A friend and I spent Friday night exploring Design Weekend — a series of exhibits, designer open houses and artist performances held in conjunction with Vilnius’ Design Week. Design Weekend is held in a set of Soviet-era factories, now closed, that have been taken over by artists and others for apartments and studios. The crumbling buildings and hallways definitely have a Soviet feel to them, but the loft apartments inside are renovated and mostly minimalist modern in design. We saw beautiful, interesting and strange items; got to talk to designers themselves; and listened to a synthesizer concert that was a fascinating exploration of sound.
LTD Studio — designers Juozas and Ingrida opened their loft apartment to spotlight their designs. Juozas was the designer of the bottle for the new “Scent of Lithuania” and they had samples. Yes, I have now smelled the scent of Lithuania and it’s actually a lovely fragrance. It’s a room scent not a perfume to wear. (Unfortunately Google has tagged their website as likely to download malicious software so I won’t link to it — I’ll try to get a good link for the future.)
Japanese Food Studio — Alina, who lived in Japan for six years and opened the first Japanese restaurant in Lithuania in the 1990s, now owns a “food studio” where she teaches Japanese food preparation. The studio is available for group books, either a sushi session or a full meal session. We arrived too late to take part in the sushi making demonstration, but we spent about 20 minutes talking to Alina. She is passionate about Japanese food and culture and it was so interesting to hear about her experiences.
Cafe upstairs at Daiktų Viešbutis [Hotel of Things] — the store sells pricey items made by Lithuanian and European designers. The kind of things that you say “wow, that’s cool” and then “it costs that much!?” The cafe upstairs, however, is inexpensive and the salads were excellent.