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Design

Estonian design is a rapidly evolving creative field. As of 2014, design is under the administration of the Ministry of Culture. This area is the responsibility of the adviser on architecture and design in the Ministry of Culture. 

Earlier, design belonged to the area of government of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Design policy was part of Estonian business policies for 2007-2013. In 2012-2013 the state launched a design action plan to bring various designers and business people together to form contacts.
 

Design Night

Design Night is a design festival held each autumn in Tallinn with the aim of interpreting different aspects of design and pushing the borders of the discipline. The festival consists of seminars, workshops, exhibitions, competitions, and performances. See the Design Night webpage for more information.
 

Design prizes

One of the events at the Design Night is the Estonian design awards ceremony. The purpose of design awards is to recognise, praise and promote good design work, which offers aesthetic enjoyment as well as solutions on how to improve our living environment in a nature-friendly and sustainable way.

Annkris-Glas, Eesti disaininäitusel Brüsselis 2014

Education

Design education can be acquired at the Estonian Academy of Fine Arts and Tartu Higher Art School.

 

Statistics

 

  • As of 2011, nearly 600 people are employed in 478 companies that operate in the field of design.
  • Total revenue in the field is 12.7 million euros.
 

Financing

 

The largest financer in the field of design is Enterprise Estonia, some grants have been awarded by Cultural Endowment of Estonia as well. The Ministry of Culture supports designers in their creative work through the Estonian Association of Designers and a non-profit organisation MTÜ Eesti Disainikeskus (Estonian Design Centre).

International projects are supported by the state through the grant programme “Estonian Culture in the World”. The programme assists projects that enhance the internationality of Estonian culture and the export thereof into the world, the introduction of Estonia globally through culture, and the creation of wider opportunities for Estonian creative persons. It also helps various cultural groups and creative enterprises to enter the international stage.
 

Design plays an important role in creative industries as a whole. In 2014–2020 the development of Estonian creative industries is supported by the European Union. For this, the Ministry of Culture prepares a grant programme, which will be implemented by Enterprise Estonia via development centres.

 

International cooperation

 

The Ministry of Culture introduces Estonian design abroad in close cooperation with the Estonian Association of Designers and MTÜ Eesti Disainikeskus (Estonian Design Centre).

Estonian Design House

In order to enhance the field of design, the Estonian Association of Designers has founded the Estonian Design House, which promotes the sale of work by Estonian designers on domestic and foreign markets, initiates new product development, and exports high-quality product design. Estonia cooperates actively with Finland on various products in a number of projects. Many joint activities have been started with France, too.
 

Overview exhibition of Estonian design – Size Doesn't Matter

The Estonian Association of Designers has developed a concept for introducing Estonian design abroad - it is called Size Doesn't Matter, and it is based on the juxtaposition of the smallness of our country and the abundance of designers and their achievements. The overview exhibition includes high-quality and limited release products, mostly the best examples of designers’ work plus innovative industrial products. The display shows items of home decoration and furnishing, such as textiles, furniture, light fixtures, ceramics, and glass, but also bikes, fashion accessories, packaging and books. More than 60 designers are represented at the exhibition. 
 
The first Size Doesn’t Matter exhibition took place from 24 April to 25 May 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, at the design gallery Design Vlaanderen.
 

Main partners

 

Enterprise Estonia
State support system for businesses, the aim of which is to enhance Estonian business and regional policies.

MTÜ Eesti Disainikeskus
A development centre in and promoter of the field of design, established in 2008 by the Estonian Academy of Fine Arts, Tallinn Technical University, the Estonian Association of Designers and MTÜ Eesti Disaini Instituut (Estonian Design Institute).

Estonian Association of Designers
An association that unites and represents designers, which was founded in 1989 with the general purpose of speaking for Estonian design.

 

Veronika Valk
Adviser (Architecture and design)

Phone +372 628 2207
Veronika.Valk@kul.ee

 

Last updated: 9 January 2015