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At the Rainis’ childhood home in Tadenava

19.06.2017

The design studio’s H2E exhibition, created of tactile materials, has received high international appraisal.

There are several exhibitions dedicated to our outstanding poet Rainis in his homeland Latvia, but this one, created in his childhood home in Tadenava, is special.

In contrast to the nowadays widespread access to content through digital media, the museum exhibition created by the design studio H2E forces the visitors to work with hands and tactile informative materials, and not in the virtual environment.

The exhibition is designed as a game that encourages seeing and hearing everything that the great Latvian poet, playwright and politician Rainis (1865–1929) experienced in the first years of his life.

Tadenava was the basis of his personality development; therefore, the concept of the exhibition is "a museum of childhood." The story created by H2E is aimed at children, and they learn about its contents with the help of a wooden ball, which guides them through the whole exhibition.

This summer in the US, the H2E studio received the SEGD 2017 environmental design award for their unordinary approach. This year the award was also given to the National Museum of African American History and Culture exhibition in Washington, USA, La Cité du Vin exhibition in Bordeaux, France, and the Closed Worlds exposition in New York.

The SEGD contest was created in 1987 to celebrate the global achievements in environmental graphic design. It aims to promote the use of visual communication in environment, and to show its important role. The contest’s jury comments the exhibition devoted to Rainis childhood:

“A charming and simply resolved exhibit that captures the spirit of childhood discovery. It's refreshing to see that the creators resisted the temptation to use digital technology in the story telling. The outcome is a beautiful tactile analogue experience that appears to be more immersive and engaging.”

The award-winning exhibition in Tadenava has been available to visitors since the summer of 2016. Before that, Tadenava’s half manor underwent a thorough restoration — the dwelling house and several other buildings (shed, bathhouse and visitor centre) were renovated. The exterior and interior of building and objects were restored with great care, focusing on the preservation of historical accuracy.

The museum provides the opportunity to get to know the great names of Latvian literature — Rainis and his spouse, the excellent author Aspazija — in Latvian as well as in several foreign languages.

In anticipation of the milestone anniversaries of both poets, an ambitious renovation of the summerhouse of Rainis and Aspazija in Jurmala and their house on the Baznicas Street in Riga has been carried out. The design studio H2E has also created new exhibitions in these museums, revealing the personalities, relationships and creative driving forces of both of these extraordinary people.