The 3rd Interior Architecture Symposium SISU “Welcome Stranger!”

The 3rd Interior Architecture Symposium SISU titled “Welcome Stranger!” will take place on 1.-3. June in Tallinn, Estonia. This year’s focus is on a pressing global issue – nomadism – and the impact of human movement on space.

A mobile lifestyle has become the norm in the contemporary world, though people change place from country to country or from urban to rural areas for very different reasons – be it economic crisis, education or employment mobility, war or natural catastrophe, the need for adventure or widening one’s perspective. This movement presents interior architects and environmental designers with new challenges for shaping space.

“Movement can be voluntary or forced, and changing places requires adaptation to new conditions, a break with old habits, a farewell to comfort zones. The SISU Symposium will explore the expectations and needs of modern nomadic lifestyles through examples of adaptation to PLACE and settling in a new HOME. We will talk about people’s behavioural patterns and ways of adapting in the contemporary realm,” says the curator of SISU, interior architect Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla, and adds:

“Spatial intelligence can be an ineffable quality, yet also an exact concept that denotes the interrelations between architecture and place. It’s the capability to offer solutions and create new things in a different place and culture – a new world influenced by the landscape, the urban environment and surrounding PEOPLE. How does SPACE change in the process? How do we relate to a changing world from the perspective of (interior) architecture as a profession? How does the architect/designer work in parallel in a different cultural context?”

These questions will be discussed through multicultural examples by renowned theoreticians and practitioners from Holland, Belgium, France, Turkey, Australia, Finland and Estonia. We will hear from the Estonian Academy of Arts’ PhD student and artist Eva Sepping about her expedition to the homes of Estonians of Russia; the (interior) architects Gerrit Schilder and Hill Scholte will talk about the dialogue between local materials and western intelligence in creating a community centre in Bangladesh. Australian exchange student Monica Knoll from RMIT in the EAA Interior Architecture department will tell about a study trip to Palestine, and Laura Linsi will present her Master’s thesis conducted at the Delft University of Technology about redundant collective farm architecture, which has found new use through her creative approach. Tallinn University lecturer and Japanologist Alari Allik will talk about the mobile home and nomadic lifestyle of an ancient Japanese tribe, and Eva Storgaard from the University of Antwerp will discuss how to create a sense of home in the temporary abodes of students. Master’s student Helen Oja and architect Raul Kalvo will tell five stories about their work experiences in Singapore. Marco Steinberg, curator of the Finnish Pavilion for the XV International Architecture Biennial in Venice, shall give a lecture titled “From Border to Home” about asylum seekers’ expectations on space. SISU will also offer a presentation by Renaud Haerlingen from the internationally renowned architectural office ROTOR, which has among other things represented Belgium at the XII Venice Architecture Biennial in 2010 and curated the Oslo Architecture Triennial in 2013. ROTOR is interested in material flows in industry and construction, particularly in relation to resources, waste, use and reuse. They have curated projects for Prada and Rem Koolhaas, among others.

SISU continues to offer a film programme selected by Ingel Vaikla. This year’s films will include a poetic documentary “Home” by New Zealand director Thomas Gleeson, and two films depicting architecture with political history — “Anna Pina Teresa” (2015) and “E24” (2015) — accompanied with a presentation by artist and director Cynthia Madansky.

The SISU international tour will be completed with a presentation of films and discussions by Cyril Gauthier from FREAKS freearchitects in Paris. Although most of their current built projects are located in France, FREAKS’ partners have lived and experienced a wide range of working contexts, such as San Francisco, Tokyo, Beijing, Berlin, Mumbai, Singapore, Istanbul… Those sometimes chaotic urban surroundings drove them to integrate into their practice a rich and confident vocabulary of urban scenarios and architectural aesthetics. The office is deeply involved in reacting to the image and representations of architecture/architect in a cynical and playful way.

SISU offers an opportunity to participate in the open Master’s thesis defences of the Estonian Academy of Arts’ interior architecture students on 31 May and to visit the graduation works show of the university, opening on 2 June at the future academy building at Kotzebue 1.

SISU is organised by the Estonian Association of Interior Architects in collaboration with the Department of Interior Architecture of the Estonian Academy of Arts. SISU invites creative people – theoreticians, practitioners and students — as well as people connected to and interested in the field. The symposium programme is also open to those among the broader public who are curious about (interior) architecture and design, the living environment and the social changes affecting it. Welcome Stranger! Welcome friend!

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For more information, contact:

Solveig Jahnke
SISU Communications
Tel +372 5626 4949

Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla
SISU Curator