Arthur Analts to represent Latvia at the London Design Biennale 2018

  • 2018-07-12
  • LNMA/TBT Staff

Arthur Analts with his interactive installation Matter to Matter will represent Latvia at the 2018 London Design Biennale which will be held from 4 to 23 September.

The Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) and its department the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (MDAD) coordinate the preparatory process of participation of Latvia at the second London Design Biennale (LDB) in 2018. The author of Latvia’s exposition entitled Matter to Matter is young designer Arthur Analts from the multidisciplinary design company Variant Studio. Project is implemented as a part of international programme of Latvia’s Centenary. Latvia will be represented in this significant forum on design industry for the first time.


Building on the enormous success of the inaugural 2016 London Design Biennale, over 40 countries, cities and territories will be welcomed to the second edition of this prestigious global event in response to the theme of ‘Emotional States’.

A highlight on the global cultural design calendar, the Biennale will see some of the world’s most exciting and ambitious designers, innovators and cultural bodies gather in the capital to celebrate the universal power of design and explore the role of design in our collective futures. Taking over the entirety of Somerset House, entries will interrogate how design affects every aspect of people’s lives – the way we live and how we live – and influences our very being, emotions and experiences. Together the countries’ interpretations to the theme will present an exciting laboratory of ideas that will investigate the important relationship between design, strong emotional responses and real social needs.

Immersive installations, engaging art objects, visceral experiences will evoke moods and explore a particular country or city’s design story. National entries will ask: how does design generate, communicate and manipulate emotions? How can design promote and support well-being? Conversely, how can design provoke and address anger and stress? How might emotionally durable designs reduce the impact of consumption and waste? What are the possible consequences of robots as emotional machines? The powerful theme allows visitors to question some of the big issues of our time and interact with brand new work by world-leading architects, designers, scientists, writers, and artists in a broad, vibrant exhibition.


Latvians live in harmony with nature. 52% of the country is covered by forests which are surrounded by lakes, rivers and the Baltic Sea. Matter to Matter, an installation by Latvian designer Arthur Analts (Variant Studio), reflects on the Latvian relationship with nature with his use of materials, wood and water, and the sophisticated recreation of a natural process. The result is an interactive platform for the transition of matter to matter: gas to liquid.

Artist was inspired by his native city of Riga and its surrounding forests; an area which has its own unique atmosphere and climate due to proximity to the Baltic Sea. This capital city has a constant humidity, or moisture, which often leads to condensation. Analts recreates this physical process using a large green-glazed glass surface. The visually laconic glass wall with some ‘magical effect’ will invite visitors to communicate and interact by leaving their own message.

The installation is a calm, meditative space; a floor of Latvian bark and a large bench of solid birch add a sensory experience, allowing everybody to feel something of Latvia’s sprawling forests. Besides, this art object reflects the state of Latvia, which despite being in a constant state of transition, has a serene and solid core. Latvians are known for being resilient and reserved, their deep roots in Baltic history evidenced by the Latvian language, one of the oldest in Europe.

The apparent simplicity of the design conceals a refined technological solution behind the main feature (the large glazed surface). All elements of the exhibition were developed and manufactured in Latvia, a country increasingly recognised for its ability to harness innovation.

Latvia’s leading innovation in sustainable forestry ensures the continuation of natural ecosystems, creating a benchmark for global ecological developments. Analts identifies that Latvian design, architecture and technology in the 21st century have to be socially and environmentally responsible to maintain Latvia’s coexistence with nature. The designer comments: “With the rapid development of modern technologies and cities, it is important to be aware of our interaction with and impact on the natural environment, which is essential to Latvian culture.”