The Nordic aesthetic that’s driving this country’s “new normal”

Long-renowned for its minimalistic and nature-driven aesthetic, Latvian design is leading the charge in designing the future that will become our everyday life.

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Long-renowned for its minimalistic and nature-driven aesthetic, Latvian design is leading the charge in designing the future that will become our everyday life. 

With a similar minimalism shared with our Nordic neighbours, Latvian design adds a heavy influence from nature itself, taking inspiration from its colours, shapes, and materials. As the virus drives us away from bustling cities and into nature’s solitude, this has become more prevalent than ever, and prompting companies to innovate to accommodate this new reality. 

Part of that new reality is inextricably linked to the technological world – be that through remote work, the need to reconsider education systems and processes, and collaboration as a community as a whole.

Integrating “new normal” props into existing environments.
We’re seeing the development of an artistic hand disinfecting stand mimicking nature’s curves. Being placed in business lounges and entrances to public spaces, these stands blend effortlessly into modern environments.

Grassroots community design

The #stayhome movement was a grassroots movement designed with the public in mind. A platform where those unable to leave their homes, either due to being in a risk group or who are under quarantine, are able to register their requirements, and volunteers will help implement them. Such as picking up groceries, walking the dog, or even providing companionship via telephone call for the lonely. 

Although the priority of the #stayhome movement was ensuring the safety and health for the people at a higher risk in a way that kept them more isolated, the movement also played a significant role in increasing the unity of those involved.

Corporate pivots and adaptation

Existing companies have shifted their focus and ventured into new product development to address the current requirements of society at large. Ranging from the largest Baltic 3D printing company shifting to produce up to 20,000 face shields per day to sensor companies developing minimalistic thermometers to offer mass temperature measuring in hospitals, companies are adapting to the current local requirements. 

What these products have in common is the minimalist approach, making do with only what is absolutely necessary, working with lean development principles. The results is the launch of utilitarian, minimalistic, and affordable products built for real use. 

Latvian design – unknowingly part of your life

Latvian design has long been part of the global reality, often without knowing it. 

Porsche’s lead designer from 1968-1988 was Latvian automotive designer Anatolijs Lapiņš. One of his masterpieces included the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which went on to become one of the most valuable sports cars in history.

Another unsung hero is the linchpin in the invention of jeans. Jacob W. Davis invented the rivets that hold the heavy denim material together, making jeans possible. Due to limited financial resources, he was aided in applying for the patent by his friend – Levi Strauss. As you surely know, the rest was history. 

Latvian design has permeated households through the Madara cosmetics brand, bringing all-natural cosmetics made of local ingredients to the public. Though being an established company with a dedicated international clientele, they too have adjusted to the latest reality by developing and offering a natural hand cleaning spray.

Designing the future

As many industries and life as we know it have been significantly disrupted due to the insurgence of the coronavirus worldwide, Latvia is flexing its creative muscles to find solutions and design the new normal.