LITHUANIAN DESIGN WEEK Is Celebrating Its 10th Anniversary
Text by Audronė Drungilaitė, the executive director of the Lithuanian Design Forum 05/05/2015
LITHUANIAN DESIGN WEEK 2015 May 4-10, 2015
During May 4 – 10, Lithuanian DESIGN WEEK is going to take place in the five biggest cities in Lithuania – Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Telšiai. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the festival. During DESIGN WEEK, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in professional workshops, visit exhibitions, purchase designer-label clothes and accessories, and of course – meet new people and have fun.
For the ten-year anniversary of the festival, a new logo for DESIGN WEEK was created. The creator of the new logo is a student from the Vilnius Academy of Arts – Mindaugas Dūdėnas. Dūdėnas changed the previous butterfly motif to a more minimalistic logo that depicts both a nature motif and a vital tool of the designer – a pencil. The new logo also conveys features of the Baltic ethnos, and is therefore a good way to distinguish Lithuanian DESIGN WEEK from the design weeks of other countries.
EMKO chairs NAIVE
Taking into account that this year marks the 10th edition of the festival, various serious projects on topics of international relations and design policy have been included in our program. We believe that a correctly formed approach to our country’s design aesthetic and its promotion abroad can significantly contribute to Lithuania's international image, and possibly even contribute to the economic welfare of the country. In an effort to develop this subject further, a conference titled “The Future of Design in Lithuania“ will be held on May 6th in Vilnius, with special guest Robin Edman – Chief Executive of SVID (Swedish Industrial Design Foundation), and the forthcoming president of BEDA. One day earlier, on May 5th, there will be a meeting of organizations specializing in the promotion of design from the Nordic and Baltic countries; the hope is that this will encourage collaboration between the Lithuanian Design Forum, the Latvian Design Information Centre, the Estonian Design Centre, SVID, Svensk Form, the Iceland Design Centre, and DDC. What's more, all of the buzz from DESIGN WEEK will be reported and evaluated by Stefan Nilsson, the famous blogger from Sweden.
Apart from these events, this year the festival received 219 participation applications that have been divided into several categories.
One of the most important of the official events of DESIGN WEEK – the “Good Design” prize awards, will take place on May 4th in the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. “Good design” is a nation-wide contest that aims to discover and award the best design concepts in Lithuania. Special prizes are given to the twelve best product designs and to the three best projects. 15 diplomas of recognition are also handed out: twelve for product design and three for projects. This year the jury is, as always, made up of an international panel – Sonja Dahl from Nesta (UK), Serge Serov (RU), Stefan Nilsson (SE) and Maris Takk (EST). On the evening of the same day, in the Energy and Technology Museum in Vilnius, an exhibition presenting all of the “Good Design”-winning works will be opened. At the same time, the official opening of DESIGN WEEK will be declared, which will be followed by “PechaKuchaNight“ – a series of short presentations on the design industry.
One of the most unusual events of the whole week is the project “designovation.lt”, in which many young designers present their work just in the windows of Old Town shops and cafes. Why not join in on such an interesting and interactive city tour?
Everyone interested in interior- and public place design is welcome to visit the exhibition at “Domus galerija” (P. Lukšio g. 32), which has been organized by the famous Lithuanian magazine Interjeras.lt rekomenduoja. During the event, professional architects and designers will evaluate several objects dedicated to interior- or public place design.
This year three universities are taking part in DESIGN WEEK – the Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius College, and the Vilnius College of Technology and Design. In addition, the popular conference for young professionals, “5/5”, will give some of its attention to the subject of design.
Those who plan on visiting Kaunas will have the opportunity to purchase fashion items in the “Fashion Bazaar”, while those interested in ecology and unusual design will have a chance to participate in the ecology-based workshop “Kaunas: Treasures of Trash”, in which Lithuanian designers, together with artists Henrik Enbom and Jari Miranda from Finland, will transform old and no longer useful objects into new design concepts – furniture, installations, and so on.
Dizaino savaitė 2015 workshop
As it is a seaside city, in Klaipėda visitors will be invited to develop the city‘s marine potential by partaking in workshops on marine design, as well as going to see the exhibition “Marine Design: Past-Present-Future“, as organized by the Gdansk Academy of Arts.
In Šiauliai most of the attention will be focused on photography. It will also be possible to go on a special interactive tour with the virtual tool “City Quest“. The route will lead you on a tour of the inter-war modernist architectural heritage created by the famous architect Vladas Bitė, or on an individual route provided with a special leaflet on the subject titled “Inter-war Modernism. Šiauliai”.
The most active participants of the events taking place in Telšiai are students from the Academy of Arts – they will actively invite you to see many expositions, participate in various workshops, and visit artists' studios.
Šančių Kioskas. Kiosk was built by the previous owner circa 1994. For a long time it stood on Savanoriai avenue. Quite typical business model was applied – selling chewing gum, beer and cigarettes. Kiosk’s visual color exterior is the work of local Šančiai resident “Raphael.” Idea about kiosk’s transformation was born during the event “City (Re)Searches: Experiences of Publicness” (Žemieji Šančiai, 2013). Event’s participants were offered to buy symbolic kiosk’s shares. With the sale of shares, the kiosk was acquired and it now belongs to 44 (out of 100 potential) shareholders – locals, as well international artists and cultural activists
The festival will close with Design Weekend, during which visitors will have the opportunity to visit designers' studios located in the Vilnius loft area, participate in workshops, buy something nice and stylish, and come together in an informal space. The official closing party – a concert featuring Jurgis Didziulis and a trash-design auction – will take place in Kaunas.
During the festival, be sure not to miss the special DESIGN WEEK tasting-menu offered by participating coffee- and sandwich makers, bakeries, etc. Our partner, Red Brick Beer, will serve delicious beer in design-worthy bottles. All of these specials can be found in places marked as offering official festival merchandise.
The event is organized by the “Lithuanian Design Forum”, and is partially funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.