On 8th and 9th september, interior architects and designers from European countries will convene in Pärnu, Estonia to discuss the current issues surrounding our living space and to set new directions to enhance the profession as well as unify its standards across the European Union. Pärnu Rannahotell (Beach Hotel), designed by Anton Soans and Olev Siinmaa in 1935-37, is now one of the functionalist style landmarks and cultural heritage sites of Estonia. The picturesque beachside hotel, recently renovated according to the plans of the newly elected Chairman of the Board for the Estonian Association of Interior Architects, Pille Lausmäe, is thus a perfectly selected site to host the General Assembly of the European Council of Interior Architects (ECIA) — the event will draw in about a hundred leading interior architecture and design professionals from all of Europe.

“Estonia is one of the younger members of the ECIA and marks the Eastern border of Europe. There is a lot of great development in the interior architecture and design field within Estonia and the national organisation, the ESL is very active. This in combination with the fact that Estonia, to many of the representatives of our members, will be new and unknown prompted our decision to have our general assembly and the celebration of our 25th birthday event in Estonia,” says the President of ECIA, Anja Dirks (NL).

ECIA Board seats Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla (PhD) from Estonia who is the single representative in ECIA leadership from the Baltic and Nordic countries as well as the eastern side of Europe.

“I am very happy that we have raised interest in Estonia with our professional activities and now the top interior architects of Europe will gather here during Estonian Presidency of Europe. With the ECIA General Assembly events we will have the opportunity to introduce inspiring sites and spaces in Pärnu and Tallinn. With its strong interior architecture education – both old and new traditions – Estonia has surfaced as an example to International colleagues,” says Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla, who herself, as the first Estonian interior architect, defended her doctoral thesis at the Estonian Academy of Arts in the current year. Her interest is to develop a more academic and research based approach in the profession, being one of the initiators and curators of SISU – Symposium of Interior Architecture and Spatial Use.

The Estonian Association of Interior Architects has been organising the International symposium for four years and the news of its success have spread across the world. As a result, SISU (which means CONTENT/the CORE in Estonian) was invited to Switzerland by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art / Institute of Interior Architecture, and the Association of Swiss Interior Architects. Estonia also has quite a rare international interior architecture master curriculum at the Estonian Academy of Arts, which has gained worldwide attention with its inspiring projects.
The European Council of Interior Architects, celebrating its 25th anniversary at the General Assembly, is the representative body for the European professional organisations in Interior Architecture and Design. Founded in 1992, ECIA currently represents 17 members-national organizations, with over 6000 professionals Interior Architects/Designers.
ECIA provides a common platform for the exchange of information on best professional practice. The ECIA has been established to found a European network to intensify the European network for interior architects/designers and to constantly develop and intensify the profession. This is done by an intensive communication about the profession and sharing views and a permanent dialogue with the members, partners, and sister organisations, institutions and the European parliament itself. One of its tasks is to endorse minimal common standards of education and a professional profile for the associated interior architects/designers of the member organisations.
The programme of the General Assembly and symposium in Pärnu will involve presentations from leading interior architects and space professionals as well as tours of the award-winning sites, eg Urbancows, Hedon Spa, Villa Pärnu, Pärnu Beach Stadium Building and ohter interesting buildings and interiors.

Anja Dirks, ECIA president (The Netherlands)
Margit Aule, KAOS Architects (Estonia)
Sabine Keggenhoff, Keggenhoff + Partner (Germany)
Ricardo López Mosteiro (Spain)
Gabriel-Ionuț Mândrișcanu (Romania)
Hugo de Jager, Revelating (The Netherlands)
Katelijn Quartier, PhD, Retail Design Lab, (Belgium)

There will also be a presentation of the newly published SISU__LINE #3, a scholarly publication of the EAIA.

SISU_LINE #3 Editor in Chief is Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla, Editor Eva Näripea. Contributors: Alari Allik, Eva Storgaard, Gerrit Schilder & Hill Scholte, Monica Knoll, Eva Sepping, Cynthia Madansky, Ingel Vaikla. The collection of texts includes an interview by Pille Lausmäe with Jüri Kermik as well as summaries of the Estonian Academy of Arts interior architecture master theses 2016.

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