The best of Estonian sustainable design innovations will be shown in Valencia.

The exhibition of Estonian sustainable design “Second Chance”, organized by the Estonian Association of Designers and the Estonian Academy of Arts, will be opened in Palacio de Colomina in Valencia, on May 9th, featuring innovative sustainable design solutions from more than 20 Estonian designers. The curator of the exhibition is the President of the Estonian Association of Designers, Ilona Gurjanova, and its scenography, based on the principles of recycling, is done by Leonardo Meigas. The exhibition will remain open till May 19th and is being organized within the framework of Valencia_World Design Capital programme.

The design exhibition „Second Chance“ demonstrates how the creators’ innovation and smart technologies in recycling can turn used items into new products, thus safeguarding limited resources and protecting the environment. The topic has become especially prominent during the last years’ crisis, giving rise to design thinking and sustainable solutions oriented design approaches across the world.

Estonia, a small country at the crossroads of East and West, has a distinguished culture of innovation and design, combined with a Nordic mindset, leading to sustainable development in many areas. The country is famed for its digital and e-culture, from IT & mobile technology solutions to nomad visas to the rich arena of successful startups, having the highest number of unicorn companies per capita in the world. The recent years have also witnessed a rapid international expansion of its product, textile, graphic and fashion design field, resulting in numerous international exhibitions, cultural exchange projects and prestigious innovation & design awards. Magazines like Elle Decoration, Dwell, Avantage, AD, Newsweek, Wallpaper, Monocle, New York Times etc have published feature stories about Estonian designers and their accomplishments.

„All Estonian design solutions featured in Valencia are handmade and crafted with great care and love. They have their own unique stories to tell, stories that go beyond the environmental aspect to cover also the design thinking and the innovative creation process behind. Each of them has noticeable, very often amusing details, typical of design products. We have been been featuring the „Second Chance“ exhibition at Tallinn Design Festival and last year in Venice at the Design Biennale, where it received a very warm welcome. For Valencia we have further developed the concept, adding together with the Estonian Academy of Arts even more innovative design solutions to it,“ introduced the exhibition its curator, Ilona Gurjanova, the President of the Estonian Association of Designers and the main organizer of the Tallinn Design Festival.

The exhibition features design solutions from well-known Estonian designers, among them several winners of international and local design awards: Marit Ilison, Reet Aus, Kairi Lentsius, Angela Orgusaar, Urmas Lüüs, Sille Luiga, Kalli Sein, Raili Keiv, Margot Vaaderpass, Tarmo Luisk, Sirli Ratasepp, Igor Volkov, Kalli Sein, Eva-Karlotta Tatar, Leonardo Meigas, Laura Saks, Marta Moorats, Piret Puppart and many more.

On May 9th at 5 PM, a conference introducing Estonian design landscape and its development into one of the world’s unique design hotspots, will be taking place in Palacio de Colomina (Carrer de l’Almodí 1), featuring as keynote speakers Ilona Gurjanova, Reet Aus, Piret Puppart and Marta Moorats. The festive opening of the „Second Chance“ exhibition, with the participation of the Embassy of Estonia in Spain, will be starting at 6.30 PM.

Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) is striving to be among the leading international centers of innovation in the field of visual culture, collaborating with more than 100 partner universities in the world. For the “Second Chance” exhibition, several innovative recycling and sustainable design projects of EKA have come together.

The Sustainable Design and Material Lab exhibits practical examples of textile waste circularity, based on local upcycling, industrial upcycling and recycling design methods. The QUICK SILVER experimental design project series main goal is to inspire fashion, textile and accessory design students to make art from the most unexpected materials, turning, for instance, leftover metallic ice-cream packaging, discarded marine rescue equipment, thermal bags, ropes, life jackets etc into sculptural fashion design and design items. The two projects came together to investigate how designers can contribute to emotional durability instead of creating more durable waste. Additionally, the first phase of the research project Repair and Regenerative Textile Design by Marta Moorats, investigates and shows the concept of repair, and the experimental tableware designed and prepared in a sustainable manner for the restaurant of Tallinn Fotografiska museum by the students of ceramics, glass, jewelry and blacksmith departments of the Estonian Academy of Arts, are shown.

The Association of Estonian Designers (EDL) unites more than 170 well-known Estonian designers and its activities are focused on raising the society’s awareness of the efficiency of design and of developing user-friendly environment, as well as on organizing different design competitions, seminars, workshops and exhibitions. It collaborates internationally in the projects focusing on the issues like circular design, inclusive design, healthcare design, human cities, design management etc. Over the past 22 years curated exhibitions have been organized by EDL in more than 20 cities, striving to boost cultural exchanges and to promote the achievements of Estonia as a rapidly developing design country. In doing so, the Association creates networking opportunities for Estonian product designers and production companies who want to reach the international arena. The Association has its own design stores and showrooms under the umbrella brand of the Estonian Design House, representing more than 120 remarkable Estonian product designers, ranging from interior design items to fashion. For 17 years, EDL has also been organizing the Tallinn Design Festival Disainiöö.