Woods and The Sea: Estonian Design and the Virtual Frontier explores how Estonian designers have found ways to stoke creative spirit and forge distinctive goods, by their sense of place and historical interests. As a small nation on the Baltic coast, Estonia has acted as a port between Eastern Europe and Russia. In a small and often turbulent environment, its designers engage every aspect of Estonian culture, from stern Soviet orthodoxy to whirlwind globalisation, to a wired and forward-thinking social nature, to the constants of seaside life, and to mushroom hunting in the deep woods.
Woods and The Sea presents the stories and personalities of Estonian design and its distinctive style by taking the reader to its sources.Woods and the Sea is structured in three parts; a long-form narrative portrait of Estonian designers, and the development of a distinct style, followed by essays exploring the history of Estonian design, and finally the current situation and future prospects of Estonian design.
Readers will be taken inside the studios of designers such as Bruno Tomberg, who fostered Modernism amongst a small, underground arts scene.Woods and The Sea also explores industrial shops kept by Matti Ounapuu, whose skills bridge Olympic-era Tallinn and Tupolev to contemporary folding electronic scooters, and the Tallinn studios and remote rural practices making up the youth movement made prominent by the country’s early embrace of internet culture.
Through narrative storytelling and the use of vivid imagery, from the abstract and wry humour of illustrator, artist, and phenomenologist Leonhard Lapin, to the practical use of resources by the absurdist lamp-maker Tarmo Luiskthe enduring character, style and story of Estonian design shines strong. Covering periods from post-war Soviet Estonia to the current day, Woods and The Sea is a creative documentary style art book, and academic treatise.
Featured designers include Bruno Tomberg, Maile Gruenberg, Tarmo Luisk, Martin Parn, Reet Aus, Mait Summatavet, Kaarel Kurismaa, Peeter Kuutma, Aet Tamm, Mare Soovik, Mari Adamson and Heldur Pruuli.