Animation by Katrīna Sadovņikova

Graphic designer Karola Rubene finds inspiration in the urban environment and architecture. These themes are also present in her works, which have been nominated for the National Design Award of Latvia 2024. Karola has created both the graphic design of the Latvian pavilion T/C Latvija at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale and has turned the tile motifs of historic Riga buildings into airy scarves. In the Nice Touch section, Karola talks about the podcast that accompanies her regular walks. 

Nice Touch Editorial May 17, 2024

«As I spend long hours sitting in front of the computer, it’s very important for me to get away from it — to take a breath of fresh air and go for a walk in the city. To put some pep in my step, I listen to music on headphones, but there are times when I want to learn something new. That’s when I listen to the 99% Invisible podcast, which has almost 600 episodes now. The podcast is about architecture and design, about the things that surround us but are often overlooked and accepted as the norm, even though there are remarkable stories behind them. 99% Invisible has introduced me, for example, to the sad story of Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the creator of the Sydney Opera House, about why he never returned to Australia to see the end result of his grand project.

What I think makes 99% Invisible so appealing is its ability to delve into different themes beyond architecture and design. From this podcast, I’ve learned new things about music, cinema, sound, why margarine used to be pink, clothes, Geocities, which were early internet users’ first web design efforts, perfumes, supermarkets, parks, and on and on. This podcast satisfies my thirst for new information, and it should be mentioned that the programme is also accompanied by high-quality sound design.»

The scarves designed by Karola Rubene have been nominated for the National Design Award of Latvia 2024 in the Product Design category, while the graphic design of T/C Latvija is among the nominees in the Communication Design category. You can follow Karola’s creative endeavours on her website and Instagram account.