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Äksi, Tartumaa

Exhibition “Material Change. Design and New Technologies”

A future-looking exhibition will be opened in the Ice Age Center, the focus of which is the use of materials and new 
technologies in the creations of modern Estonian artists and designers.

The opening of the exhibition will take place on November 11 at 18 o´clock.
The exhibition will remain open from 12.09-14.05.2023 on the Future Themes floor of the Ice Age Centre.

The exhibition invites us to think about our personal relationship with materials and what kind of social and environmental impact materials have on the existence of our future and environment.

Materials form a record of human culture, much in the same way as the various landforms, e.g. mountains, plains and valleys, form a record of the planet’s history. Materials have always been instrumental in the development and functioning of human society: just think of the roles of clay, wood or metals in the history of civilisation. What impact can materials have on people and the environment? What sort of materials and technologies do we need in the future? 

The exhibition shows how different materials and new technologies are employed by Estonian contemporary artists and designers. It explores how innovative processes – digital technologies, 3D printing, laser engraving and ultrasonic sealing – can contribute to the uses of such traditional materials as glass, metal, wood and ceramics. Digital techniques combined with conventional craft skills lead to exciting outcomes which represent a new kind of aesthetics but also call for a redefinition of the artist’s role. 

Striving for more efficient uses of natural resources, many designers choose to apply the circular economy model to their work instead of the take-make-consume-dispose mindset. Their work is driven by the following questions: How can we create sustainable design? How much does the way we make a product affect the environment? What becomes of the product at the end of its life?

Designers look for environmentally friendly alternatives to plastics and other synthetic materials with significant carbon footprints. There are new sustainable and biodegradable materials which are carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative: they remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Designers also search for ways to recycle waste by using it in new materials or by minimising waste generation through innovative methods, such as zero-waste pattern cutting in the fashion industry. 

The artworks displayed in the exhibition propose smart solutions to global concerns, and convincingly demonstrate the opportunities for sustainable approaches to materials.

The exhibition was created in cooperation with the Art Museum of Estonia. It was first displayed at the Adamson-Eric Museum in Tallinn in the summer of 2022. 

Osalevad kunstnikud / Artists: Elize Hiiop, Siim Karro, Lauri Kilusk, Eve Koha, Marta Konovalov, Kärt Ojavee,  Darja Popolitova, Johanna Ulfsak, Riina Õun

Exhibition curator: Karin Vicente

Exhibition coordinator: Kätrin Beljaev

Exhibition designer: Villu Plink

Graphic designer: Külli Kaats, Villu Plink

Exhibition team: Richard Adang, Jaak Alekand, Riho Ant, Ester Kangur,

Kaja Kährik, Hannes Jäär, Kaupo Mets, Kadri Valner

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