Reminiscences of optimism - Digital artwork for Happspace (now Workland) coworking space interior
How was the concept born?
After visiting the coworking space of Happspace Bank, I saw a lot of gray colors and a huge wall that would surely benefit from a colorful artistic accent. I suggested to the managing director that I could create a digital illustration specifically designed for this space - the idea was welcomed. After meeting with the Happspace team, we found the main guidelines for the work:
1) The inter-war period of the building (1918–1939) should be taken into account.
2) It should be quiet, communicate peace and be non-irritating. This feature was requested of the coworking community - their opinion was asked in a local poll.
3) The work should be optimistic uplifting coworking community spirit and have a deeper idea layer behind the aesthetics.
During the period of this work I have read about the aspects of optimism reflected in Kaunas interwar architecture. After restoring of independence in 1918, Kaunas people had the optimistic hope to build a modern European capital it was the center of lithuanian architects who carry out this mission. From this point of view, Happspace seemed to me like a space where you also can find bright creative people who contribute to the recovery and prosperity of Kaunas as a city today, and most interestingly they work in an interwar house whose developers probably built the house with similar optimistic hopes for Kaunas.
Now Kaunas becoming famous for it’s interwar Art Deco / modernistic architecture which main accents are: rounded balconies, stair details, horizontal and vertical lines which are very peculiar but also seen hundred times. The opportunity to be able to look at them with a modern eye was really engaging for me. Also I observed some newer modernistic, but little forgotten or unpopular objects, sculptures which in my mind were stylistically related to geometric interwar modernism.
Kaunas visual / architectural / urban symbols?
The work is based on stylized and abstracted versions of sculptures, monuments and buildings in Kaunas. The clearest entry into the recognition game is the café pot / Resurrection Church (Prisikėlimo Bažnyčia), which has a saucer for which I used the rounded shapes found in the Liberty Avenue (Laisvės alėja). While walking around in Žaliakalnis, thuja were often planted at a number of interwar houses, in my mind I've converted those trees into a symbolic hand inspired by Čurlionis. It’s a mystical hand which is patronizing those optimistic aspirations for Kaunas from the past. Wavy details - highlights of Kaunas Kauko staircase. Table lamp is inspired from Kaunas Art Deco balconies. Without taking the rest of the joy from this discovery game, I leave it to the viewers to discover rest of the objects for themselves.