From 4 March to 9 April 2017, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (10/20 Skarnu Street, Riga) will host an exhibition of 20 best works submitted for the competition of the National Design Award of Latvia 2017.
National Design Award of Latvia (NDAL) is an annual national design competition, whose aim is to study, evaluate and popularise the best achievements of Latvian designers, promoting long-term development and growth of Latvian design. In 2017, National Design Award of Latvia will take place for the first time, and is organised by Design Studio H2E in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Latvian National Museum of Art and the Art Academy of Latvia.
Several awards have previously been presented in the sector of creative industries in Latvia, but the innovation of the National Design Award is its distinct method of evaluation and broadened access for the general public to the designers' works. The exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design will show the 20 brightest ideas selected by an international jury of professionals from all 147 proposals submitted for the competition over the period from 1 January to 1 February 2017.
The members of the NDAL 2017 jury are Hringur Hafsteinsson (Iceland), creative director of the award-winning agency Gagarin, Stéphane Vial (France), Associate Professor of Design and Doctoral Advisor, head of research at design innovation project PROJEKT Lab at University of Nîmes, Vēsma Kontere McQuillan (Norway), Oslo-based Latvian architect and designer, professor at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology, Inese Baranovska (Latvia), Head of the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, art historian, Rihards Funts (Latvia), designer, curator and founder of MAD International Summer School of Design, Barbara Ābele (Latvia), Associate Professor at the Art Academy of Latvia. Robert Thiemann (Netherlands), co-founder and editor of leading global design magazine Frame, is confirmed as this year's special guest-expert, who will participate in the final evaluation of the works.
Combining their experience and knowledge, the seven capable members of the jury from Latvia and abroad will evaluate the submissions according to equal criteria without making separate categories. The principles of evaluation are the originality of the idea, suitability to purpose, aesthetic quality, functionality and technological solution, choice and application of suitable materials, innovation, market potential, economic or social value, ecological (environmentally friendly) solution, sustainability, accessibility. The jury will work from 10 February to 2 March.
The 20 finalists, whose works will be shown in the group exhibition National Design Award of Latvia 2017, will be announced on 2 Marchlive on Radio 5. The final awards ceremony, taking place on 3 March, will celebrate the most talented Latvian creators of design products and services, presenting the National Design Award of Latvia 2017 and the Grand Prix of the National Design Award of Latvia 2017 to the authors of the best works.
The main partner of the National Design Award of Latvia for the next three years is Accenture, one of the leading IT companies in Latvia and abroad, which wants to particularly highlight designers in digital environment and achievements in this field. The company will support the National Design Award of Latvia by providing financial assistance to its successful implementation, as well as by presenting two special awards – “Emerging Designer of the Year” un “Digital Business”. All submitted works will be evaluated from the perspective of digital environment. The submissions will be reviewed by a capable jury – the team of Accenture, with their international partners, who specialise in the fields of digital design and UX.
With a timely look towards the sustainability of the award, serious effort has been put into the creation of a well-considered, intelligible symbol. “The identity of the National Design Award of Latvia embodies all the characteristics we want to associate with the award – dynamics, boldness, clarity and flexibility. For clarity of communication, we had to find a sign that can be associated with Latvia and, moreover, with the idea of Latvian design. Each of us relates different words, associations and ideas with these concepts. Yet there is one common characteristic that unites our ideas – the initial "L" for Latvian design. It forms an open frame which points to established values and keeps an open space for communication. The upward direction of the award's title underlines the impulse to communication and marks the development of Latvian design, for which the National Design Award of Latvia serves as a springboard. The colours selected for the identity of National Design Award of Latvia are not accidental – they are based on characteristic traits of Latvian nature. The blue represents the tone of the Baltic Sea with an intensive, energetic tint. Together with the light green of moss in littoral forests it makes a colour combination for clarity of thought, bright ideas and creative energy,” explains Ingūna Elere, Creative Director at H2E.
In summer 2016, Design Studio H2E was announced winner in a public procurement competition calling for projects to be submitted for the creation of the National Design Award, launched by the LR Ministry of Culture, earning the right to organise the National Design Award of Latvia for the next three years.
The exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design will be complemented by a broad public programme, which will include a discussion, talks with professionals in the field, as well as a range of creative activities – Family Day, workshops for grown-ups and schools, talks for young adults on and around design.
After 9 April, the works of NDAL will tour elsewhere in Latvia and abroad.
EXHIBITION COORDINATORS AT THE MDAD:
Liene Granovska, LNMA / Curator of Education, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design