The Ukrainian design community believes that "The Darkest Hour is just Before Dawn" marks the beginning of new possibilities and the flourishing of Ukraine.
We are honored to be a part of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the London Design Biennale. This event is of great importance for Ukrainians, and PANOPTIKUM collections is proud to participate in this project. The Ukrainian pavilion, which is participating in the exhibition for the first time, represents the country as a region rich in natural and cultural resources, which is actively seeking cooperation and partnerships around the world. It demonstrates how design can serve as a powerful tool for the development and cultural expression of Ukraine, even in difficult conditions. Despite the crisis, Ukrainian designers have developed and implemented several symbolic projects. One of them was the "Dnipro" - a collection of objects by Serhiy Hotvyansky, Nottdesign, which we joined with great responsibility. Designer Serhiy Hotvyansky, exploring Ukraine's resources and industrial power, created objects that symbolize typical industrial structures - water towers, cooling towers, and gas and grain storage tanks. Taking into account the production capacity of Panoptikum Collections, we created objects symbolizing such resources of Ukraine as coal from the Donbas, oak from the Carpathians, and salt from Soledar.
Ukraine's forests consist of more than 30 species of trees, dominated by pine, oak, beech, spruce, birch, alder, ash, hornbeam, and fir. The total area of forests is 9.5 million hectares (9th in Europe). Since 2015, Ukraine has had a moratorium on the export of unprocessed timber, but there is a wide range of wood products, such as plywood, fiberboard, and OSB. All these types of boards are produced in Ukraine. From 2016 to 2020, 93% of wood exports were to European countries. We have extensive experience in working with wood and know the capabilities of this material, so the creation of wood objects is one of our strongest capacities.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Ukraine's salt reserves amounted to 16.7 billion tons. In 2006, Ukraine ranked 17th in the world in terms of salt production (2,300,000 tons). 95% of the salt produced in Ukraine comes from the Artemivsk rock salt deposit in Soledar (Bakhmut deposit). It is one of the largest such enterprises in the world. Salt from the Bakhmut deposit is characterized by high purity. In 2022, the company's operations were suspended due to constant shelling. On February 21, 2023, Artemsil and United24 released a special batch of Mitz salt to mark the anniversary of the war, dividing the last 20 tons into 100,000 symbolic packs. Using this unique salt mined in the famous Soledar, we decorated the wooden base and created several unique models. To ensure the reliability and functionality of the products, we used high-quality and environmentally friendly adhesive mixtures.
Ukraine ranks first in Europe and eighth in the world in terms of geological reserves of fossil coal (about 3% of the world's reserves). Ukraine's coal industry supplies its products to the energy sector, coke and chemical industry, and housing and utilities. To accurately convey the texture and color of coal in these industrial models, we spent several hours firing them in a delicate and efficient manner. The ancient pyrography technique mastered by our craftsmen helped us achieve the desired result. The craft, which has experienced several revivals as an art form in its history, has moved into the design sphere thanks to our craftsmen while retaining the taste of the unexpected. This part of the exhibition is a dialogue that demonstrates the desire and ability to interact while showing respect and care for our planet Earth.