Designing Happiness

“Designing happiness” programme developed a new understanding of a comfortable city and urban living based on the recommendations of designers and environmentalists. Promoted learning how to adapt the city for everyone and educated modern urban citizens.

In 2017–2022, “Designing Happiness” had:



participants in capacity building events

professionals involved


International Day of Happiness

In 2018, Kaunas 2022 invited all residents of Kaunas and Kaunas District to celebrate the International Day of Happiness on 20 March. This has become one of the greatest success stories of the project, which will undoubtedly continue beyond 2022. It is a big and attractive educational project that teaches attentiveness to others and sensitivity to small things. So far, the Day of Happiness has brought together thousands of people in local communities, businesses, cultural organisations, homes, schools and kindergartens. In 2022, with the outbreak of war in Ukraine, we celebrated The Day of Freedom dedicated to the Ukrainian culture and the opening of the new centre CulturEUkraine in Kaunas.



International Landscape festival Magenta

MAGENTA Landscape Design Festival brings urbanised nature to the fore and reinforces the role of landscape design in creating a better and healthier future. The festival’s events include educational programs, debates, exhibitions, excursions, public spaces and landscape design objects. MAGENTA encourages the city to become a prominent international centre for landscape design and green urbanism, to pursue a targeted sustainable policy and to become the European Green Capital. The festival is organised from 2019 onwards together with its partner VšĮ Šeimos laikas.


In 20172022, “Designing Happiness” organized:


other activities

Kaunas Design festival

2020 Kaunas Design Event The Present. The Future. The City

The first Kaunas Design Festival started during a pandemic. Visionaries, representatives of the design field and politics, developers and architects discussed their visions of future cities, the meaning and impact of design on our lives, and created projects on sustainability and communication at a distance during events, exhibitions, seminars, workshops and discussions.


The International Design Festival

International Design Festival – a cycle of interdisciplinary events: exhibitions, workshops, meetings, conferences, and installations in public spaces of the city, which invited the city guests to the exhibitions “Kaunas ASORTI: 1964-1984 Graphic Design Stories”, “Porcelain City”, “Woven Art – 20th century”, “The City of Porcelain”, “The City of Porcelain”. The Art of Austin – Avant-garde Carpets of Europe and America, the Bionics audiovisual installation in Kaunas Reformed Church, the Good Design Award Ceremony and the winners’ exhibition, and the Forum of International Design Networks “Human City Grid”.


International Design Forum "Human City Grid"

In October, global design organizations such as BEDA (Bureau of European Design Associations), EIDD (Design for All Europe), ICoD (International Council of Design), and the UNESCO Creative Cities Network chose Kaunas as the European Capital of Culture to host their major annual events. The event was also attended by representatives from the World Design Capital Valencia 2022. This was a unique opportunity to showcase Kaunas in an international context and to establish cooperation with a wide range of design professionals from different countries.



In 20172022, “Designing Happiness” attracted:

local partners

international partners

International collaboration. Memberships


2018 m. Kaunas 2022 became a member of the EIDD (Design for All Europe) network. Together, the activities included the creative workshop “Design for All” in Kaunas, a feasibility study on “Creating a system for monitoring the objective and subjective well-being of Kaunas city residents”, participation in the network’s members’ meetings, representation at the Kaunas 2022 annual congresses, and other activities.

Kaunas joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2015. Since 2019, Kaunas2022 has been entrusted with the responsibility of participating in the network and has taken an active part in the network’s meetings and projects. Over the past few years, Kaunas has become a guest of honour at the annual UNESCO Design City Bilbao event Bilbao Design Week 2021, where Kaunas was represented by the Lithuanian National Prize for Culture and Arts laureate architect Gintaras Balčytis and the fashion accessories designer Gerda Liudvinavičiūtė, and where the exhibition Designing Optimism was prepared, designed and implemented by Gediminas Banaitis-Skrandis. In 2021, Kaunas took part in the Design Cities Online meeting in Geelong [Australia], a four-city design competition called the International Street Design Challenge.

In 2022, Kaunas took part in the live UNESCO Cities of Design and the French UNESCO Creative Cities meeting in Saint Etienne. The final and most significant outcome of Kaunas2022 was the organisation of the UNESCO Cities of Design Annual Meeting, which brought together 32 cities in a live format and another 11 cities online. The 6-day Annual Meeting included internal network working group discussions, a public conference, a roaming meeting with other global networks of design organisations, and an introduction to the design sector in Kaunas and the Kaunas district. Other successful outcomes included a visit of the Kortrijk [Belgium] urban design sector [40 people] to Kaunas and Kaunas district, the cooperation project “5×5”, “K-Totem”, the planned cooperation between the Landscape Design Festival Magenta and Graz Design Month.

“Designing Happiness” reached:

people through communication

Programme created:

long-lasting products

Collaboration with Kortrijk


In 2020, the Flemish Government has awarded a grant of €100,000 to the joint development of the Design for Happiness and Kortrijk (UNESCO City of Design) project until 2022. The following projects have been completed by 2022: the 5×5 design and business programme and exhibition, the K-Totem sculpture and a creative visit to Kaunas by Flemish representatives.

The three-dimensional K-Totem sculpture, located in the Steigiamojo Seimas Square, has become a space of self-expression for graphic designers and illustrators from the local and international field. Creative exchanges with the city of Korteikas also took place. Elise Vanderplacke designed the K-Totem in Kaunas and Mantas Kuginis designed the letter K in Kortrijk.

From 2023 K-Totem is placed at KTU SANTAKA VALLEY.



For the first time in Kaunas, a unique design innovation program “5X5®” developed by the Belgian company Designregio Kortrijk law was implemented. It gave Kaunas companies operating in various fields the opportunity to collaborate with designers for one year on the development of new and improvement of existing products, services, or processes, according to a licensed 12-step program. The joint results of the Flemish and Lithuanian programs were presented at an exhibition during the International Design Festival.

In October, the exhibition “Design Innovations: from Kortrijk to Kaunas” was presented during the visit of the Belgian Royal Family.



Children's design workshops

The aim is to look at urban planning, architectural solutions and design objects in the city through the eyes of children.

2018 Children’s summer day camp “You are the town architect.

2022 Children’s workshop “Happy City”.

Accessibility guide

In 2019, Kaunas 2022 developed an electronic cultural accessibility guide “Culture for All” for cultural organizations, facility managers, and event organizers to make cultural facilities and events more accessible to all groups of society, especially to people with special needs. The guide is accompanied by a free, open-to-all labeling system developed by design professionals Critical.






Donata Jutkienė

Jūratė Tutlytė

Giedrė Bartusevičiūtė–Rimkienė

Irutė Tumaitė

Gediminas Banaitis