We’re especially glad to announce that Expedition Wunderlich exhibition – a joint endeavour of the interior architecture department and the Museum of Estonian Architecture – has migrated to the web, so you’ll be able to enjoy both the archive materials, Renee Altrov’s beautiful portrait photography and the texts in English, should that be your preferred language.
At the focal point of the exhibition are 11 interior architects and designers who have all graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts’ (EAA) Department of Interior Architecture at one time or another.
“Expedition Wunderlich” is a symbolic hommage to the works and professional activity of Richard Wunderlich (1902-1976). Wunderlich was an interior architect and furniture designer, the first director (1940-1941) of what is now the EAA Department of Interior Architecture, and the first known Estonian interior architect to have acquired a degree in that field – from 1928-1929, he studied interior architecture at the Kölner Werkschulen in Cologne, Germany on a state scholarship. Thus, Wunderlich is a key figure in the development and professionalisation of the field of Estonian interior architecture. He is, in a way, a father of the field in Estonia, even though his direct impact on our contemporary living environment is limited to a mere handful of preserved furniture sets. Probably the most well-known of these is the furniture in the Meeting Hall of the Office of the President of Estonia in Kadriorg (1938).
The projects from the participating architects’ student years – no matter whether they stand as examples of various layers of 1940s–1950s Stalinism or 1960s–1980s Modernism – reflect both the pedagogical principles of the time and broader societal processes. The graduate projects meant to design buildings that were actually getting built are more realistic, balanced, and thoroughly-developed. At the same time, one can observe among the fantasy projects brimming creativity and spatial fantasies that could not have been carried out within the Soviet reality.
So go and explore the exhibition at www.wunderlich.ee — the project is a fine example of what our students over at the interior architecture department get to do as part of their studies.
Our eternal gratitude goes also to Aadam Kaarma and Mikk Meelak for transforming the material, so it looks good and works well digitally.
Carl-Dag Lige, curator
Hannes Praks, head of the Interior Architecture Department and producer of the exhibition