CIRRUS is a Nordic-Baltic network of Art and Design higher education. There are 20 excellent art and design schools from the Nordics and the Baltics in the circle of this cooperation. The central activities of the partner institutions are art and design, including innovative activities, technical development and artistic practices.

CIRRUS intensive course

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Deadline for applying: June 1, 2022
Workshop leaders: 
– Maarika Karm, footwear designer at adidas
– Eliška Horčíková, footwear designer at Camper
Kelian Luisk, footwear technician at EKA
Dates: August 21 – 27, 2022 (arrival Sunday evening, departure Saturday)
Grant: 400 EUR (330 EUR travel to Estonia (Iceland 660 EUR)+ 70 weekly allowance, not eligible for students at EKA)
Seats: 6

In the summer of 2021 Estonian Academy of Arts ran a footwear making workshop 
for new international students that was a success. In the summer of 2022 we aim to run this workshop by teaming up with our Nordic-Baltic partners in CIRRUS. In 2021, as part of the workshop, EKAs students designed shoes together with children from Tallinn Orphanage. 12 children of Tallinn Children’s Home were also learning to design and make shoes. The workshop took place in two volumes. For two days, students made shoes for the children and then illustrated them. According to the color chart and the given theme, the students helped the children from the orpanage to make designs for the shoes and then the children transfer their own drawings / motifs to their designed shoes.

Course objectives are: making sneakers out of recycled materials. Techniques will include handicraft combined with technology which is available in the academy (such as laser cutting, 3D printing, synthetic material mending). Students will be introduced to design methods used in companies today and it will be put into practice during the workshop.

Course is needed to get real-life experience and a closer look on what to focus on during the studies to get better chances for getting a job in the industry after graduation and to learn to work together with a client outside academia.

B. Course will cover topics like: material waste mapping in the industries; handicraft skills to use as part of designing and prototyping; design research methods; working with clients; working with people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

Design research will be conducted by working together with a company in Estonia which has leftover materials – an approach that is needed more and more in today’s world. This approach will be introduced to the students and taught how they could implement this kind of design research and approach in their home countries, looking also into different ways on how it has been done thus far. Design methods can be put in use in students’ further design projects in their respective universities and in professional work after graduation. Course input will be set in a task to use as few different materials as possible (less materials in a shoe is better for recycling), and in finding new solutions that would replace the use of glue etc.

D. Teaching methods will include theoretical and practical parts. The main objective is giving a good overview of the design methods used in the sustainable industries today and to make students more aware of technologies and methods used in order to provide green and sustainable solutions. The aim of the workshop is to make students think in ways that by starting generating something new, they also need to be aware that all steps of design processes should be well calculated ahead in terms of all resources included: time, materials, electricity, etc. Working in an international team is inevitable today, therefore the workshop will also be an excellent exercise for the future professional life.


E. Sunday:

Day 1: Sunday: Arrival, cultural programme in Tallinn and a welcome dinner
Day 2: Monday: introduction of participants, tutors and an open lecture to the whole
Day 3: Tuesday: research (visit to the local industry/company to collect the materials), sketching
Day 4: Wednesday: Presentation of the design sketches and then work with materials starts
Day 5: Thursday: Making the footwear
Day 6: Friday: Finalising the creation of footwear. Presentation of the project.
Day 7: Saturday: Departure

Apply here