On Tuesday, September 21, the joint Baltic design exhibition Tactile Baltics opened in London. It is included in the official programme of the London Design Festival and the destination Shoreditch Design Triangle. Each country exhibits 12 works, of which six collectible design pieces are also included in the virtual design collection Adorno London 2021 and can also be viewed digitally.
Latvian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Ivita Burmistre, Lithuanian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Renatas Norkus and Estonian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Viljar Lubi attended the opening of the Tactile Baltics exhibition on Tuesday evening. In her oration, Ivita Burmistre emphasised the need for the Baltic States to co-operate in educating the international community about our region and the opportunities it offers.
Latvia is represented at the show by an&angel glassware, mammalampa luminaires, furniture by Riga Chair, Mint and Sampling, Ars Tela textiles, DeTales vases and candleholders, Pora coffee pots, as well as a bench by Jānis Straupe and decorative glass panels created by Artis Nīmanis. Several designers have created new works especially for the exhibition: Liene Jākobsone and Manten Devriendt (Sampling) present a shelf in neon yellow geometric motifs — Hatch, Ieva Kalēja (mammalampa) has created a new lamp collection The Muses, and Aldis Circenis (Riga Chair) has designed an ingenious chair named Nest on a Stick and a sofa with knitted elements. The debutant of the exhibition is the brand Pora with tableware made by Ilze Kalnbērziņa Praz. The designer has added coffee grounds to clay mass, thus achieving a light, porous and heat-retaining ceramic material.
As the name suggests, Tactile Baltics emphasises the tactile quality of design and the still deep connection with nature in the Baltic region. The exhibition allows visitors to gain a better understanding of the most important aspects of Baltic design, including sustainability, traditions, craftsmanship and innovation. With the help of design, Tactile Baltics tells about the nature, culture and people of the Baltic States, allowing the visitors of the exhibition to experience the materials, colours and shapes of our region.
Tactile Baltics is an important and exciting opportunity to present contemporary Baltic design internationally and increase the recognition of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian design. With the exhibition at the London Design Festival, its organisers want to present the Baltics in the international design arena as a creative region and countries whose designers and design manufacturers have the ability to create high-quality solutions.
Tactile Baltics is organised and curated by Latvian Design Centre, Lithuanian Design Forum, and the online design platform NID. The exhibition features the work of both well-known and emerging designers — a total of eighteen contemporary design works (six from each country), which include furniture, lighting, tableware, textiles, and jewellery. In cooperation with the online platform Adorno, Tactile Baltics also offers eighteen collectible design works, which are included in both the physical exhibition and the Adorno London 2021 virtual design collections, in which Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are represented alongside the Baltic States. The virtual exhibition can be viewed on the platform Adorno London 2021.
The exhibition design is created by Estonian scenographers Helen Sirp and Holger Kilumets, while the visual identity has been developed by Latvian graphic designers Kirils Kirasirovs and Sabīne Vīksna. Dita Danosa is the curator of the Latvian design collection, while Kätlin Lõbu, Triin Loks and Maris Kase have selected the Estonian collection, and Gabija Vanagė is the curator of the Lithuanian selection.
London Design Festival is an annual series of events that is taking place for the 19th time this year. It is one of the largest design events in Europe, bringing together more than a hundred exhibitions, events and installations specially designed for the festival and bringing together design stars and enthusiasts from all over the world. More than 1000 visitors have already visited the Tactile Baltics exhibition since its opening.
The exhibition is funded by the Baltic Culture Foundation and co-financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the programme Estonian Culture Abroad, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia, the Lithuanian Culture Council, the Lithuanian Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the United Kingdom.
The exhibition Tactile Baltics is open until October 3 in London, Shoreditch, Dray Walk Gallery off Brick Lane, E1 6QL. From Monday to Friday, the exhibition is open from 10.00 to 18.30, on weekends from 10.00 to 17.00. Admission to the show is free.
More information about the exhibition and its participants can be found on the Tactile Baltics website.