The Many Faces of Rīga:

Innovative Rīga

Moped Rīga

The company Sarkanā Zvaigzne was one of the “flagships” of Latvian industry (established in 1927 and renamed Sarkanā Zvaigzne, meaning “red star”, in 1963), it was one of the largest engine factories in the USSR. In cooperation with the factory and its engineers, designer Gunārs Glūdiņš created technical engine models, which, introduced in serial production, for several years dominated the field in the USSR, becoming popular in the entire Eastern bloc.

Minox

In 1937 VEF, the Latvian State Electronics Factory (designer Walter Zapp), surprised the world with the smallest camera ever made. It entered the history of technology not only because of its size but also because of its principally new modifications and innovative technological solutions. The camera had an outstanding design that probably wielded its influence for several decades of industrial design to come.

Interactive Fabric

Zane Bērziņa, after graduating from the Latvian Academy of Art and continuing her education in Helsinki, Berlin, Paris and London, has been working successfully on the border between art and science, researching so called “smart fabrics”. Her research projects and experiments have resulted in the creation of a special interactive fabric - a material which reacts to the electrostatic charge of the human body or an object, and translates it into a visual pattern. Zane Bērziņa has been a contributing expert to a range of international research projects and has collaborated widely with various research and academic institutes, design companies, creative initiatives and businesses.

Cancer treatment

Latvia has become a world leader in the virotherapy field (using viruses in therapy of malignant tumors), worked out by professor Aina Muceniece and her team. This therapy prolongs the patient’s life, and significantly improves its quality.

Blue Microphones

Blue Microphones, appreciated by Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Coldplay, Elton John, The Killers, Jay-Z, Paul McCartney and others, were created in 1995 by Latvian recording engineer Mārtiņš Saulespurēns and American musician Skipper Wise. They experimented with the classic Golden Age microphone, combining it with the newest digital technologies, resulting in microphones that not only look stylish but also offer unique sonic qualities.

Scientific Innovator Kalnbērzs

Rigan Dr. med. habil. Viktors Kalnbērzs (1928), a distinguished surgeon and scientific innovator, has already gone down in history with more than 80 inventions and 27 patents. He studied osteosynthesis of bone fractures, worked out techniques for plastic surgery, conducted phalloplasty and endoprosthesis of the breasts. Most notably, Kalnbērzs was the first to perform full gender reassignment surgery in the former Soviet Union, and developed the technique that is still in use today. He is a respected academic, and has practiced and supervised surgery all over Europe.