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Riina O at Venice Design Biennial



Riina O received a prestigious invitation to participate in the captivating Estonian Biodesign exhibition during the Venice Design Biennial.


"MATERIAL II: Shifting Ground” was the third in a series of exhibitions focused on materials, shedding light on how materials are developed and created in Estonian universities, enterprises, and creative practices today. The exhibition brought together the work of 30 artists, designers, and researchers, including a selection of Riina O SCOBY-compo handbags from the "Crafting Organic Waste for Fashion" collection. The goal was to show how the notion of resources and material development is undergoing changes due to the environmental crisis.


In a world of abundance, understanding the origin of things becomes increasingly difficult. The variety of existing materials is vast; we are exposed to thousands of different substances on a daily basis. One of the objectives of “Material II: Shifting Ground” was not only to present materials in an exhibition setting but also to introduce their origin, ingredients, and manufacturing technologies. The featured authors explore, across disciplines, what the future of materials could be: how regenerative design methods can add value to waste materials, what can we learn from local heritage technologies, and which functional materials can be made on the nanoscale.




As part of the exhibition programme Riina offered a workshop on Bioplastics-making, demonstrating the accessible processes which are quite similar to cooking in the gallery environment, that can easily be adapted and tried at home. The ingredients included various food industry side products, such as coffee grounds, clementine peels, gelatine, etc.


It was truly an incredible experience to take part in the Venice Design Biennial and have the opportunity to get immersed in the enchanting atmosphere of this remarkable city. Exploring the captivating isles and recharging amidst its charming surroundings was an absolute privilege. This time Venice unfolded in an enchanting manner, revealing new and unexpected facets, while graciously introducing its "sibling" islands of Murano, Burano, Lido, and Giudecca.


Interestingly, once upon a time when Riina almost moved to Venice to work as a shoe-making assistant. However, destiny had other intentions, and without any certain plans and a one-way ticket, the destination ended up being London instead!



Riina O newest glove collection “The Journey” features an exquisite pair of white digitally embossed textured leather Cerkva gloves. Embellished with golden python leather details from production offcuts and accentuated with laser-cut elements, the inspiration is drawn from the churches of Ukraine, perfectly harmonising with the opulence of San Marco Basilica.


Thank you Venice for such an energising encounter!

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