what is SISU?

International SISU Symposium of Interior Architecture and Spatial Use takes place in Tallinn, Estonia. Highlight of the Estonian interior architecture calendar since 2014, SISU Symposium is organised by the Estonian Association of Interior Architects, with the concept and programme for each SISU Symposium developed by a curatorial team. This year, the curatorial team consists of members of the Interior Architecture Department of the Estonian Academy of Arts EKA led by professor Hannes Praks.


SISU 2019

This year, the focus of SISU will be on the physical presence of our craft. SISU 2019 will investigate strategies for spatial intervention, making and production through educational practices that combine direct engagement and participation in the creation of physical space. We will look at the tactile-sensorial experience a space can provide, we will explore material design through the lense of interior architecture and we'll be inspired by the words of a long-time professor of EKA Interior Architecture department, Estonian interior architect and designer Vello Asi, who said that space should always be designed from inside out.

From 12 to 14 June 2019, we invite interior architects and students of the field as well as professionals and students from neighbouring fields - architects, designers, etc - to join us for a three-day exploration of the interior architecture and spatial design process at the Põhjala Factory on Marati St, Tallinn. We will start with an empty space and will together - in the form of workshops and lectures - build up SISU Symposium 2019. The working format of SISU 2019 will be split 50:50 between workshops and lectures.


location map

SISU 2019 will be set up at the Põhjala Factory located on the Kopli peninsula of Tallinn – a 15 minute tram ride from the centre of the city. At present, this former ship-building area is weighing its options for the future, with many of the choices to be made being spatial, thus making Põhjala an excellent partner and location for our three-day investigation into the current space-making strategies interior architects employ. The spacious, inspiring quarters of Põhjala will also allow us to not only speak of practices, but also show, engage, make and produce space, showcasing interior architecture educational practices.

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Veiko Liis / Jovvut (Tallinn)

Veiko Liis is an Estonian designer and EKA graduate whose approach to furniture design has earned him quite a bit of attention in recent years. He brings a designer take to DIY-furniture, creating durable furniture that invites the user to be part of the making process. Veiko's one-day workshop at SISU 2019 will focus on one of the most challenging tasks - in his own words - for a designer: designing a chair. By the end of the workshop, all participants will have their own chairs to sit on: just in time for the lecture part of SISU to start.


Veiko Liis

B210 architects & Pavle Stamenovic / Raster Collective, Belgrade University (Tallinn / Belgrade)

B210 is an architecture office with a think tank approach to everyday spatial challenges. Partners Aet Ader, Mari Hunt, Kadri Klementi and Karin Tõugu believe that positive change in the built environment is driven by a smart design process where architectural ideas are as important as methods of developing them. B210 likes to design ways of thinking as much as physical spaces. At SISU 2019, they give a joint 3-day workshop with Serbian architect Pavle Stamenovic, titled "The point of no return", questioning the static nature of architecture through the notion of limits.


B210 architects

Pavle Stamenovic is an architect engaged in teaching, architectural design and research. Graduated from Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade University (AFUB) in 2007. Founder and partner of Raster Collective, Pavle focuses on conceptual architectural design through numerous competition projects, whilst engaging in research through more experimental projects, exhibitions and workshops. At SISU 2019, he runs a joint 3-day workshop with Estonian architecture office B210, titled "The point of no return", questioning the static nature of architecture through the notion of limits.


Pavel Stamenovic

Roland Reemaa & Laura Linsi / RLOALUARNAD (London / Tallinn)

Roland Reemaa & Laura Linsi: RLOALUARNAD is a collaboration of architects Roland Reemaa and Laura Linsi, focusing on ordinarities and exceptions, everydayness and its deviations. Linsi and Reemaa are currently visiting teachers at the Estonian Academy of Arts and have collaborated and delivered projects for several museums and other private and public clients. In collaboration with Tadeáš Říha they curated the Estonian Pavilion at the XVI Venice Architecture Biennale titled "Weak Monument". In 2019, the duo was awarded with the Young Architect Award NAP, issued by the Estonian Association of Architects.


Roland Reemaa & Laura Linsi / RLOALUARNAD

Daniel Zamarbide / BUREAU & Alice EPFL (Lisbon / Geneva)

Daniel Zamarbide is an architect whose architectural practice BUREAU hides a variety of research activities under its very generic name. BUREAU makes things as an urge to react to the surrounding physical, cultural and social environment with a critical standpoint and with an immersive attitude. Zamarbide is also a member of ALICE, an international group of young architects and researchers, scientists, and doctoral candidates from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne EPFL. At SISU 2019, he'll be introducing a spatial design education project of ALICE/EPFL, House 1


Daniel Zamarbide

Masayo Ave / SED.Lab (Berlin)

Masayo Ave, a Japanese designer who has been settling in Europe for almost three decades, is an embodiment of both cultural and disciplinary synthesis. She brings her expertise not only in her sensory-based innovative design works but also in the field of design education. In 2017, Masayo Ave founded the SED.Lab - a sensory experience design laboratory in Berlin, a cross-disciplinary research project platform in which interconnects design R&D projects and human senses and sensory experiences. In her workshop for SISU, the participants are invited to practice a series of sensory experience design exercises to activate the sense of wonder to the visible/invisible power of natural aging within the Põhjala Factory.


Masayo Ave

Jimi Tenor & Trashchestra (Helsinki)

Jimi Tenor returns to Tallinn for SISU 2019 to recreate his Trash Orchestra workshop at the former rubber products factory Põhjala, inviting spatial designers, architects and others to participate. This renowned Finnish musician has made waves for the last good 25 years with his unique, playful attitude to music. As a composer, Jimi Tenor has never settled for the traditional role – as the workshop at SISU will show. He is known as a productive musician whose work lies beyond current trends, and also as a performer who combines the finest elements of afro-american music, occasional spontaneous silliness and shameless glamour in an a truly original way. On the last day of SISU, the workshop will finish with a live performance of the Trash Orchestra.


Jimi Tenor

Karsten Födinger (Berlin)

Karsten Födinger is a sculptor whose works start with a detailed examination of the specific location and local materials, and then peruse materials, methods and tools borrowed from a construction site to create works that often deal with the properties of the materials used. In Tallinn, for SISU Symposium, he and the participants in his two-day workshop will be working with concrete – a material we perceive as weighty and massive. But is it?


Karsten Födinger

Kärt Ojavee and Annika Kaldoja (Tallinn)

Kärt Ojavee and Annika Kaldoja – both designers – have over the last 4 years jointly led a number of material-centered studios at the Estonian Academy of Arts EKA. This autumn, they will open a design studio focussed on materials at the Põhjala Factory, along with textile designer and researcher Marie Vinter. The at present still unnamed studio will cooperate with local companies and schools, providing opportunities to design and make bio-materials, and open a unique collection of materials in their studio space. In their lecture for SISU 2019, they will present a selection of the results of those studios, and speak of possible ways of application.

Elena Khurtova and Marie Ilse Bourlanges (Amsterdam)

Khurtova & Bourlanges is an Amsterdam-based artist duo who work with in-situ installations and sculptural investigations that conceive the work as a process. Equally fascinated by the conceptual and narrative qualities of materials, the duo often employ materials that overcome the gap between form and content whilst still maintaining their temporality and vulnerability. Since acquiring the archives of Jacques Bourlanges in 2014, the artists have actively implemented their artistic interference onto this gathered content, each time generating new meanings and making visible the mysterious ways in which the mind can work. Khurtova and Bourlanges met while studying Architectural Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, where they are both currently tutors. They also teach at the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague, lecture and curate in the fields of design and architecture.


Elena Khurtova and Marie Ilse Bourlanges

Eik Hermann / EKA (Tallinn)

Eik Hermann is a lecturer on philosophy and practice-based theory at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and the co-editor-in-chief of Estonian architecture magazine Ehituskunst. Eik's current focus lies mainly in the gray areas between the theoretical and practical, material and mental, psychological and political, and technical and poetic.

Eik Hermann

Damon Taylor (Brighton)

Damon Taylor is a design philosopher, author, educator and performer. His research is concerned with the relationship between the made environment and the politics of action, the role of emotion in design, and the changing nature of affect in a culture where the tangible and the intangible are beginning to merge. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Design at the University of Brighton. His book, Moving Objects: a Cultural History of Emotive Design is to be published by Bloomsbury in 2020. In his performance-lecture at SISU this year, Damon Taylor will be exploring whether in an age where a battery of devices clamour for our attention, and connection is an expectation, it is possible to just be, and if we attempt to do so, what are the imperatives of such an act?

Hannes Praks (Tallinn)

Hannes Praks is currently the head of the EKA interior architecture department, having joined his old alma mater in 2015. His approach to teaching has been a constant exploration into the essence of locally-inspired design and architecture, searching for what could make up a uniquely local spatial design vocabulary. He believes in spatial design that places itself somewhere between architecture and product design, looking for quality that could, in addition to providing functional solutions, also contribute to the discussion on what is culture, much the same way as music or literature might.


Hannes Praks

Niki van der Ploeg / Envisions (Eindhoven)

Niki van der Ploeg is a member of Envisions – a collective of 20 multidisciplinary designers, with a shared fascination for experimental research, led by Sanne Schuurman. Envisions members aim to overthrow the usual boundaries between finished product and the creative process by showcasing everything but the end product. Envisions is specialised in translating innovative and experimental ideas into refreshing applications and products: with a keen eye for new opportunities within existing production processes, they strive to collaborate with companies that are interested in expanding the possibilities of their product and their conventional way of working, and this is what Niki will be talking about at SISU 2019.


Jyrki Siukonen (Tampere)

Jyrki Siukonen is a Finnish artist and researcher, working mostly with conceptual art and installations, and writing about art and culture. Having held 50 solo exhibitions and participated in over 80 group exhibitions, he has also curated several exhibitions and taught at universities both in Finland and the UK. In 1970s, Siukonen actively participated in the early punk movement of Finland. His book "Hammer and Silence. A Short Introduction to the Philosophy of Tools" was translated into Estonian in 2016. One of the very last speakers at SISU 2019 on the final day, Jyrki's point of departure is that the acts of "inventing" and "considering" are inbuilt in the making.

Mart Kangro (Tallinn)

Mart Kangro – possibly one of the most internationally acclaimed contemporary Estonian performance artists – focuses in his work on the meanings that the body and movements create and the concept of meaning in theatre as a semiotic time-space. Kangro is not averse to radical changes: he said farewell to his ballet career at the National Opera of Estonia, deciding to concentrate on contemporary performance art. He has collaborated with such kindred spirits as Christina Ciupke, Xavier Le Roy, Juhan Ulfsak, Eero Epner and Thomas Lehmen among others. His productions, of which many have come about in the Kanuti Gildi SAAL, have been performed at major festivals across Europe. In recent years, his artistic practice is closely connected to Theatre NO99 and Von Krahl Theatre in Tallinn. In 2017, Mart Kangro was awarded Main Prize in Dramatic Arts by Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Mart Kangro


12th june
Design from inside out

Sign up for SISU lectures HERE

workshop space lecture space
register to workshop

B210 + Pavle Stamenovic / Raster Collective, Belgrade University (Tallinn/Belgrade)

The point of no return (3-day workshop)

register to workshop

Jimi Tenor (Helsinki)

WORKSHOP: Trash Orchestra (3-day workshop)

register to workshop

Veiko Liis / Jovvut (Tallinn)

WORKSHOP: DIY furniture (1-day workshop)



OPENING LECTURE: Hannes Praks (EKA, head-curator of SISU2019)


LECTURE 2: Laura Linsi, Roland Reemaa / RLOALUARNAD (London, Tallinn)


LECTURE 3: Daniel Zamarbide / BUREAU  & Alice EPFL (Lisbon, Geneva)


LECTURE 4: Pavle Stamenovic / Raster Collective, Belgrade University (Belgrade)

13th june
Material in Spatial Design

Sign up for SISU lectures HERE

workshop space lecture space
register to workshop

B210 + Pavle Stamenovic / Raster Collective, Belgrade University (Tallinn/Belgrade)

LIMITS WORKSHOP: The point of no return (3-day workshop)

register to workshop

Jimi Tenor (Helsinki)

WORKSHOP: Trash Orchestra (3-day workshop)


Karsten Födinger (Berlin)

WORKSHOP: Concrete (2-day workshop)

LECTURE 1: Elena Khurtova and Marie Ilse Bourlanges / Khurtova & Bourlanges (Amsterdam)


LECTURE 2: Kärt Ojavee, Annika Kaldoja (Tallinn)


LECTURE 3: Niki van der Ploeg / Envisions (Eindhoven)

14th june
Tactile-sensorial Spatial Experience

Sign up for SISU lectures HERE

workshop space lecture space
register to workshop

B210 architects + Pavle Stamenovic / Raster Collective, Belgrade University (Tallinn/Belgrade)

LIMITS WORKSHOP: The point of no return (3-day workshop)

register to workshop

Jimi Tenor (Helsinki)

WORKSHOP: Trash Orchestra (3-day workshop)


Karsten Födinger (Berlin)

WORKSHOP: Concrete (2-day workshop)



Masayo Ave / SED.Lab (Berlin)

WORKSHOP: Sensory Experience Design (1-day workshop)





LECTURE 2: Karsten Födinger (Berlin)


LECTURE 3: Eik Hermann / EKA (Tallinn)

How to Do Concepts with Hands


LECTURE 4: Mart Kangro (Tallinn)


LECTURE 5: Jyrki Siukonen (Tampere)

Thinking Something Up and Thinking Something Out


LECTURE-PERFORMANCE 4: Damon Taylor (Brighton)

To Sit Quietly in a Room Alone

14 June at 21.30 Closing Party / Jimi Tenor Trash Orchestra Concert



SISU is free of charge and open to everyone interested in the topic, but we require participants to register for SISU workshops. Registration will open in the beginning of May. Meanwhile, you are welcome to leave your e-mail address here, so we can notify you once the registration starts.

The working language of the Symposium is English.

Curatorial team:

Professor Hannes Praks, Head of EKA Interior Architecture Department
Andrea Tamm, visiting teaching assistant, EKA Interior Architecture Department
Maria Luiga, student, EKA Interior Architecture Department
Linda Zupping, student, EKA Interior Architecture Department
Jüri Kermik, visiting professor, EKA Interior Architecture Department

Graphic design – Mirjam Varik
Web construction – Jüri Klyszejko

More info

Project manager Silja Kukk,
Curatorial team contact Andrea Tamm,
Media contact Triin Männik,

SISU 2017
SISU 2016
SISU 2015
SISU 2014

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