and spontaneous, torn textures. The lamp captures the magic of a delicate dragonfly landing on a rough stone surface. The lamps can be customised by painting them in a desired colour.

“GHOST-W” Chair
by Janis Rauza

The “GHOST-W” Chair is the contemporary MINT version of the 18th century “Love Seat” for two. People sit facing opposite directions and they can choose to initiate contact or stay distant. It is an ideal seating accessory for public areas like art galleries and shoe stores.

“Curved Bench”
by Jānis

Functional handmade masterpiece – sculpture by aesthetics and bench by function. The inspiration for the sculptural form came from the ever-changing horizon. Under the weight pressure, the bench becomes slightly flexible and changes its shape. The curvature creates cushioning when seated, depending on the weight. It straightens and becomes a real experience for the person sitting. Intended for a maximum of 2 people for simultaneous use and can also serve as a table.

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