With three and a half million inhabitants, Lithuania is the most populous of the three Baltic nations, which all declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 with the advent of glasnost and perestroika. Since then, Lithuania has developed into a modern European state. In October 2015 the government announced that design would be promoted as a key force for innovation as part of the strategy within the national culture policy. In this year’s Land of Design issue we examine not only Lithuania’s eventful history, but also its current state of design including its designers. Here, we present a selection of Lithuanian designers from different disciplines. You can find 16 more in form 264.
Year of foundation: 2014
Education: product design
Fields of work: product design, furniture design
Clients: food industries, art
In your opinion, what is special about Lithuanian design and the Lithuanian design scene?
In my opinion, Lithuanian design has a modest form of expression, respect for traditions and nature and, unfortunately it also has a gap of two decades in the design world. Which is quite a lot in such an industry. Therefore, Lithuania does not have a strong design identity yet. Despite that, we are growing pretty fast. Making our design traits to be spotted is the main task for a younger generation of designers, as they are determined, creative and curious hard workers. And I believe it is already happening.
What characterises your work respectively your working methods and style?
I suppose it would be uneven shapes and rough textures, which are results of the particular processes and experiments while making objects.
Why did you choose to work in the field of product design?
To be honest, I was never thinking about being a designer, I didn’t even like that field. It happened, when I was attending fine arts preparatory courses in the Netherlands, one of my teachers suggested me to switch from fine arts to product design or jewellery design.
And then I realised all the tasks which were given during the courses and saw them suddenly as a form of functional objects or accessories rather than as pieces of visual art. So I suppose it just fit me. And I am really happy that I chose design over fine art.
What materials do you prefer?
I prefer combining natural materials with synthetic, or rough with smooth etc. I guess it is more about the combinations of different materials rather than materials itself.
Are there any influences shaping your working methods and style?
I would say mostly geographical and cultural influences. Not only traveling but also living for some time in a few different countries had quite a big influence on me from the personal and creative point of view. I studied in the Netherlands for some time, then I came back to study in Lithuania and during my studies I got an opportunity to go to Iceland for half a year. That is a country, which I fell in love with. I was fascinated about their devotion to form their country’s identity in design and art. To tell a story with every project they make. During that period I started to understand what Nordic design is, and that Lithuanian design should and could be more like it.
Which was your favourite project so far?
I would say my latest two projects Giria as well as Wooden Balloon. The balloon project was the beginning of my graduation project “Giria. Lithuanian Tree Dishes”. I feel that it was a starting point for a new working style and method that I really enjoy.
What are you currently working on?
I continue working on my Lithuanian tree dishes project, expanding it a bit. I cannot put it aside, because during the process I come up with new ideas on how to use or improve that material. And I am also about to start a new interesting project with leather and hopefully interesting combinations of it. So I am eager to start experimenting with this material, maybe try to use some old leather shaping techniques. It is still very abstract, what I like the most.
Who is your favourite international designer?
I always come across with new designers or mixed-media artists that are my favorite at that time. For example, last week my favorite mixed-media duo was Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao who are all about play; creating crafted joyful sculptures, installations, collages and paintings. I love how the duo has made it their mission to create fun, organic and connective objects. There are simply too many designers that I like so that I could not choose one.