Estonian Design at New York Design Festival 13.03.2024

Exhibition: Upmade in Estonia as a part of New York Design festival NYCxDESIGN

May 16-22, 2024

Soul of Estonian Design Unveiled: Tradition, Circularity, Innovation

Estonian designers are renowned for their innovative approach, which is complemented by a commitment to embracing a circular and minimalist design philosophy deeply rooted in a respect for nature and a forward-thinking mindset. This unique blend of sustainability and digital innovation serves as the cornerstone of Estonian design, resulting in products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also highly functional and part of a circular lifecycle.

Estonia, a small yet dynamic Baltic country nestled in Northern Europe, has made significant strides in the global design and digital innovation landscape. Recognized as the “most unicorns per capita in Europe” and “the most start-ups per capita in Europe,” Estonia stands out as the world’s first 100% digitally transformed society.

As the Global Digital Governance Leader and the birthplace of Skype, Estonia is renowned for its efficient digital government services. The e-Residency program, established a decade ago, enables individuals worldwide to become virtual residents of Estonia, granting access to a transparent business environment and empowering innovation-driven entrepreneurs in the creative industries on a global scale.

Events at the Lafayette gallery in SOHO: 

The exhibition UPMADE in Estonia is a showcase of Estonian design and digital innovation and a platform for growth and new ideas. It features a circular design, new materials, and Estonian culture posters displayed throughout the gallery. Design talks moderated by Surya Vanka from IDSA with Estonian designers and opinion leaders on digital innovation offer insights into the future of design, while workshops provide exciting hands-on experiences and invaluable learning opportunities.

You can see Estonian design in the ‘ByDesign’ television series, broadcast on CBS Network Television, which showcases international design stories to millions of viewers across major markets. The ‘Soul of Estonian Design Unveiled: Tradition, Sustainability, Innovation’ will be featured in the 2024 series, highlighting Estonia’s innovative design ethos and global impact within NYC Design Week guidelines.

At the opening event on May 17th you will have the opportunity to meet Estonian designers in person, talk to them, make deals. The exhibited objects tell stories about recycling and upcycling and new innovative materials besides the artefacts which prove the beauty of traditional methods. Estonian drinks and bites will be available, and visitors can also purchase unique gifts at the pop-up shop.

NYC designers have the chance to collaborate and engage with the Tallinn Design Festival, fostering cross-cultural dialogue and creative exchange. Opportunities for hosting speakers and exhibitions are open, encouraging connections between designers and institutions.

Active creatives interested in conducting business in Europe can receive guidance on becoming an e-Resident of Estonia and have the opportunity to meet with experts in the field.

PARTICIPATING BRANDS: Woola, Myceen, Reet Aus, HYTI, kelpman textile, johanna ulfsak, Piret Loog, LUKS, LAURASAKS, Cervo Volante, SILE LUIK, K i l l u d, Heiter X, NüüD, Studio Raili Keiv, Elize Hiiop Jewellery, Tarmo Luisk, LUM, Filaret, By Urmas Lüüs, Karlotta, Leonardo Design, Olustvere puidukoda / Mirjam ja Markus Pärnamets, Ideeklaas, Hannah Segerkrantz (Kiukivi), Margit Terasmees, IKIGI, Kärt Summatavet, Riina O, RAIKU Bio Packaging, Andres Ansper, DiMa Estonian Academy of Arts (Sandra Luks, Argo Tamm, Cärol Ott, Reet Aus), HUUM, JALG, Krista Lehari Jewellery, Kristel Kuslapuu, SJX by Juhan Soomets, Maria Rästa Design, Arro Porcelain, Elmet Treier design and Radis.

This event is a collaborative effort between the Estonian Association of Designers, the Estonian Academy of Art, and e-Residency. Supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment, Erasmus+. Enterprise Estonia, and the Consulate General of Estonia in New York, it showcases the collective commitment to fostering creativity and innovation. Curated by Ilona Gurjanova, President of the Estonian Association of Designers, and Reet Aus, PhD, an environmental activist, the exhibition’s layout, including cardboard furniture, is the creation of Tarmo Luisk, with the exposition table designed by Annike Kaldoja.