SISU Symposium 2017 ‘Naked Space’ in Neubad, Lucerne & in Mobile Classroom, Tallinn

The 4th International Symposium of Interior Architecture and Spatial Use – SISU 2017, curated by Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla, PhD (Tallinn) and Prof Sibylla Amstutz (Lucerne), took place on 7th, 8th June. The speakers range from the fields of philosophy to design, to interior architecture and architecture, representing practitioners, filmmakers, students, and academics from three continents.

The SISU 2017 symposium focused on re­use of interior space and community-driven redesign processes, shedding light on the question, how interior architecture is able to create an identity for naked space while ‘re-dressing’ it, and how this can contribute new value to the whole neighbourhood. What are our needs today and how does it influence the re-purposing process? How can we investigate the space inside the buildings of the past and dress it for the needs of today?

SISU will approach these questions across different disciplines for the first time in parallel in two countries – Switzerland and Estonia. The symposium, initiated by the Estonian Association of Interior Architects four years ago and subsequently organised in collaboration with the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn as a platform for discussing developments in the field of spatial use, design and architecture and to address relevant social issues and phenomena in order to raise awareness among the design and architecture community and inspire collaboration. This year, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art / Instiute of Interior Architecture, and the Association of Swiss Interior Architects invited the Estonian partners to hold the charismatic and inspiring symposium in Lucerne, Switzerland. Great thanks to Marianne Daepp and VSI.ASAI for the initiative and contribution!

Presenters Come from Three Continents

ECIA president Anja Dirks opened the symposium. The opening speech was be given by Eva Franch, an architect, curator, educator and lecturer of experimental forms of art and architectural practice. She is the Chief Curator and Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. In 2014 Franch, with the project OfficeUS, was selected by the US State Department to represent the United States Pavilion at the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale.

The keynote speaker was Professor Graeme Brooker, an educator, writer and designer based in the UK. He is the head of Interior Design at The Royal College of Art, London, the founder and director of the charity Interior Educators (IE), the UK national subject association. He has written over ten books on the design of interior space. His presentation focused on strategies that explore the adaptation of redundant materials as sites of depredation, a situation that provides the conditions for mediation. In other words, reusing materials foregrounds the enactment of research and design processes that will ensure that not only meaningful change will take place but that they originate new and unique processes of research, thinking and knowledge.

The second keynote speech was given by Pascal Angehrn who is a Member of the Board of Management at insitu AG since 2015. From 2014 manager of the NRS insitu AG branch office, specializing in resources-efficient construction.

Other speakers included Aura Luz Melis, a partner in INSIDE OUTSIDE, Carmen Gasser Derungs and Remo Derungs from their interdisciplinary interior architecture firm, Eik Hermann, a lecturer of philosophy and practice-based theory at the Estonian Academy of Arts along with Juhan Rohtla (KUU Architects) presenting the story of an old textile factory turned into a contemporary ever-changing art academy. Hermann and Rohtla wish to focus on the special case of (re)designing spaces that would be in a constant renewal, that is, that would stay on the state of rawness or would, like an elastic band, return to this unstable state after temporarily acquiring a more stable identity. Leon Lai and Nico Schlapps from PINKCLOUD.DK will talk about their recent projects, which attempt to co-op the unrelenting pace of urbanization by seeking opportunities for timely adaptive reuses in-and-outside the city. Martin Melioranski who has been teaching students of architecture and other disciplines since 1999. From 2005 he has been the co­founder and director of 3DL at the Faculty of Architecture of Estonian Academy of Arts. A glimpse will be given into an ongoing multi-disciplinary workshop series held since 2012, and for now, focused on sites in Estonia. It has been a collaboration of students and tutors from two universities, local entrepreneurs, municipalities, experts and actuators with various backgrounds. Tom Bosschaert is the director of Except Integrated Sustainability, a multi-disciplinary research, strategy, and design office in the Netherlands. He has been increasingly recognized as a leader in sustainability thinking, the circular economy and systemic innovation.

The presentations were complemented by SISU film programme, curated by visual artist Ingel Vaikla (Tallinn/Brussels). A panel discussion about how the challenges in the area of interior architecture are conveyed to the students, lead by Dominic Haag-Walthert, HSLU (Lucerne), Andreas Wenger, FHNW (Basel), Pietro Vitali, SUPSI (Lugano), Jan Geipel, HEAD (Genève).

Join us in this multicultural exploration of naked space! and SISU Facebook.

Photos: Lukas Galantay (Lucerne), Raul Mee (Tallinn)