Green-Being: WTF?*
Next Tallinn Design Festival will be held from 18 to 24 September 2023! Until then, enjoy the best captures from previous festivals in our Gallery.

Main events 2022

Exhibition of product design award BRUNO 2022
The BRUNO product design award is awarded every two years to an exceptional product or product series, manufactured either at the designer's own initiative, as a collaboration, or as a commission by a manufacturer/entrepreneur. Production-ready prototypes created during the past two years, or industrial products or product series already in production qualify to enter.

On the exhibition you can see the qualified work, which the international jury (Päivi Tahkokallio (Finland), Anthony Luciano (USA), Merike Rehepapp (Estonia), Sergio Davila (Mexico) and Spyros Bofylatos (Greece)) rated highly enough. Three categories - lifestyle, human environment and engineering - can be seen on the exhibition. A total of 84 projects applied to BRUNO this year!

In order to value design and the profession of designer, the Estonian Association of Designers decided in 2006 to start giving out the Estonian Design Award. The first Design Award was given out in the eighties by Tallinn Art Institute Department of Design at the initiative of Bruno Tomberg, after whom the Estonian Design Award has been named. Among the award-winners are experienced professionals like Matti Õunapuu, Heikki Zoova etc. 

Starting from 2012, Estonian Design Awards, including BRUNO, are jointly presented in cooperation with Estonian Design Centre, ADC*Estonia, Estonian Service Industry Association and Estonian Academy of Arts.  Estonian Design Centre organises the Design Awards and gala takes place during the Tallinn Design Festival.

The Estonian Association of Designers wishes to present innovative, high-standard new products to the public that would prompt Estonians to consume domestic design and motivate entrepreneurs to involve professional designers in product development. The recognition would encourage designers to create new interesting products and motivate them to learn about tendencies in design on the international level. For the design-knowledgeable entrepreneur participating in the competition with a designer and the public sector, product development from the aspect of design and design management would bring recognition and would be a good role model for others. In the long-term perspective, the Design Award is a springboard for new products and brands to the international arena.

Arts Thread Global Design Graduate Show 2021 in Collaboration with Gucci
Arts Thread is proud to highlight graduate projects from around the world, from Germany & Denmark through to Ecuador, Mexico, El Salvador and Georgia, Moldova, the USA and UK, which are focusing on sustainability and green design for XVII Tallinn Design Festival chosen from among the shortlisted for Global Design Graduate Show 2021 in collaboration with Gucci.

Projects range from smart materials such as Phyto printing by Luis Underitz, using light projection to control the growth of phytoplankton, to create high-resolution prints to Terracooler by Ellie Perry, which uses the natural properties of terracotta to reduce energy consumption for food that should not be stored in a fridge.

Travel is also an important topic, with a project for Copenhagen Light Rail in which designer Stefan Perriard shows how a future light rail can connect the districts with more than just transportation, acting to support social inclusion, and be a spine for everyday transportation. The Slootmotor vehicle by Gijs Schalkx is powered by local, sustainable and environmentally cooling sources.

In addition, we look at architectural projects such as the Bacteria denim factory by Yu Hin Chun that proposes an alternative denim production process to address water pollution from the fashion industry in China and The Sandwich Forum - A Timber Vertical Farm by Amber Elliott, a building that can hold all the necessary functions to grow, harvest, package and sell sandwiches to 1/5 of the city of London’s workers every week!

The first edition of the Global Design Graduate Show was in 2020 and was created as a proactive response to the cancellation of end of year student exhibitions in person worldwide due to covid. We wanted to offer all art and design undergraduate or postgraduate students a chance to be seen and celebrated. Gucci came onboard as a sponsor for 2020 and for 2021 become the exclusive sponsor for the Global Design Graduate Show.

- Text provided by Katie Dominy, co-founder / president of Arts Thread

Italian Travelling Exhibition “3CODESIGN. 3R: Reduce Recycle Reuse”

The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation presents the exhibition "3CODESIGN. 3R: Reduce Recycle Reuse". Spread over a space of 150 square meters, “3CODESIGN” offers a selection of recycled objects, products and furnishings, but also sustainable materials and technologies, all designed by Italian designers and/or Italian industries and companies in the sector.

The exhibition, with its sustainable installation plan designed by Bruno Morello, aims to offer an inevitably concise yet sufficiently paradigmatic overview on how Italian design is working towards the direction of the latest environmental sustainability needs, a real inversion of trend compared to the systems of production and design strategies employed during the 20th century. It is an overall and radical rethinking of a production model that aimed at the over-exploitation of resources; a re-evaluation of all the stages of design and production – a starting point for thinking of objects and products that become repairable, reusable, shareable, and recyclable. Instead of ending up in landfill, the value of an object must remain in circulation, by regenerating itself continuously.

Curated by Silvana Annicchiarico, the exhibition will be circulating abroad through the diplomatic-consular network and Italian Cultural Institutes for the next three years, with the aim of giving space and visibility to the new frontiers of Italian design and to actualize the reputation it enjoys around the world, telling the story of the journey of the designers toward environmental sustainability. “3CODESIGN” has previously been to Prague, Doha, Shenzhen, Toronto, Washington, Tunis and Pristina.

On display: Massimiliano Adami, Luca Alessandrini, Alessi, Giuseppe Arezzi, Antonio Aricò, Artemide, Alessandra Baldereschi, Mariapia Bellis, Guglielmo Brambilla, Anna Castelli Ferrieri, Carraro Chabarik mosaico contemporaneo, Valentina Carretta, Acqua Chiarella, Citco, Lorenzo Damiani, Da a Italia, Rodolfo Dordoni, Pablo Dorigo, ECAL, Errepi technology e Pepo con Allard, Assenza, Ferretti, Paniccià e Marin, Favini, Salvatore Ferragamo, Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte, Fonderia Artistica Versiliese, Doriana e Massimiliano Fuksas, Piero Gatti Cesare Paolini e Franco Teodoro, Gervasoni, Luca Gnizio, Grado Zero Group, Kanesis Mkr Lab Bilcotech, Keep Life, Konstantin Grcic, Martí Guixé, Giulio Iacchetti, It’s Great Design, JoeVelluto Studio, jpeglab, Kartell, Marta Laudani, Piero Lissoni, Roberto Lucchinetti, Magis, Manerba, Enzo Mari, Antonio Marras, Luciano Marson, Issey Miyake, Mosaicomicro, Myop, Paola Navone, Nerosicilia Group, NestArt s.r.l., Lorenzo Palmeri, Pieces of Venice, Matteo Ragni, Sapiens Design, Seletti, Silk hi-tech classical instruments, Slamp, Sovrappensiero Design Studio, Philippe Starck, Martina Taranto, Teraplast, Tipstudio, Toiletpaper, Toiletpaper loves Seletti, Paolo Ulian, Zanotta, Zava Illuminazione, Marco Zito.

The display of design and architecture schools, which has become one of the integral parts of Disainiöö, has not disappeared anywhere. On the contrary, in the shade of various global crises, there is an increasing need for the light of youthful and clever design. Can students and schools work together to offer workable solutions on green issues?

Estonian Academy of Arts, Pallas University of Applied Sciences, Tallinn University Haapsalu College and University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy present durable techniques and materials, but also green thoughts and values.



The annual specialty project “TOOL” of the first-year students of the Department of Interior Architecture and Architecture at EKA opens the door to the world of furniture, asking how much material is needed to provide sufficient support for the human body. Students are only allowed to use small pieces of plywood, wooden sticks and glue to complete their idea, and the result must bear the weight of the author.

The supervisors of the studio are designers, architects and lecturers Ilkka Suppanen and Yrjö Wiherheimo. Wood workshop master Avo Tragel supports students in the EKA wood workshop.


EAA Accessory Design. CIRRUS workshop “Reinventer footwear” exhibition

Ten students from Denmark (Design School Kolding), Finland (LAB University of Applied Sciences), Lithuania (Vilnius Academy of Arts) and EKA took part in a week-long CIRRUS workshop ''Reinvented footwear''.

Students covered the following topics: material waste mapping in the industries; handicraft skills to use as part of designing and prototyping; design research methods and working with people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Course objective was making a shoe / shoes out of recycled materials.


EAA Sustainable Design and Material Lab DiMa exhibition

Will take place in the same room as EAA's exhibition "TOOL". Info on DiMa's exhibition can be seen HERE.


To do something well you have to know the subject. Sometimes even over several generations. Pallas's exhibition with its selections of 2022 final design projects focuses on techniques, concepts and materials that bring the design and designer back to their roots. It is difficult to find anything more sustainable than local lambswool or wood.

Let's remind ourselves why we are doing something and how it could be done in the most meaningful way, since everything new is well-forgotten old. Also exhibited is Pallas's textile students' collaboration project Rüüruum with architecture office b210.

To reach the roots one has to develop the courage to play and joy to experiment. Both are evident in Pallas's furniture department's and textile department's third year students' prototypes born out of sustainable mentality. The collaboration project's "Mop, red and hose"   motto "Crazy Times, Crazy Solutions" and limited issued materials gave the participants inspiration and direction.

Design process was started by getting to know the materials. Limited resources provided a challenge to create interior design products. The ideas born from the collaboration of the two departments leave room for future experimenting.

#pallas #pallasetudengid #lend22


The exhibition introduces examples of diploma theses and courseworks of the Craft Technologies and Design curriculum. Our study program values highly sustainable, circular economy principles to find the best solutions to human-centered problems.

An important part of the curriculum is to acquire skills in handling various materials such as wood, metal, glass, plastics-resins through theory and practice, and learning about the most modern technological possibilities. Solutions are also being sought to give materials a new life without burdening the environment.



The native crafts specialities of the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy combine excellent craftsmanship, knowledge of heritage, and creative thought. Our activities aim to apply the values found in the heritage in a responsible and sustainable way to the service of modern society. As part of the university, we value research and development.

At the applied higher education level, you can study in the fields of native textile, metalwork, and construction, at the master's level, creative applications of cultural heritage and teaching skills.

#tyvka #viljandikultuuriakadeemia
International Graphic Design Exhibition "Unpredictability"

2022 marks the centenary of Juri Lotman, the renowned semiotician and literary and cultural scholar, which will be celebrated in Estonia and all over the world. Together with his colleagues, he laid the foundation to a new
scientific discipline: the semiotics of culture.

His ideas about the semiosphere, the translatability of culture, semiotic models, and the dynamism of culture have influenced the development of the humanities. Lotman’s ideas have also been applied in art and media studies, educational and social sciences, and digital and environmental humanities.

Juri Lotman on unpredictability

Unpredictability is connected to explosion both directly and indirectly. “In explosive circumstances the calculation of probabilities does not work, there is only chance, and the result is unpredictable,” Lotman explains. In his writings, unpredictability is primarily associated with culture.

Lotman explains that the future must be respected. And it is precisely the unpredictability of the future that must be respected, for which he emphasizes the importance of art: “Art is the teacher who has been provided for us for our entire lives, and which is precisely capable of teaching us how to cope with unpredictability.” He elaborates: “Art is free, like all thinking and creation. What does “free” mean? Where there is choice, there is freedom. And this choice must be unpredictable for us to be able to speak of freedom.”

These thoughts are from the 1990 recordings of the lecture series „Conversations on Russian Cultural History“.

Marko Kekishev, marko@disainioo.ee
Organiser of HGDF 2022 


EAA's Sustainable Design and Material Lab DiMa exhibition
DiMa is a research centre at the Estonian Academy of Arts, which focuses on circular design in the field of textiles and fashion and the development of new sustainable materials. The textile industry has become the second biggest industrial polluter after the oil industry. 

We consume 400% more textiles than we did 20 years ago and all that comes at an environmental cost. What many of us might not realise is that 80% of the environmental impact of products is determined in the design phase. The EU has issued a directive stating that by 2025, 100% of textile waste must be collected separately. Even if we can collect all of the textile waste, then what should we do after that? The global market has dried up. Back in the day, Europe used to send its textile waste to developing countries, however, those countries will no longer accept it. That means that the only thing left to do is deal with our waste locally. Collect, sort, clean, repair, upcycle and recycle.

The exhibition will present a group of designers and their work from the Estonian Academy of Arts to empower the creative community to seize the opportunities of the circular economy as a framework for global positive global impact.  Our aim with this exhibition is to provide the visitors with some practical examples of textile waste circularity. The design methods the exhibition focuses upon are: local upcycling, industrial upcycling, mechanical recycling and regenerative textile design. .


The work of DiMa researchers and EKA graduates will be presented.

*Local upcycling. Using the post-consumer textile waste as a raw material to create novel designs with new value.

The rapidly overwhelming mountains of textile waste generated from used garments, household textiles or undisposed clothing has become one of the main sources of concerns that take a toll on the environment and waste management. With Europe, US and China exporting most of their textile waste to African countries, the maddening amount of discarded textiles waste is growing into a major component of the landfills- the extremely polluted rivers, textile dumping or burning in the outskirts in Kenya or Ghana are just some of the visible evidence.

Repurposing and upcycling used clothes locally is one of the most effective solutions there is to deal with the textile waste issues we are facing. Upcycling involves endless creative ways of using old products and redesigning or repurposing them by giving them a new life. Moreover, by making use of already existing materials the consumption of new materials is reduced which can result in a reduction of energy usage, water pollution, CO2 emissions, hence taking a significant step towards zero waste.

The invited exhibitors here showcase a selection of possible solutions to the textile waste problem by taking advantage of the qualities and properties that the discarded textiles still possess and by giving them a new purpose.

*Industrial upcycling - circulating leftovers back to production inside factory

The innovative UPMADE® upcycling design & production system allows industries to turn excess pre-consumer materials into garments which present savings in water, CO2 and energy usage.

UPMADE® enables brands and manufacturers to apply our industrial upcycling method and obtain certification. A circular economy produces zero waste and pollution, by design. It is an ideal that the UPMADE® method supports in a real and practical way. Traditional clothing manufacturing creates an average of 18% textile leftovers. Our method closes the loop by applying upcycling on an industrial scale and reducing the amount of textile leftovers. Thanks to this, that 18% can now be turned from cost into value. The UPMADE® Certification process is the outcome of a solid partnership between comprehensive field research and thorough scientific analysis to meet the most far-reaching aspirations in upcycling. It strives for a smaller environmental footprint and maximised resource efficiency in the textile industry through a broader use of upcycling in industrial production.

The display consists of examples in industrial upcycling by Reet Aus PhD.
+ a video describing an example of industrial upcycling in Bangladesh

*Recycling - presenting practical evidence of the potential of textile recycling.

According to the European Commission’s report “Towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy”, recycled materials only account for around 1% of all materials used in textile production. It’s a surprisingly small number, given that we would be able to do much more. Textile waste has become one of the most complex types of waste in the welfare society. But why?

The reason lies within the materials. This 1% is, in large part, due to the fact that many designers don’t take into account the principles of circularity. Most of the clothes we wear are made out of mixed materials that are difficult or even impossible to recycle. Consumption in the welfare society is endless and post-consumer waste has become a massive problem. Within the European Union, we are only able to collect 25% of used clothing, and only 1% of that gets recycled. The rest is burned or sent to landfill. In Estonia, for example, the recycling percentage is 0%. That is shocking and devastating.

The Sustainable Design and Material Lab in the Estonian Academy of Arts is tackling the issue of post-consumer textile waste with an ongoing research project funded by the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre (EIC). The project aims to find solutions to the Estonian post-consumer textile waste through mechanical recycling, new yarn and textile composite material development. This display showcases a selection of results from material and product development process concluded within this project- all presented product designs are made entirely from recycled textile waste.

* Regeneraitive Textile design - Layers of Repair

The popularity of the #visiblemending is proof that mending textiles is becoming a trend on social media. Is it just a passing flow or can the act of repair mend the World? To avert catastrophic climate change huge numbers of us must embrace necessary shifts in behaviour. Wearing out gives the user a possibility to interact with the clothing by adding layers of repair as a sign of increasing value over time. Mending could be similar to the way nature heals itself - adding up new layers and slowly repairing manmade damages. Imagine a World where things have a life of their own in the hands of a user or multiple users.

EAA's DiMa circular design research direction is lead by senior researcher Reet Aus, PhD, and the bio-based materials research direction is lead by Kärt Ojavee, PhD.

Participating designers:
Reet Aus
Cärol Ott
Sandra Luks
Kristel Aimee Laur
Maria Kristiin Peterson
Argo Tamm
Kärt Ojavee
Marta Konovalov

The exhibition is co-funded by Estonian Environmental Investment Centre and European Regional Development Fund.


Anthony Luciano (NYC) presents: “50 Bags to live for”

Artisan designer Anthony Luciano is a first generation New Yorker, a second generation Italian, and the last of six children, who carries with him evolution of artistry and old world traditions. Having learned how to do handwork – embroidery, crochet, knitting and stitching – from his grandmother, Anthony started collecting anything vintage before he even started his business.

When he started making accessories, he was obsessed with vintage clasps and would always be on the lookout for local vintage gems, both when travelling abroad (Paris, Rome, London, Cairo etc) and in the States (different state sales, flea markets in NYC and other places). This brought him to the world of handbags: Anthony is fascinated about the history and the story of these women who would carry these beautiful bags. Who were those women and what was their lifestyle? What kind of events were they attending?

His collection of globally sourced vintage handbag clasps provided the spark and inspiration to launch his eponymous collection in 2000, with the intent to produce a luxurious line of day and evening bags of the highest quality and craftsmanship. Almost immediately, his bags filled the racks at some of the finest retailers in America, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Stanley Korshak.

Anthony likes to remake the bags using his imagination, his knowledge and research on the history of accessories throughout different centuries. He remakes the bag with contemporary twists and attaches it to the vintage frame.



Exhibition "There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away"

As a natural building material, wood contains a unique richness which is impacted by many factors including climate and topography. Whether the building site is next to a forest or not, timber used in construction has been subjected to an industrial decision-making process that dictates its final physical properties. In this act of translation, where wood is often treated similarly to other inanimate materials, a tree’s uniqueness is sacrificed for transportability, structural consistency and usability. 

Focusing on the characteristics of wood, the exhibition explores the act of transformation across the life cycle of the material; from extraction to transportation, standardisation to encapsulation and eventual disassembly for potential reuse. In seeking out the unique traits of timber, we aim to question how industry and construction can learn from and be shaped by the inherent qualities of the material.

“There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” has been awarded with the Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI) Award. Curators: Aet Ader, Helmi Marie Langsepp and Mari Möldre (b210 Architects) and St John Walsh (Alder Architects). Participating offices: Creatomus Solutions, Hannigan Cooke Architects, Joseph Mackey Architects, OGU Architects, Paco Ulman & Kaja Pae, Peeter Pere Architects, Studio Kuidas, Robert Bourke Architects, Ruumiringlus, Wrkshop Architects.

TAB 2022 Curatorial Exhibition "Edible"
6th Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB) 2022 is titled “Edible; Or, The Architecture of Metabolism”, which approaches the word “food” both literally and metaphorically. On the one hand, “Edible" explores architectural strategies of local production and self-sufficiency, and on the other, operations that use by-products of urban life, replacing the traditional linear systems of “make, use and dispose” with circular systems that aim to limit material and resource loss.

Main curators Lydia Kallipoliti (USA/ Greece) ja Areti Markopoulou (Spain/ Greece) wish the exhibition would transfer the notion of metabolism – growth, decay, digestion, and nutrient release – from the natural world to the domain of cities and buildings. The main objective is to reimagine planetary food systems along with architecture’s capacity to perform metabolic processes.

Participants in the Curatorial Exhibition will be gathered in five thematic groups: Metabolic HomeFrom Brick to SoilFood and Geopolitics, the Archaeology of Architecture and Food Systems and the Future Food Deal. The exhibition “Edible"  at Estonian Museum of Architecture is open until November 20.

TAB 2022 is chosen as one of the TOP architecture events of 2022 by Dezeen and Archdaily .

SEE THE FULL program!


Tallinn design festival main partners 2022