jump to navigation

Get ready for 2025! January 30, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

The future comes sooner than we think.. So, it’s not a bad idea to think about it sometimes and… be ready to face it!

Here is my vision of it and some fragments of the pop up book I’m making for the class of our dear teacher Rony Platenkamp.

I would be happy to discuss these subjects with you.

Doing your shopping will be almost as serious as going to vote. Brands will fight as never before to get hearts and souls and money of the consumers. Many facts will be uncovered about unethical manufacturing methods and use of human harmful materials/ingredients. Many big brands will loose their reputation, so they will do all the possible to get it back.
They will find ways to get closer to us and slip into our private lives. People will split in Pepsi and Coca Cola (etc.) social groups that won’t be friendly with each other. It will become almost like a religion or a political conviction.

Nearly everyone will have a small (and cheap)- credit card size electronical device that reads the code from the packaging. The code will provide information about the ingredients of the product, where it is made. If you won’t have your own “decoder” you’ll be able to borrow one in any shop.
It will make packaging design more minimalistic- only the code and name. You can upload on your “decoder” a program that explains what the ingredients like sodium nitrate or E420 mean.
Most of the people of the middle and upper class will have their personal health advisors that they will often call directly from the supermarket to get an advice if a particular product suits their diet. There will be few people without a diagnosis of an allergy or another illness.

People from the middle and upper class will use a lot of “personalized” products and services- to satisfy the desire to be/feel unique as well as for health reasons. Even the big and successful mass producers like Ikea and H&M will have to reconsider they marketing strategies so that their clients could purchase personalized or easily personalisable products.
As a matter of fact, this will increase the creativity of people, their ability to manipulate materials and the awareness of their own personality and the specific needs.

overwhelming tailor-made-product trend will have an enormous influence on most of the companies.
Open source business strategies will be very popular. Many products will be available in different configurations- a ready made good in a shop/internet shop and a downloadable manual/pattern that allows you to make your desired/needed thing yourself for considerably lower costs. The do-it-yourself will be the key word.
The “creativity” and different technique learning courses will be very popular for adults as well as for children. Most of people will have their personal “creative advisor” (most of the design school graduates will make their career as c.a.), who will help them to give a material shape to their ideas (about their home, furniture, cloths, shoes, food etc.).
The profession of a designer will be more about designing services and all kinds of tools for creativity.

That’s it for now. The second part is coming soon (to your screens)! (:


Let me introduce you… January 28, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,

This year the first half of graduates of the Design Academy Eindhoven have got their diplomas already!

Here is a selection of a selection… This time more pictures than comments. But your comments are welcome (: !

Lea: “ Hair is mysterious because it breeds instincts and feelings, which have their origin mainly in the subconscious. This is why I designed a series of “Hair Brushes” that are mysterious themselves; the hair rather than the brush is visible at first sight, therefore the object needs to be re-discovered. What kind of feelings does one have when looking at a brush? How does one grasp it? How does one use it? What is the bond between the person and the tool? In thinking about sustainability I decided to reinvent brushes- for the hair, face, and nails- in a physically durable as well as in an emotionally durable way.”

Mari:” The idea is to design a new interactive pattern for grown up people. A bed cloth pattern that directly leads you back to your childhood. So that you have this I remember effect for yourself and for a second you are going back to your childhood. Back to the beginning where all your adventures started. By conducting a survey with 50 people and analysing the received feedback a ‘Life is not a fairy tale?’ book is created (as an end result for my research and a starting point for my project). The information gathered, is used to design a pattern resembling and conveying a collection of childhood memories: Making the invisible visible once again. ‘Life is not a fairy tale?’ consists of a bedclothes collection: ‘Your Own Fairy Tale’. It’s a new interactive pattern for grown up people.”

And one of my all time favorites:

Anna:” In Finland the sauna rituals have ancient traditions but are still part of contemporary culture. During my childhood summers I always spent two months in “Mökki,” our summer house in Finland. At Mökki the sauna is the only space where you can wash yourself. Beautiful nature and a lake surround this sauna. It is a place of serenity, enjoyment, coming together and relaxing. In those childhood summers I learned that taking a sauna is more than bathing: the magnificent view over clear clean water, the wooden construction with the smell of burned wood, and silence with only the sound of nature. It is not only physical refreshment but psychological refreshment as well. The sauna has two rooms the steam or sauna room, and the dressing room. In the dressing room you dress, undress, cool off, and have chat. In this dressing area the sauna ritual begins and ends. Changing clothes in the dressing area prepares you for a sauna, and fully refreshed you put clean clothes on after taking a sauna. The feelings that I get from a Finnish sauna I wanted to translate into a bathing space that allows for the same feeling but a space that anyone can use. A piece of furniture that can be placed wherever you like; a piece that is part of the house and living room. The Badkast is a combination of a bath and a closet. The bath represents the sauna where you clean yourself and the closet represents the dressing room. The doors at the front of the closet and the backsides can be entirely opened to allow you to feel connected with your environment. Changing clothes, being at peace in your environment, and bathing: a Finnish ritual coming together in the Badkast. The Larch is chosen because it can be used in combination with water. The closet is made out of one large wooden trunk of Larch to make the Badkast the same tone. This trunk has been drying for over 8 years and all the useful parts have been used. The construction is simple but smart. The connections that are used are designed in such a way that allows them to interact with water. Even new type of joins, able to interact with water, were developed for the Badkast. The exterior is simple as well and therefore it fits well in any residence, inside or outside. You give the closet your own colors when you hang your own cloths in it. By opening the doors the closet becomes one with the environment. For me the perfect bath is simple. “Take your time in your own environment”.”

Books as a social link. (updated) January 26, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

I think buying books is one of the greatest way to spend your money. And books can also bring people together in a way that centuries, your age or cultural background have no importance any more.

I’m working on a project for a library, the aim is to make books function as a social link between people. So, I was interested to look around at other inspiring examples. Here are some of what I found:

When we visit somebody’s house, we are often tempted to judge people by what the person reads. The site gives an opportunity to look inside people’s bookshelves and to exhibit your own online.

BookCrossing is a way to share our books, clear the shelves, and conserve precious resources of the Earth at the same time. A book registered on BookCrossing is ready for adventure.

Over 700 000 people in more than 130 countries share their passion for books with BookCrossing.They help to make the whole world a library and share the joy of literacy. A book with BookCrossing sticker can be left anywhere and found by anyone. The journeys of the books are tracked online.

“Acoustical liberation of books in public domain.”
One can listen to his favorite book or volunteer to read a chapter of another favorite. Nearly 2000 titles are available for downloading.

Mediamatic library in Amsterdam.

Mediamatic gave away all its books. “We distributed our library in protest to skimpy Dutch art funding policy making practices. The way it’s going, we are not able to take care of our library ourselves anymore. So we’ve asked our audience to take over the responsibility.”

All members of the mediamatic.net community can pick up their favorite books for free. You just have to publish the ownership on your profile alongside a picture and a small description. And promise that you will always honor a lending request from another community member.

Underground literature.
In a program in Mexico City, free books are being given out in the subway. The stories and poems in the books are short enough to finish on the average subway ride; readers drop the books off as they leave the Metro. Mexican authors are payed about 300 U.S.$ for use of their works, but their real payement is the increasing interest in their writing. The program gets books into the hands of those Mexicans who can’t normally afford to buy them. And transit officials also hope that crime in the system might decrease if crooks are busy reading rather than picking the pockets of fellow riders.

Internet bookmobile.
For six moths in 2004, a four-wheel-drive diesel van bounced around the back roads of rural Uganda loaded with a PC, a laser printer, a paper cutter, and a hot-melt-glue binding machine. The Digital Bookmobile, put more than 6000 books into schools, homes and libraries in an impoverished area of Uganda.
The books came primarily from the public domain collections on the Internet Archive, a nonprofit online library established to preserve cultural artifacts and data, as media becomes more predominantly digital. The internet Archive boosts some 30000 texts, witch are free for all users to view, download and print.
IN addition, the project funded a book binding station ant two scanning stations at the National Library offices in Kampala, where staff could scan in educational materials about AIDS, farming, adult literacy and other topics for the bookmobile to print.
While the pilot project was largely a success, it run into some obstacles along the way. Despite enthusiasm among librarians and many teachers, the current public school curriculum in Uganda places little value on reading. the Bookmobile was most useful at schools where teachers took it upon themselves to initiate special reading periods. Local politics was another challenge. Not all government officials were supportive of providing greater access to public documents; some see such access as a threat. However, technological barriers- especially the cost of printer toner, glue binding strips, and equipment repairs- could hamper the long-term viability of any Bookmobile.
Despite these challenges, the concept is spreading. Since the 2004 pilot, Digital Bookmobiles have appeared in Ghana, India and Egypt.

“The first and greatest tool we have for learning about ourselves and the world around us comes from stories. Stories are the building blocks of culture.” (NAB)

Laughing about ourselves January 23, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

I had a big smile on my face when I red about the installation of the Czech artist David Cerny in Brussels at the European Parliament.

The eight-tonne mosaic is held together by snap-out plastic parts similar to those used in modeling kits. It represents (almost) all of the European countries in a sarcastic(?)/ humoristic way, revealing the national stereotypes.

Entropa portrays Romania as a Dracula theme-park and France as a country on strike. The Netherlands is shown as series of minarets submerged by a flood – a possible reference to the nation’s simmering religious tensions. Latvia is covered with mountains all over. Germany is shown as a network of motorways vaguely resembling a swastika, while the UK – criticised by some for being one of EU’s most eurosceptic members – is absent from Europe altogether.

The 16-square-metre work was installed to mark the start of the six-month Czech presidency of the EU. There has already been an angry reaction to the piece from many official persons.

I think the Czech artist has created a good test we have to go through to see if we are capable to laugh about ourselves.

And, another example- closer to my daily life.

Two of my classmates Mia Melvaer and Eva Vermeulen did a very interesting research in Design Academy about the gap between Dutch and international students. They asked students to draw “the others”.

Dutch students drawn by international students:

And international students drawn by Dutch …So many of the details that are pointed out are true…!

I think it’s a very healthy thing to learn- to smile about oneself.


Heartland. January 21, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

I recently visited Heartland exhibition in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. It is a multidisciplinary project that focuses on art and music of the geographical heart of the United States of America: the so called Heartland. Some of the artists were invited to Netherlands to produce their work here especially for the exhibition. The exhibition was purposely planned at the same time as the American president elections. It’s the time when we, Europeans are more focused on the USA than usual. Quite a few of the works caught my attention and even fascinated me.

Here are some pictures from the show.

Magnum photographer Alec Soth.

Beautiful map painting by Peter Friedi.

Marjetica Potrc. Reconstruction of an existing building.

Backside of the house. Rain water reservoir.

Drawing by Marjetica Potrc.

Part of a serie of amazing leather and textile “paintings” by Caro Jackson.

Matthew Day Jackson. “Who does not learn from his mistakes, has to repeat them all over again”.

A fascinating installation “Rug” with mirrors by Greely Myatt.

Martin Margiela in Antwerp Fashion Museum January 19, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,

Here are some ipressions I wanted to share with you from the exhibition I visited recently.

Martin Margiela (check out his website!) is one of the most famous Belgian fashion designers. Born in 1959, Martin Margiela studied at the Antwerpen’s Fine Arts School(1980). Throughout his career, Martin Margiela has maintained an extremely low profile. He has never had his picture taken and remains backstage after his shows. All media contact is dealt with via fax. Maison Martin Margiela’s ultradiscreet trademark consists of a piece of cloth with the numbers 0-23 . The badge is attached to the inside with its four little white pick stitches, exposed to the outside on unlined garments.

In the exhibition he sowed lots of beautiful ideas, finished pieces as well as the process and photos of interiors of his shops and fashion shows, and very attractive invitation cards for his shows.


boys… 2d-3d

A duck tape jacket. Gorgeous.



Gliters. Zoom in.

In case you are wondering what to offer me for my birthday (O8.O2.), this buttons’ decorated blouse is a wonderful choice, hah.

Commissioned aids t shirt.

Shop interiors..

Giving. January 16, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.

Sometimes life is just a collection of stress and disapointements and then, the next moment I think I’m the happiest person in this world just because I’m born. It can be one smile or one phrase or just the smell of spring in the air that changes everything.

So, maybe it’s a good idea to be generous. To give joy to people. Even the ones we don’t know. And there are much more ways to do it than you would think.

Some pictures from my sketchbooks. A few years ago.


follow meyou_kill_mei go there every day.

13.01.09. LV January 14, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

People always ask me, if I m planning to go back to Latvia after I finish my studies. I usually find a way not to give a precise answer. It’s hard to reply “no”. It would sound like if I don’t care about the place I come from, like I’m choosing to forget who I am. It s not true. I’m proud to be Latvian, and it’s something that will never change (I believe).

I see what is going on in my country the last years, the last months and yesterday, and it breaks my heart. I want to cry.

What would I do if I go back to Latvia? Fight to survive? Fight to get a chance to express myself, to be heard? Why? I m a designer. I want to do design. Yes, I also want to help my country. I want to make (also) Latvian people happier. But, I m afraid, I will look for ways to do it from distance. Is it egoistic? Maybe, it is. Maybe I ve lost too many illusions these last years.


Bio tank. January 12, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,

A fragment from the beautiful huge wall drawing by Dan Perjovschi at the entrance of Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (Netherlands).

No brand’s brands. January 9, 2009

Posted by ieva in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I had never understood people who wear gucci t shirts and louis vuitton handbags with huge brand logos on them. Is it just an attempt to rise your “social value” by showing that you can afford this branded piece of cotton/leather?! No way, if I would wear a gucci tshirt, they should PAY ME!!

In 2004 (sorry for old numbers, but it gives an idea) the estimated value of the top 100 global brands was 988billion $. Of course, brands are tricking us to pay billions of dollars more for their goods that we would pay for their equivalents.

But more and more people get tired of the abundance of brands around us, they simply want functional, efficient and well made products. They don’t want to be walking advertisement for the companies that dress us, feed us, and furnish our homes.

Recently a number of companies have successfully pursued “No-Brand” strategies. This no-brand strategy means that little is spent on advertisement or classical marketing and brand’s success is mostly attributed to the word-of-mouth, a simple shopping experience and the anti-brand movement.

The most known is the Japanese company Muji (No brand. Good product): “Muji is not a brand. Muji does not make profit of individuality or fashion. We would like our customers to feel the rational sense of satisfaction that comes not with “this is the best”, but “this is enough”. “Best” becomes “enough”.” (What a wonderful definition of enough! It’s really going agoinst the main stream in our consumer society!) Muji makes products thet feature no distiguishing markings, logos, or trademarks. Muji is a brandless brand.

Another example is Blackspot sneackers.

The product was created by the anti-brand advocates at Adbusters magazine: “Blackspot campaign was born almost three years ago when we decided to stop merely criticizing the status quo and actually do something about it. It was born on the back of Nike, capturing the attention of the global media as a lively attack on the brand idolatry and sweatshop production methods of that multinational. Encouragingly, over 25,000 people are now wearing Blackspot shoes. Earth-friendly, anti-sweatshop, and cruelty-free, Blackspots are the only shoes designed to give Big Business what it needs the most: a swift kick in the brand.”

I’m really looking forward to see more of these companies. And especially- for some change in the way people think…

Is it possible to turn this upside down and to go more in the direction of “they should pay me”? Will it come true one day, the idea of Martin Guixe of sponsored food?

Or , like in the graduation project of a student from Design Academy Eindhoven: sponsored housing? (I would be very thankful if somebody helps me to find out the name of the author, a graduate from December 2008)

(photo: Helena Vitola)