How many design categories are there and what is the “composition” of contemporary Lithuanian design? Does the Lithuanian design identity exist and if so, what is it like? What is the best form of design education in Lithuania? Representatives of the Lithuanian Design Forum and the design sector raise and try to answer such and even more complicated questions in the latest project “Design Documentary – Short Stories on Contemporary Lithuanian Design”.
According to the Lithuanian Design Forum team, this project is designed to document contemporary design, using the normally closed doors of designers’ creative kitchens. In the documentary, representatives of Lithuanian design and various studios are sharing the creative process, experience, thoughts on the Lithuanian design sector, key challenges, and inspiration for the younger generation. The main aim is that the totality of these videos would reveal the culture of contemporary Lithuanian design and become valuable documentation of the creative heritage of the time and a rich source for the formation of the concept of national design identity and further research in this field.
The design documentary, about the distinguished designers, consists of 10 short-meter episodes that are complemented by a separate, introductory, video. In the latter, the representatives of the design sector talk about the identity of Lithuanian design, the necessary changes in order to unite the design sector and at the same time develop a common design policy.
“Such an initiative aims to present the ideas of Lithuanian designers, their maturity, as well as to expand the understanding of design. – says Gabija Vanagė, Executive Director of the Lithuanian Design Forum. – Today’s concept of design has expanded considerably: from product, fashion and interior design to the design of social services, moving graphics, user experience (UX) design, which is more visible to the modern generation. The speed of innovation forces us to adapt in a variety of areas, and it is designers who are at the forefront of creating and promoting the latest solutions. They are the first to contribute to the ideology and practice of sustainability that is needed today, and their ideas, in the daily life of society and in business, enable them to choose greener and more sustainable solutions to problems. Lithuania can be truly proud of the works of Lithuanian design creators, their ideas, which are interesting in the context of new European and world design trends and thus glorify the name of Lithuania. Therefore, in this documentary cycle we try to contribute to the glorification of the name of Lithuanian design creators ”.
Julius Bučelis, a representative of the product’s industrial design who has filmed the documentary, considers that “the biggest benefit of this type of project is the dissemination of the design profession to the society itself. Design is a very broad field with many different branches of design. What about the different approaches of designers to work … Even designers themselves are constantly changing the boundaries of their professional responsibilities. Therefore, I think it is important for people to get to know and criticize the work of designers, because it is the designers who are responsible for how things work, how they look and what they are made of. And I, personally, will be very interested to see the problems faced by designers in various fields. ”
“This project immortalizes contemporary Lithuanian design, an attitude of creators’ and their experiences. The project – like a capsule of time – not only shows what is important today but also documents the challenges and joys of designers, which we will be able to remember and analyze after many years. – says Gintarė Černiauskaitė, a designer of products and their systems, who was filmed in the project in terms of concept design. Therefore, these short films provide an opportunity to see the life of designers up close, to recognize the differences and opportunities of individual design areas and to assess how design is beneficial for Lithuania. ”
Jonas Liugaila (designer, Critical design agency), who agreed to take part in the project, says that “when most people think of the user experience as an artificial, man-made environment, including various products and services, when most brand identities start, values, ending with visual identities interpreting values will be consistent, then I will understand the two most important things in the field of design. First, that the potential of the design was recognized and it was adequately recruited. Second, it is equally important that designers are able to deliver what the design has promised. So far there is a room for improvement. It is these two target audiences that I think will serve the content of the design documentary. It will help some to recognize the design and the added value it creates, while others will broaden the horizons of design and the perception of possibilities. ”
138 – this is the amount of questions that were asked during the filming of the documentary. “Coordinating the entire documentary project was one huge challenge! How to fit contemporary Lithuanian design and the whole universe of its fields into the documentary of 11 short metro (up to 10 min.) episodes? Imagine how hot discussions arise when you start considering what and how to film, what (enduring) questions to ask …, – says the project coordinator, documentary director and art critic Aistė M. Grajauskaitė. – I am glad that even such a complex and difficult-to-cover topic as the identity of Lithuanian design has managed to be considered extremely organically. And while we still can’t find a common answer – who or what our identity is – this documentary reveals fantastically possible synonyms and not only raises this rather professional question to the public, but also breaks the long-standing silence about design identity and self-awareness.”
In the ideas of the Lithuanian Design Forum team, which has implemented the project “Design Documentaries – Short Stories on Contemporary Lithuanian Design”, many more notions are dedicated to the presentation of Lithuanian design creators and their concepts. An even wider circle of design representatives, art critics and critics is expected to cover even more topics. The creative team of the project hopes that this, the first cycle of documentaries on Lithuanian design, will become a popular and high-quality tool for the dissemination of Lithuanian design in Lithuania and abroad, revealing the most important creative processes of designers from different fields.
Contents of “Design Documentary – Short Stories on Contemporary Lithuanian Design”:
Identity of Lithuanian design – Simonas Tarvydas, Jokūbas Jurgelis, Povilas Daugis, Ugnė Balčiūnaitė, Marija Puipaitė, Jonas Liugaila, Tomas Bartninkas, Justina Muralytė-Kozlovė, Ignas Kozlovas, Evelina Kudabaitė, Julius Bučelis, Gerda Liudavičiūtė
Furniture and lighting – Simonas Tarvydas (sustainable design studio “Indi”).
Interior – Jokūbas Jurgelis (architectural studio “2xj”) and Povilas Žakauskas and Povilas Daugis (architectural studio “Heima”).
Concept – Gintarė Černiauskaitė (design studio “Creatus”).
Fashion design – Agnė Kuzmickaitė and Morta Nakaitė.
Publication – Ugnė Balčiūnaitė; Drasida Žemaitė and Adelė Galdikaitė (publishing house “Tvi tylos”), Viktorija Urbonaitė, Viktorija Aprimaitė, Lina Vyšniauskaitė.
Fashion accessories – Marija Puipaitė and Gerda Liudinavičiūtė (jewelry studio “Celsius273”).
Service and social design – Jonas Liugaila and Deividas Juozulynas (strategic design agency “Critical”).
Design of industrial and interior products – Julius Bučelis and Evelina Kudabaitė.
Visual identity – Tomas Bartninkas (creative agency “Truth.”), Ignas Kozlovas and Justina Muralytė-Kozlovė (design agency “Folk”).
Moving graphic design – Otilija Morozaitė and Dovilė Macijauskaitė.
Project creative team: Gabija Vanagė (project manager), Aistė M. Grajauskaitė (director and project coordinator), Gediminas Struckas (producer), Mikas Zabulionis (cameraman and video director; post-production), Simona Žutautaitė (photographer), Aušra Jankauskaitė (translator), Lina Šiškutė (visual identity), Gabrielė Balčiūnaitė (communication coordinator and designer on the social network).
The project is funded by Lithuanian Culture Council.
Project initiator and implementer: Lithuanian Design Forum.
Main information sponsor: LRT.