Material Change: Design and New Technologies 12/11/2022 – 14/05/2023

Ice Age Centre, Tartumaa, Estonia
Kärt Ojavee and Johanna Ulfsak. Live Streams. 2016. Courtesy of the artists

Material Change: Design and New Technologies

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.

Artists: Elize Hiiop, Siim Karro, Lauri Kilusk, Eve Koha, Marta Konovalov, Erki Nagla, Kärt Ojavee, Olivia Page, Darja Popolitova, Johanna Ulfsak, Riina Õun
Exhibition curator: Karin Vicente
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