Human Cities
The XIII Tallinn Design Festival will be held from 10 to 16 September 2018. For a week, the unique festival which centres on different parts of Tallinn will be revived. Read More...

Main events

Exhibitions @ Balti jaam

Nearly ten exhibitions from Estonia and elsewhere have been brought together in the historic Baltic Station Departure Pavillion. The city topics will be opened for big and small visitors by the “Human Cities" exhibition, the exhibition of the Aalto Exit Architectural School, the iF Design Talent Award, the Kalamaja community exhibition based on the book “Kalamaja is in the Air” and children's drawings exhibition about their ideal city. The exhibition "Dialogue" of Haapsalu Graphic Design Festival will also be shown. Visitors will be able to see the relaxation capsule HÄLO completed under the Human Cities project. For children, an area has been created in the Baltic station where they can build their own city.

Of course, in the Baltic Station Departure Pavillion, there is also a cozy cafe and an area where you can relax.


Human Cities

As the world is changing, we are faced with new paradigms. Rapid urbanisation has led to more than half of the world’s population now living in cities. Cities will need to find ways to accommodate this growth. They will also need to seek solutions for a range of other challenges: economic and cultural globalisation, environmental crises, inter-city competition to attract investments and changes to the ways people live, work and spend their leisure time. All this means that cities are facing a new reality.

This is the context in which, 2014-2018, Human Cities Challenging the City Scale has questioned the scale and co-creation of the contemporary city. Based on a concept created in 2006 by Brussels-based international creative consultancy Pro Materia, the project is now managed by Cité du design Saint-Etienne.

The project was co-funded by the European Commission's Creative Europe / Culture Programme and has involved 12 partners from 11 European cities: Tallinn, London, Brussels, Belgrade, Cieszyn, Saint-Etienne, Graz, Helsinki, Bilbao, Ljubljana and Milan. The partners included universities, design centres and creative design consultancies.

They shared a common goal: to identify practice that challenges the way cities are co-designed. In 4 years the project has seen a rich programme of activities and outputs: an investigation of 90 state-of-the-art case studies, collected in a book; 9 co-creative sessions, 18 experiments in 13 cities, 12 international workshops, 11 international conferences, 6 master classes, 9 exhibitions.



hääl + halo + häll + hallo

Dear passer-by - do you need a break to relax your mind and rest your body?

Then take a deep breath and take some time to relax. This is for you.

In the framework of a “Human Cities” European Union co-operation project, the Estonian team has started to develop a relaxing rest capsule named HÄLO. It is planned to place HÄLO in crowded places in urban areas such as airports or public indoor parks in the atriums of modern shopping centers and office buildings. The content of ​​the idea is to allow people to take a break from the turmoil of the city and accelerate recovery from mental overload. The goal of HÄLO is to promote the importance of a break and relaxation, to maintain mental and physical health and to demonstrate the importance of design in creating a high-level material and sensory environment. The duration of a séance is approximately 20 min.

Disaini autorid: Martin Melioranski, Jan Graps, Ken Ruut
Audiofoon: Taavi Tulev
Helisüsteem: Ingmar Melioranski
Multimeedia: Future Media, Reimo Unt
Valgustus: Hektor Light + Baltlux, Vallo Rähn
Prototüübi teostus: Ropeye, Eccom, Laserstuudio, Blueprint, Ove Uustalu, Laur Stern
Kuraator: EDL, Ilona Gurjanova


Aalto the EXIT School of Architecture

The Exit School of Architecture project examines shared local identities and meanings in new Finnish architecture. It looks at the works’ participatory methods to find what aspects of local culture and aesthetics are embedded in the design process and the final product. The exhibition demonstrates shared social and aesthetic values and reasoning behind the present Nordic Noir architecture in Finland.

There are present 14 recently completed projects and 6 diploma works that abandon standardized ways of building to find more meaningful, individual solutions to design problems in contemporary cities and landscapes while retaining shared aesthetic values of solitude, simplicity, and closeness to nature in materials and spatial expression.


HGDF International competition.exhibition DIALOGUE

HGDF focuses on developments of the poster art and creative signature in graphic design work. At the international competition DIALOGUE participants implemented the opportunities in a very large scale using typography, calligraphy, illustration, photography, painting techniques and a mix of many techniques. 162 works were received from the EU, Russia, China, Iran, etc. The jury chose 82 works for the exhibition supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Haapsalu Town Government and the Estonian Graphic Designers Association.



The iF DESIGN TALENT AWARD is one of the largest and most prestigious competitions for students and young graduates in the field of design. It takes place twice a year with four rotating topics for each.

The topics of this edition were:

1. Smart Homes, Connected Cities – Visions for Cities and Citizens

2. Public Value, Life & Humanity – Living Together

3. Micro Apartments – Maximizing Small Space

4. Future Healthcare – Using Technology to Keep Us Healthier

More than 5,000 entries from 45 countries were submitted to this round of the competition. 68 were awarded – 20 particularly creative concepts (“BEST OF THE YEAR”) also received a share of the 20,000 euros in prize money. The 31 winners of topic 1 and 2 are shown at the exhibition.


Kids Drawing Exhibition

The 4th grade English-language group from Augustine Kitzberg's school in Karksi-Nuia, got a task to think about the city where in future they would like to live most. And whether they think this city would be the best choice for other as well.   Everyone got own vision from their thoughts, which eventually became a drawing on paper and which, hopefully, inspires to create such cities!


"Kalamaja is in the Air" exhibition

In sping 2018 a community book titled “Õhus on Kalamaja” (“Kalamaja is in the Air”) was written and published by a group of Kalamaja fans. Kalamaja is one of the most popular and fastest growing districts in Tallinn today. The book gives a multi-layered insight to this hipsterville of Estonia, its true essence and colourful inhabitants. Through different stories, personal experiences and throw-backs in history the reader discovers how Kalamaja has transformed from a wooden slum of factory workers to a centre of creative industries and a mecca for gastronomes without overlooking problematic issues caused by gentrification. The book is accompanied by an exhibition that portrays locals, who all have a unique and different perception of Kalamaja.


Street for Kids

The aim of the workshop was to make an old industrial city Saint-Étienne old main street a more human centred place to be. In order to do that the current situation was mapped. Based on the findings the street was made more interactive. The main focus was on children to whom some play areas were created and the overall safety of the street was increased.

Estonian designers, who took part in the project: Johanna Tammsalu, Madlen Hirtentreu, Eva-Karlotta Tatar, Mihkel Mäll and Mihkel-Emil Mikk.

display of design and architecture schools @ Roheline Saal

The display of design and architecture schools introduces graduation works and various school projects. In addition to the design schools in Estonia who give the higher education in Tallinn, Tartu and Haapsalu also our guests from Institute of Design & Communication, FH JOANNEUM, Graz and University of Ljubljana are presenting the last projects of their students.



Authors: EKA + HK PolyU

Tutors: Liisi Eesmaa, Piret Puppart, 

Basia Szkutnicka

Photographer: Nick D (Spitgan Magazine)

Skins&Shells is an international collaborative project between the Master´s of Fashion degree students of the Estonian Academy of Arts and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 1600 Chinese wooden fans, iconic to Asia, were used as a medium to reflect the meaning of "protective membranes" surrounding the existence of life. The outcome resulted in 11 individual statement pieces, each with a narrative, transforming the human silhouette...delicate, dramatic, more than skin-deep.



SUVA Type Foundry

EKA Graphic Design presents SUVA Type Foundry, a new web platform, where one can download and buy fonts created by EKA GD students and alumni.

This exhibition marks the opening of the SUVA Type Foundry by featuring fonts and other typographical experiments from the past 15 years designed and created by students, alumni and faculty at EKA GD. The exhibit also showcases the department’s diverse archive, for example designs from the 1980s by professors Ivar Sakk and Villu Järmut.

The exhibited fonts are designed in lectures and workshops lead by renowned designers like Anton Koovit, Tuomas Kortteinen, Avigail Reiner, Johannes Breyer & Fabian Harb, Ott Metusala and others. Fonts designed as graduation projects are also featured.



Pallas University of Applied Sciences, Department of Leather Design, "WoW"

“A bag that doesn’t look like a bag” – this is the task our students get and it tells them to make a story with the help of a product where the form of the classic bag has vanished. Visitor of the exhibition can experience the so-called WOW effect looking at the works where something familiar is telling an unusual story, different from what to expect.



Pallas University of Applied Sciences. Greenhouse Tartu

Greenhouse Tartu exhibits prototypes jointly created by the students of the departments of furniture and textile of Tartu Art College. The prototypes are inspired by experiments with material and form and by setting technical challenges. The exhibition is a cross-section of ideas presented throughout the years at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair; in collaboration with Estonian furniture manufacturers it has got the potential to reach wider use.



Pallas University of Applied Sciences. Applied research project MultiWeave 

Textile students of Tartu Art College are developing method of creation of textile material (invented by Kadi Pajupuu) in the scope of the applied research project MultiWeave. The invention combines CNC technology. Prototypes of the machine MultiWeave (2016) and SpiderWeave (2017) were built during hackathons under the supervision of Anna Jõgi (Kriimsilm Tehnoloogiad). The partner from textile industry Urmas Mägi (Fein-Elast Estonia) is financing the development of the software.



Pallas University of Applied Sciences, “I live here”

City as an environment is the seedbed for ever-changing and developing culture. Creation springs up from the environment and also creates it. The work of Pallas students is the outcome of questions about the relationship between environment and creator, place and people. The authors are both giving and getting, using and creating, valuing the past and visualizing the future. The city is alive until creativity lives there. "I Live Here" is the first display of design of the Pallas University of Applied Sciences.



Tallinn University Haapsalu College/ Diploma thesis 2018

"Handicraft Technologies and Design" at Tallinn University Haapsalu College is a unique applied curriculum that provides the graduates with understanding of the essence, creation and sustainability of a personal product. We have turned our face towards the ongoing processes in society and elaboration of possible solutions of its pain spots. We highly value working with health promotion product concepts.



Masterclass of FH Joanneum in Graz

The masterclass dealt with the question how do we experience space and architecture with our sense of hearing. There have been binaural recording techniques, playback and sound inventions in public space. And the outcome of this masterclass was:

1. DogDay, a audio/video installation transforming the sensual experience from a dogs perspective (audio, vision, electromagnetic fields etc) to the human range.

2. Sounds good sounds Graz - an interactive sound installation, using a taktile floor map to dance the sounds of Graz, especially the University.

3. Sound map - an interactive map reusing the metaphor of childrens tiptoe pen to explore the sounds and sight of special location in Graz.

All sounds have public access and can be heard on Udo Nolls apogee website.



University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture: Liveability in urban transformations

Reducing traffic with motor vehicles, care for the environment and economical use of resources – transferring these goals into urban city spaces should reflect an enhanced quality of life in the sense of social and cultural awareness of urban communities, continuing the awareness of the usefulness of dialogue with history, thus promoting regional identity. Projects: development of residential area in connection with natural surrounding; from isolated housing structure to cooperative housing, challenges of sustainable mobility street; and architecture as a way of transforming the life.



Revitalisation of Former Salt Warehouses in Portoroz

The former salt warehouses are located along a coastal path which connects some of the most beautiful destinations on the Slovene coast. The purpose of this project is to highlight the unexploited opportunities and to find a solution that would take full advantage of the qualities of this space and the two protected buildings through a well defined relation of the area to the wider context. The project establishes a thorough concept for the waterfront, develops a vision for the area of the former warehouses and proposes an intervention into the existing structures, with which the space within the two buildings becomes part of the seafront. With the proposed concept of use, the former warehouses become a new centre of public life, where activities and events for both tourists and locals take place all year round and throughout the day.



Design and Technology Futures

"Design and Technology Futures is built on an understanding that disciplinary, cultural and intellectual diversity, combined with a creative and open mindset, drives successful innovation.

The programme combines education and innovation into an enabling platform so students may search for new ways to address complex contemporary challenges by utilising the synergy that comes from creative practices and exploring emerging technologies.

Students are developed into T-shaped professionals with the ability to collaborate creatively across different fields and disciplines."




 This year, the topic to inspire 7 - 19 y/o youngsters was: The Republic of Estonia 100 - Every place has its location. Environment design to enrich public space.

Students analyzed and developed design concepts to improve public spaces. NODI was organised in cooperation with six municipalities and AS Kiili Betoon.

Design courses for art teachers were held in four different corners of Estonia. Over 190 students from 11 schools participated in the competition. Kiili Betoon will produce roadblocks, skatepark seating, etc. based on the best concepts.



Tallinn Hobby School Kullo exhibition of design and woodworking "Evolving stuff"

Hobby education fulfills a gap in design education and gives opportunity for children to highlight and improve their own creative ideas by going through the hole creative process from first sketches to finished product. This is study to find balance between interests and developing skills, and get over the obstacles like lack of skills and patience. Allso finding motivators like support, learning new techniques, playfulness. Crowing number and quality of skills encourages to play and create more.


CONFERENCE "Human Cities"

There are many causes for the growth of cities. Industry, service, higher economic efficiency, access to cultural life and entertainment, etc. Every year, millions of Europeans abandon their ritual lifestyle to try their luck in the city. The city is synonymous with a comfortable and meaningful life.

The city is a vibrant system, the health and culture of the city depend on ourselves, in addition to city planners. Unfortunately, we often meet little interest of the urban planners in meeting the needs of the population, and often also the inadequate activity of the inhabitants.

At the Conference "Human Cities," we hear stories from visionaries and practitioners about how to cope with new challenges in the environment of rapid urbanization, how to create and maintain a decent and cultural environment in cities.

The Keynote Speakers are:

Mark Kingwell (Canada)

Liam Young (UK)

Veronika Valk-Siska (Estonia)

Kate Rhodes (Australia)

Chantal Vanoeteren (Belgium)

Also, all representatives of cities participating in the Human Cities project will be talking about the experiments and pilot projects that have been carried out in their cities.

The project was attended by 12 partners from 11 European cities: Tallinn, London, Brussels, Belgrade, Cieszyn, Saint-Etienne, Graz, Helsinki, Bilbao, Ljubljana, and Milan.


Mark Kingwell  

Mark Kingwell is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine in NY; author of 18 books of political, cultural, and aesthetic theory, published many scholarly articles. Books: Unruly Voices (2012), Measure Yourself Against the Earth (2015), Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters (2017) and forthcoming The Interface (2019).

"Human Cities, Posthuman Cities"

Traditional urban philosophy has focussed on the relationship between humans and their built environments. Thus the emphasis on spaces, forms and circulatory systems are conditioned by the physical features of people. A standard injunction of such philosophy would then be to make cities ‘more human’. But what if the standard human body is no longer the baseline for consciousness within cities? In such a case, cities would offer both enabling features as well as exciting possibilities.


Liam Young

Liam Young is a co-founder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, exploring the local and global implications of new technologies and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground. Liam's narrative approach sits between documentary and fiction as he focuses on projects that aim to reveal the invisible connections and systems that make the modern world work.

"City Everywhere: Stories from the Post Anthropocene"

Our luminous technologies cast shadows that stretch across the planet. Join speculative architect Liam young and an all-seeing smart city operating system as they take a tour in a driverless taxi on a storytelling tour through the flickering screen and beyond the fog of the cloud, to explore City Everywhere, a quasi-fictional city of the near future, extrapolated from the fears and wonders of an increasingly complex present. Seen through the eyes of the machines we are now designing our cities for you will visit the autonomous infrastructures, industrial territories and sacrificial landscapes that span from the robot ports on the Siberian coastline to the massive mining excavations carved from the middle of Australia where our gadgets begin their lives.


Chantal Vanoeteren

As a town planner, Chantal Vanoeteren stimulates co-creative innovative collaborations with a focus on the reclaiming of public space. She co-founded Human Cities and recently co-organized Citizen Lights, a new civic festival in a multicultural neighbourhood in Brussels with the participation of a large range of local players.

"Public space for local life - Shared values in diversified urban neighbourhoods"

Bottom-up initiatives play an increasingly and more important part in the design of contemporary cities and public spaces. Public authorities and private companies also give more and more attention to these trends in order to enhance social cohesion. City authorities are inspired by such initiatives and launch new calls in order to stimulate local co-creative projects.


Kate Rhodes

Kate Rhodes is curator at RMIT Design Hub, a purpose-built, ten-storey home for design exhibitions, programs and research in Melbourne. Kate has worked on art, craft and design exhibitions, workshops and creative activities both in Australia and internationally. She is the creator of several craft and design audio guide projects including the Audio Design Museum, the Sound of Buildings and Melbourne Unbuilt. Kate was creative director of the State of Design Festival, and curator of its Design for Everyone program. She has held the position of curator at the Australian Centre for Design, Sydney; Craft Victoria and the National Design Centre in Melbourne and was assistant curator of photography and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria for five years. As editor of architecture and design magazine Artichoke, Kate founded Artichoke Night School – a forum for taking design ideas in print into a live discussion. She completed a Masters of Art Curatorship at the University of Melbourne in 2002, and a Masters of Design Research in RMIT’s Faculty of Architecture and Design in 2010, where she has also taught. Kate has also been recognised as part of the Design Honours Program at the Australian Centre for Design. Kate was a founding member of the Office for Good Design, a unique curatorial group that works with private organisations and major cultural institutions to realise their interest in design, architecture and the broader creative industries.

"WORKAROUND – Women Design Action"

WORKAROUND – Women Design Action was an exhibition and online broadcast hosted at RMIT Design Hub in Melbourne, Australia, in August 2018. The exhibition engaged with a movement of Australian women focused on advocacy and activism within an expanded field of architecture. Each of the practitioners featured work towards positive change in the built environment and its surrounding cultures. Motivated by the increasing urgency of environmental, social and professional challenges, these women “work around” existing conventions, systems and structures. WORKAROUND was presented as a program of live events at a purpose-built “stage set” in the gallery that were simultaneously broadcast on the internet. Across fourteen daily episodes, fourteen practitioners each presented a critique, conversation, interview, workshop or performance that articulated their “workarounds” and reflected on their activist practice. Each of the episodes could be watched in real time as it happened from the set at RMIT Design Hub, or viewed online via the Design Hub website.


Veronika Valk-Siska

Veronika Valk-Siska is an architect who has constructed both public and private buildings, designed interiors and landscapes, won some 30 prizes at various competitions as well as published on architecture and urbanism. In 2015 she became an advisor on architecture and design at the Ministry of Culture and has helped to kick-start the Spatial Design Expert Group by the Government Office of Estonia.

"Urban life initiative: the Estonian way"

All change is catalyzed by an initiative, from single concepts such as a shelter or stage, to complicated urban developments such as our cities, formed by multiplicities of initiatives. A tenable initiative is neither solely an experiment nor an experience, but a collaborative investment. The power to initiate is a phenomenal ability that helps us bring something from nothing, and to bring it systematically.

Fashion Design Show D_O_M – DESIGN IS IN FASHION 

During Tallinn Design Festival an exceptional event of presenting clothing design D_O_M – DESIGN IS IN FASHION takes place. Through attractive and conceptual show D_O_M are presented clothes that are prepared in the same manner as design producst generally – with remarkable time consumption and carefully. Garment, the closest layer to our body, determine the health, freedom of movement, safety, general wellbeing of a person. So let’s take time to observe and enjoy the clothing design here and now.

The audience will be part of the cultural experience through spectacular show that opens up brand concepts and DNA. Estonian designers always seek for the best innovations and strive for quality in every aspect. Designed apparel is something that lasts, is worth to repair and devise. These are wearables that are meant to be used both daily and in more festive events.

The staging is composed by choreographer Helina Reinjärv.

Sphere of sound is set by Rene Köster.

The show of D_O_M is produced by Piret Mägi.

#D_O_M #disainonmoes #designisinfashion #TallinnDesignFestival



A new Estonian brand ELLEN RICHARD follows the principle that less is

more. Items are multifunctional and can be worn in many ways. Designer and CEO of

the brand Kristi Pärn says that it is most essential to have the chance to consume sustainably designed products. These pieces give also opportunity to combine the clothes and fit into various situations despite of over consumption.

The collection is simple and practical, inspired by the clean northern style. These clothes are basic products to fit into different situations with possibility to styled in various ways. The collection is produced by local manufacturers and made of natural fabrics.

What if there would be really only few garments in our closet?








Designer Reet Aus is dedicated to slow fashion and her upcycled collection is entirely made from post-production leftovers. Reet Aus has developed an industrial upcycling method that involves complete lifecycle analysis of the garments.The method enables to circulate the leftover materials back to production inside the same factory.

Each garment in Reet Aus collection saves an average 75% water and 88% energy.
Collection is produced following UPMADE® Cerfication criteria.

What if our everyday clothing would be “harmless” and even make good?

STUDIO-SHOP in Tallinn, Telliskivi 62




#reetaus #upcycling #upmade

Photo: Krõõt Tarkmeel

Models: Eleonora ja Indrek

Make-up and hair: Liina Pihel ja Madli Pihel

Styling: Anu Rieberg


Eve Hanson’s new collection is based on knowledge and consciousness where is connected future-aimed fashion-ideas and sustainable design.

Contrasts and contradictions, naturalness and particular forms together are in discreet harmony. Voluminous clothing are about durative, natural and functional materials. Collection is based on monochromic color gamble, where every new season has fresh tone accent. Outfits are embellished with special graphics made by illustrator Tom Lind.

One of the most important focus point is resistance and quality.

What if clothes which are bought today we could wear also after many years? Could it be common practice instead of exeption?





Photo: Maiken Staak

HELVE ALLA, collection “TAASUUS”

Collection “TAASUUS” (eng: again new) brings to the limelight our cultural heritage. The clothes used in the XIX century were like they were due to the lifestyle of the people of that time. Trends were determined by logic. Usage of textile and nature of the garments were result of need and opportunities. Nothing redundant, nothing doubtful. Every detail deserves it’s existence. Every reason is justified.

The collection is completed as the graduation collection in the curricula of Ethnical Textile in the TU Viljandi Culture Academy. The collection was mentioned in several categories in the fashion show Oma Mood in the fashion festival EFF 2018. As a special prize Helve Alla was invited to D_O_M show to present her creation.

In the history we find a lot to worth to remember and to carry forward. How to preserve knowledges and use them also in the future?


#helvealla #taasuus

Design street & Fashion Cross

As it has come a tradition, Design Street and Fashion Cross will again be part of the festival and no driver’s license is needed to attend. Walk through the streets and find lots of great fashion-, accessory-, product- and interior design.

Over a hundred designers and design brands will occupy the halls of Solaris and Alexela Concert Hall for two days. In addition to a pleasing experience, it is a great opportunity to learn about the designers and the stories behind the products and purchase some of the best design with special prices.


Fashion- and Accessory Design

Rõiva- ja aksessuaaridisain 


Raili Nõlvak

ME by Eve Roosna


astrid rajalo

Beregite ptits (RU)




Stuudio Nahk









Mantra Leather (UA)





Castlebird & Rose

Vilve Unt

Haiku Minimal


ILM by Karin

Wooden Lifestyle


Kristel Suigussaar Design

Piret Loog

Mari Masso Millinery

Inga Radikainen

Liisa Soolepp

Kelpman Textile

TORINA Fashion Design

DeMoog Design House



NOS (NotoriousObsessionS)

Happy Bows




k u u l


Reet Aus

Graphic Design

Olevus Art

Bold Tuesday

Krõõt Kukkur Illustrations


LOOM Creative Studio


Pengu KIDS


Minu Väike Ingel




Jewellery Design

KUMA Design

Epp Ilveste

Agnes Veski Jewelry


Sigrid Kuusk

Seco by Jane Aus


K i l l u d by Angela Orgusaar

Lisa Kroeber Jewellery

Kadi Veesaar Jewellery



Kristi Liiva Jewelry

Katrin Veegen Jewellery



Inga Kalistru Ehted

New Vintage by Kriss

Studio Mari Seger

Maarja Niinemägi ehted

SOMA jewellery

Crystal Tree


Product DesignTootedisain




Niidy & keraamika

BRäND Disain

Kraami Koda

Helge Kodu

Nüüd Ceramics


Stuudio Emma Leppermann

My Unicorn

Disainistuudio MUNA

Härra Aprill



Raili Keiv


Kirjastus SEIK


Lucky Laika

Sarapiku Vilt 

Interior Design & Lifestyle

PEHMÖ by Mairi Laide


Häli-Ann Tooms Studio




PULO disain

ELKE Mööbel





Full program


Tallinn design festival main partners