The 15th Tallinn Design Festival (14 to 20 September 2020)
Design For Need

Design Night will take place this year from September 14 to 20. The main theme of the festival celebrating its 15th anniversary is Design for Need. Traditionally, the festival looks for its venue among little-known settlements. This time the center of the festival will be in the hangars of the former Põhjala rubber products factory on the Kopli Peninsula, adding value-based content to the emerging new cultural environment.

At a time when a new product that could potentially pollute the planet could not be made, designers should focus primarily on objects and services that help solve a problem, a crisis; which would make our lives safer, more comfortable, and more enjoyable. For products that are functional and services that protect our health and help save valuable time. Design is too much associated only with aesthetics and glamor. Good form and beauty should definitely be an integral part of a well-functioning and smart products. But above all, the design and production of a product should be based on people's needs or social order.

Once the situation in the world is safe again, we plan to hold an international conference Design for Need. We plan to invite: Ville Kokkola, the nominee for the best Finnish designer; designer Carlos Ferrando from Spain from Closca, known for its user-centric products; Cleveron known for its rapid design-centric development, and others. The second part of the conference focuses on design education. What kind of a designer is needed for the new, challenging time where Europe is moving towards a climate-neutral circular economy? Practitioners, researchers, and lecturers from UAL (UK), Polim (Italy), Koldging (Denmark), and the Estonian Academy of Arts will have the floor. These universities have come together as part of an Erasmus project to rethink and improve design education in the light of the challenges posed by climate change. Under the leadership of Reet Aus, the Fashion Seeds panel with international participants will be held, where they will try to find answers on how to make design education sustainable.

The XV Design Night Festival will open on September 14 with the exhibition of the works of nominees of product design award BRUNO 2020 During the opening event you will be entertained with a fashion and dance performance, which brings us Reet Aus' brand new clothing collection in an unusual way.

The most festive event of the Design Night is definitely the granting of the Estonian Design Awards, which will take place on September 18, if possible, and where the product design prize BRUNO of the Estonian Designers' Union will also be awarded. The Estonian Design Awards are organized by the Estonian Design Center together with EDL, ADC* Estonia, and the Estonian Service Industry Association. The best works in the categories of product design, graphic design, web design, service design, and young designer are selected. The nominees for the BRUNO product design award can be seen from 14.09 in Põhjala factory, the joint exhibition of the awards will open for a week in Viru Center on September 21. The design yearbook will be published, and the nominees will be introduced in various media. There will also be several feedback seminars and workshops related to the Design Awards.

Traditionally, the festival program includes various chat rooms / Design Talks / such as I Am a Designer and an evening of Pecha Kucha, where well-known Estonian designers perform.

The exhibition of design schools, which will take place this time in Põhjala factory, will once again compare local and foreign design colleges. In the exposition of EAA, you can see a larger cross-section of the works of the Department of Product Design as well as a fresh collection of limestone products.

We have also thought about children. The Design Night children's program focuses on creating free play situations. The construction store is a new toy store. The children's program helps to create play opportunities with construction store materials, which allows children and also adults, especially designers, to see the potential of play in everyday tools. The concept of the workshop has been created, taking into account children's culture and play theories.

The best posters of the Haapsalu Graphic Design Festival will also arrive in Põhjala factory as a curated exhibition. This is an international project the most distant participants of which are from China.

Different events are planned for socialization and entertainment. The fashion show D_O_M_ demonstrates to the public not yet well-known but high-potential fashion designers. This time five brands will be introduced. We hope to see both a material-saving collection and architectural knitwear on stage.

The Design Street and Fashion Cross will be opened in Põhjala hangars on September 19 and 20 for the design trade. Different installations will be placed in the Põhjala territory to revitalize the urban space. The exhibition of lighting art and multimedia is presented by the Light Festival.

In order to introduce Kopli and the history of Põhjala, it is planned to present a small photo exhibition and conduct a guided tour so that cultural enthusiasts can also get acquainted with the Põhjala studios and the creative people working there.

The festival is diversified by satellite programs where other museums are also involved. Most events are free for guests.

Memories from 2019 here

Memories from 2018 here

Memories from 2017 here

Memories from 2016 here


Main organizer
Ilona Gurjanova
+372 55573687
Technical support
Rinald Kodasma
+372 51937600
Evelin Ojamets
+372 5212890
Social media and marketing
Kirke Tatar
+372 55590787
Fashion Design Show
Piret Mägi
+372 55977444
Madlen Hirtentreu
+372 53437070
Design Street
Krista Rebane
+372 5253235
Light installations
Indrek Leht
+372 56135536
Kerly Arras
+372 56892666
Design Schools
Ann Rehemaa
+372 5210133
Eva-Karlotta Tatar
+372 58046272
Photo team manager
Tago Kalbri
+372 58130134
Liis Mutli
Guest manager
Jana Pala
+372 55647575
Design manager
Helena Koop
+372 5061472
Design Street curator
Kristin Kivimäe
+372 58132313


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