Kaunas launched exhibition on the Architecture of Optimism
On 14 February, the city of Kaunas launched its exhibition on “Architecture of Optimism: The Kaunas Phenomenon, 1918-1940”. The inauguration ceremony, held at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, has celebrated the heritage of the Lithuanian Creative City of Design, and promoted innovation and creativity through the idea of optimism.
The city of Kaunas is renowned for its unique fusion of history and creativity through architecture and design. The city’s golden age between the two World Wars was marked by modernist architecture, which transformed Kaunas into an avant-garde European metropolis, reflecting the optimism towards future and the hopes for cultural, social, technological innovation of the times. During this period, Kaunas radically changed its physical, historical and cultural identity: in less than 20 years, its residents built more than new 12000 buildings, reshaping the entire city. This regeneration became the new heritage of Kaunas and an expression of its genius loci. Even After World War II and during the Soviet occupation, Kaunas' heritage of the interwar modernist architecture served as a vivid memory of former statehood, a symbolic window to the West, and a benchmark for architectural excellence for Soviet-era architects.
The opening of the exhibition has represented an opportunity to reward and relaunch the optimist attitude and the creative endeavors of that period as a way to strengthen cultural life, community building, physical and social innovation for the present and future development of the city.
The exhibition is expected to tour and will be showcased in the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (4-9 April); in the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome (5-12 May); in the Estonian National Library, Tallinn (24 May-16 June) and to the Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw (28 June-16 October).