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Latvia

London Design Biennale 2018 Best Design Medal

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Matter to Matter

BY INVITING VISITORS TO LEAVE FLEETING MESSAGES IN A WALL OF CONDENSATION, MATTER TO MATTER EXPLORES THE TRANSIENCE OF EMOTIONS AND THE WAYS IN WHICH NATURE RECLAIMS THE MARKS WE LEAVE ON IT.

In Matter to Matter, Arthur Analts of Variant Studio was inspired by his native city of Riga and its surrounding forests – which cover more than half of the country. Due to its proximity to the Baltic Sea, Riga has its own unique climate, with a constant humidity that often leads to condensation. Analts has recreated this using a large green-glazed surface as an interactive platform for the transition of matter to matter: gas to liquid.

Each visitor is encouraged to leave a message in the glass – an expression of emotion that will disappear within minutes. It is a statement about culture and transience, and the ways in which nature can cover over human traces. “It will show the existence of nature in our daily lives and hopefully make us re-evaluate the importance of it,” says Analts. The installation is a serene, meditative space; a scent of Latvian nature, redolent of the country’s sprawling forests, and a large bench made from the typical trees that grow in Latvia add sensory elements to the continuous glass wall. At the same time, the apparent simplicity of the design conceals a sophisticated technological solution, reflecting a new, entrepreneurial generation of Latvians who combine respect for nature with a curiosity for technology. “With the rapid development of modern technologies in Riga,” says Analts, “it is important to be aware of our impact on the natural environment, which is essential to Latvian culture.”

Credits:

  • Administering Body: Latvian National Museum of Art, Decorative Arts and Design Museum 
  • Design Team: Arthur Analts (Variant Studio)
  • Curator: Arthur Analts (Variant Studio), Inese Baranovska (Decorative Arts and Design Museum)
  • Supporting Bodies: Latvia 100, The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA), Embassy of Latvia to United Kingdom