White Square | Белый Квадрат



In Search of Uzbek Identity

Advertised product

TBC Bank Uzbekistan


Problem Uzbek culture has been lost for the past decades due to unification of nations in the Soviet Union and then globalization. ​ The Uzbek visual code has been confused. ​When searching for Uzbek ornaments, wrong results appeared, showing Soviet-made, Turkish, Iranian and other patterns. But not Uzbek. Brands, designers and creators, getting irrelevant results of search engines, misused and misrepresented them as Uzbek patterns. ​ There is a great demand for national identification in Uzbekistan. Due to changes in the country, Uzbeks strive to revive their cultural heritage. However, not a single digital library of traditional ornaments of Uzbekistan was ever available. Knowledge of Uzbek traditional ​ornaments is passed down from generation to generation. Now, craftsmen are the ones keeping this visual language that may cease to exist at any moment along with the aged artisans. Solution The first digital bank in Uzbekistan digitized the visual heritage by collecting genuine ornaments of Uzbekistan into a single public database to preserve their originality, categorize and describe their history, meanings and ways of use. The project team conducted a series of expeditions to the 10 cities of Uzbekistan: visited 8 national museums, 16 cultural centers and applied arts workshops, talked to craftsmen and documented all materials. As a result, more than 200 ornaments were digitized and uploaded to an open website with descriptions by a doctor of Arts, so other brands and designers could use these ornaments for free in their branding and projects. The project is ongoing and eventually more than 1,000 ornaments from all regions of Uzbekistan will appear on the website. Results Now search engines return genuine Uzbek ornaments. Over 30 brands and non-profits with a total audience of more than 12 million people (⅓ of the population of Uzbekistan), started using ornaments. The largest mobile operator designed more than 2 million SIM cards and carried out a national advertising campaign with ornaments. State authorities started to use ornaments to brand local events. Several HoReCa brands designed special packaging. Digital artists created NFTs, fashion creators used ornaments to design their clothing collections. Some ornaments were produced as 3D tactile perception models for use by blind and visually impaired people. Ornaments were included in Uzbekistan’s secondary education program. 40+ mentions in media 8M+ reach 61M+ total impressions