Visual identity of the project by Zigmunds Lapsa

From November 22 to January 27, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MDAD) in Riga hosts a Latvian centenary exhibition «Just on Time. Design Stories About Latvia». It looks back at various episodes in the history of Latvian design during the past 100 years. The exhibition is accompanied by an anthology with the same title.

Stories Editorial November 22, 2018

Through traces of material culture, the exhibition «Just on Time. Design Stories About Latvia» at MDAD tells about Latvian society in several periods of history, over which design gradually became an independent discipline, detaching from art, architecture, craft, and industry. This exposition isn’t a chronological story about achievements across the centenary — the episodes in the history of design are arranged by a search for common themes and points of departure in the work of designers of different generations.

A successful design solution is inextricably linked with the technologies and aesthetic perceptions of the day thus embodying the values and daily life of the society at large. In their day, Ansis Cīrulis and Jūlijs Madernieks were just on time with textiles and furniture ensembles, as well as Baltars workshop, and the most outstanding examples of book publications of the 1930s (Zelta ābele), Minox, VEF. Spīdola, the design of the Riga Porcelain Factory in the 1960s, the Riga school of poster, Zaiga and Māris Gailis’ Mēbeles jauniem cilvēkiem [Furniture for Young People]. The exhibition allows one to find out more about all of the above–mentioned.

Along with design objects, the exhibition includes videos, photographs and other records from various collections and institutions that reveal the contexts in which these objects were created and used.

The project manager and exhibition curator is Head of the MDAD Inese Baranovska. The members of the creative team are Zane Zajančkauska (association Kolektīvs), Kristīne Budže, Irēna Bužinska, Rūta Rinka, Dace Ļaviņa, Ieva Zvejniece, Austra Stupele, Liene Granovska, Kristīne Šica. The exhibition design was made by Ilze Kalnbērziņa Praz.

The exhibition is accompanied by an anthology with the same title, compiled and edited by Kristīne Budže and Inese Baranovska. It features articles and interviews in both Latvian and English on important pages in the history of Latvian design from the 1930s to nowadays. The project’s graphic designer was Zigmunds Lapsa.

Parallel to the exhibition, the MDAD will offer a broad programme of events: an international conference on December 11, creative workshops, meetings, guided tours and other activities.

Until December 2, the second satellite exhibition of the project «Standard of Quality. Latvian Currency Coins Dedicated to Outstanding Events and Personalities in Culture» is also on view at the museum. While, from December 7 to February 17, the MDAD will host the third satellite exhibition «Exhibition Form. Colour. Dynamics 40», dedicated to the famous show by artists Valdis Celms, Arturs Riņķis and Andulis Krūmiņš.


The exhibition «Just on Time. Design Stories About Latvia» is open at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Skārņu iela 10, Riga. More information on the exhibition and the connected events can be found on the homepage of MDAD.