Animation by Katrīna Sadovņikova

One of the selection jury chairs of the National Design Award of Latvia 2024 is architect Ieva Zībārte, who is in charge of evaluating the entries in the environmental design category. Ieva’s interests are broad; she writes about architecture, design, environment, the New European Bauhaus, exhibitions, popular culture, NGO initiatives, and people. In the Nice Touch section, Ieva suggests an alternative tool for situation analysis.

Nice Touch Editorial January 26, 2024

«About 20 years ago, my attention was drawn to the tarot parlours on the London side streets. At that time, tarot was considered a niche hobby, but now a deck of 78 illustrated cards is becoming increasingly prominent in bookshops. Tarot is an intuitive tool for situation analysis. The cards, saturated with symbols and messages, can provide an alternative point of view to different situations in life and work. For example, why is a project stuck? What else should I think about in this situation?

Tarot provides work for illustrators, designers, publishers, and printers, and there are countless decks of cards on the market with a wide variety of illustrations. I use the classic and also the most popular deck from the historic Ryder publishing house, illustrated by the artist Pamela Colman Smith, under the guidance of the writer and esotericist Arthur Edward Waite. Coleman’s cards are an amazing work of design and art. Each card is a small drawing depicting a situation — a story told using classical symbols. These are objects, ornaments, colours, images used to denote status, natural phenomena, ideas, etc. Depending on the question asked, not only the tarot «fortuneteller», but also each individual can try to decipher the answer to their own question by studying the illustration. It’s great training for designers and, therefore, a nice feature!»

You can follow Ieva on her Instagram account.