Edgars, 27, founder/designer, Associates, Partners et Sons

Edgars Zvirgzdiņš Partners et Sons

I met Edgars through Ernest, and sure, it makes sense that he recommended I speak to Edgars since they work together on a project. Edgars represents yet another facet of an emerging scene in Riga, and he’s the first example I’ve met of someone learning their craft in an established environment (design in the UK) to take it back to their country of origin. Read on!What is your job, exactly? My main job is running design studio Associates, Partners et Sons I founded 4 years ago. I work alongside four creatives and a business developer. We work on projects for clients in finance, culture and architecture. Mostly identities, but we do websites, exhibitions, magazines and books as well.

Besides being a designer I have been championing creative and design industry in Latvia – together with couple designers & architects we founded FOLD, which is a digital creative industries platform. I represent FOLD in Design Council at Ministry of Culture of Latvia, occasionally do interviews with foreign creatives, once every two years I try to run Riga Type Week in collaboration with Latvian Art Directors Club.

I work with Ernest on his platform called Edurio. We’ve both worked with some product start-ups so it’s interesting to try our hand in field of technology & education.

What were you doing before? For three years I lectured at Latvian Academy of Arts and curated a street-art festival during European Capital of Culture last year.

What did you study? I studied Graphic Design at University of Brighton – I really liked the limited class size as well as hands-on-approach. As I didn’t really want to do a part-time job just to support myself doing unpaid internships, I had a quick and brief internship with the amazing team at Crush Creative before coming back to Latvia.

What did you want to be when you were a kid? I think I wanted to become an artist when I was a small kid, that later switched to architect, but since I discovered Photoshop and later Illustrator. I understood that design is a mixture of logic, wit and creativity.

Is there someone in particular whose career you admire? It’s hard to point out one person, so I would like to name two couples who built their lives around the work they loved to do: Massimo & Leila Vignelli, Charles & Ray Eames.

Do you know what you want to do later? I want to make the studio self-sufficient. So that my immediate attention leaves lesser impact on the everyday existence of it. From my experience during the first 4 years, that’ll take another 2-3 years at least. Then maybe do MBA, open another branch with friends from Spain or Sweden and split my time between the studios.

What is your work schedule? It depends on project schedule and how the week goes. There are the occasional 16-hour days and then I might take it easy or return to a normal schedule. If the week has been filled with meetings, I usually put in a couple of hours of work over the weekend. But I am thinking of experimenting a bit with my schedule, dividing time in offline hours & no-meeting days.

What do you wear to work? I like to wear jeans and a suit jacket to a meeting, but on an average studio day I’ll wear something casual. I think looking good helps with confidence, and I think if you dress up a little for a meeting, people will appreciate it.

Do you have any side projects? My work at Edurio & FOLD could be counted as side projects. I have some self-initiated design projects, but they are all in works and tend to move quite slowly – still have to learn how to free time up for them.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done at a job? I think Blank Canvas street art festival has been the craziest project I have done, during which the largest mural in Baltics was painted.