The darkest hour is just before dawn

The Ukrainian pavilion focuses on the internal and external tracks of the collaboration process. On the one hand, the installation demonstrates the connections between modern Ukrainian design and its past cultural traditions, and on the other hand, it studies the relevance of intercultural communications. ‘The darkest hour is just before dawn’ tells stories about design initiatives that allow the creators of the entire planet to speak the same language – the language of world peace, progress and life.

Due to its liminal location between the conditional West and East, Ukraine has always been an important centre of communication operations, where traditions were carefully revisited, ideas were exchanged, bold collaborations were implemented and new ways of cooperation were found. With the beginning of the full-scale phase of the war in 2022, most people in the world, and Ukrainian designers in particular, found themselves confronted with the need to rebuild methods of communication between Ukraine and the world.

Faced with a shortage of basic resources due to war, designers from Ukraine, a country also known as the planet’s default breadbasket, want to demonstrate that even through the taped windows of their homes, during times of blackout, they can clearly see opportunities for fruitful cooperation with the democratic free world and can implement the most daring design ideas.

‘The darkest hour is just before dawn’ not only presents new communications between Ukrainian design potentials, but reflects a sincere desire and ability to interact with gratitude and interest for the sake of life as a single law of planet Earth.

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Larysa Tsybina

Curator of the Ukrainian Pavilion

Denys Sokolov

Art Director, SVOYA Studio

Dmytro Sivak

Architect, Sivak + Partners Bureau


Viktoria Yakusha


Sergiy Hotvianskyi


Kateryna Sokolova

Arkadii Vartanov, Noom


Antonina Kaplia

Architect, TSEH Architectural Group

Graphic Design:

Kyrylo Tykva

&MO Graphic Design


London Design Biennale



 Llab design studio

 Panoptikum Collections


2023 Exhibitors