Nordi and Stenders products. Photo by Ieva Andersone

Continuing the 35th anniversary pop-up exhibition series of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MDAD) in Riga, The Close-up of Design Processes, the exhibition Summer, created in collaboration with the Design Export Alliance, will open on July 11. The exhibition will feature products from six Latvian design brands, evoking the northern summer through the theme of water. The exhibition will be on display at MDAD from July 11 to September 8.

Stories Editorial July 2, 2024

Just as the seasons sequentially change, the MDAD pop-up exhibition series The Close-up of Design Processes will conceptually and thematically transition from the first exhibition, Spring, to the new exhibition, Summer. «By continuing to explore the identity of Latvian design through the seasons, this time the exhibition’s concept will present a more unusual perspective on the Latvian summer, aiming to highlight and find the values of this season. It undoubtedly features the Latvian sea with its Nordic character and vast sandy beaches, which are rare in the global context and something we can be proud of. This exhibition will be represented by brands that, in some way, are associated with water. It will not only be visually perceptible, but we will also play with sound and scent in the exposition,» emphasises Ieva Kalēja, the curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition will showcase products from six Latvian brands, Stenders, Aretai, Baiba Glass, An&angel, PAA Baths, and Nordi, collectively creating the mood and aesthetics characteristic of the Latvian summer. The PAA Baths brand has been operating since 1993 and produces modern bathtubs and sinks, symbolising a connection with water in a practical way. Meanwhile, glass product brands Baiba Glass and An&angel will poetically depict the inherent properties of water: transparency, fluidity, and continuity. The internationally awarded design brand Aretai, which has won the Red Dot Design Award, will create sounds of the sea with its high-quality speaker product. The exhibition will evoke thoughts of summer scents with the amber line products from the cosmetics brand Stenders, while the furniture brand Nordi will present an unusual perspective on wood as a material, highlighting its rough properties.


For the exhibition Summer, a special photo shoot of the Design Latvia brand, promoted by the Design Export Alliance, has been organised, in which design products are combined in harmonious compositions that reveal the identity of Latvian design. The photo shoot was created in collaboration with photographers Ieva Andersone and Kristaps Ungurs, as well as the design and architecture studio Open Architecture Design and the support of the State Culture Capital Foundation.


The exhibition Summer will be on view at MDAD from July 11 to September 8. On the opening day, July 11, at 12:00, everyone interested is invited to meet representatives of the brands featured in the exhibition to get to know Latvian design products and the behind-the-scenes of their creation.

About cooperation between MDAD and the Design Export Alliance

In honour of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the project The Close-Up of Design Processes has been created in collaboration with the association Design Export Alliance. Four pop-up exhibitions will be organised throughout the year, each replacing the previous one. All of them are implemented in an innovative format by integrating into the museum’s 3rd-floor permanent display Design Process, which introduces Latvian design history since the 1960s. The concept and visual solution for this exhibition cycle find its inspiration in one of the four seasons — spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each exhibition will showcase success stories of several well-known Latvian brands, using careful sample selection and audiovisual elements. Exclusively prepared video stories will reveal the process of product development and behind-the-scenes glimpses. The pop-up exhibition project has been implemented thanks to the initiative of MDAD and the creative vision of Ieva Kalēja who represents the association Design Export Alliance and is curator of the anniversary series. The graphic identity of the cycle is created by Liene Drāzniece.