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Project of Tartu Art College (Estonia). Students from the departments of textile and furniture designed chairs. Textiles are woven on loom TC-1. Project manager Aet Ollisaar.


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Tartu Art College is a university of applied sciences situated in Tartu, Estonia. It educates professional artists, designers and restorers/conservators. In Tartu Art College (TAC), students can acquire education in the speciality of photography, painting and wall painting’s restoration, media and advertisement design, furniture design and restoration, leather design and restoration, sculpture and textile. TAC is active as an institution of higher education since the year 2000. TAC is related to educational institution of arts Pallas, founded in Tartu in 1919.

TAC’s aim is to give the students an education which guarantees their competitiveness in the Estonian and European labour market. During their studies, students will participate in art, design or restoration projects, working closely with specialists from different areas, and also practicing in Estonian and foreign enterprises. TAC intensively cooperates with both Estonian and foreign higher education institutions to enrich art education with different skills and values. In the European Union, TAC currently has a total of 45 partners in 16 countries and two partners in Russia.

TAC is definitely interested in cooperative projects in areas of art, design and restoration. In addition to that, TAC welcomes projects that focus on cooperation between higher education institutions and businesses. TAC encourages its students to take part in different exhibitions and design competitions to promote their work internationally. Tartu Art College provides all our students and staff members a creative and motivating environment that enables us to develop new values for the future.


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Since 2010 Textile and Furniture departments have participated in Stockholm Furniture Fair and exhibited students projects in the Greenhouse pavilion. For the past two years TAC has exhibited a project between the two departments where students can combine their knowledge of furniture design and interior textiles. Working in teams provided the students with new background information about their neighbouring fields as well as about how to cooperate in general. Combining different skills and styles made it possible to develop elaborate product prototypes in which the chosen materials and ideas from both parties act as an organic whole.

In 2012 the project resulted in eight product prototypes under the name PINK (bench) – a backless seat made for one or two or even more people.

In 2013 the goal of the project 8:TOOL (chair) was to come up with a design for a seat with a back-rest that starts dialogues of form and structure; textile, metal and wood.

Throughout the years the teaching staff in both departments have supported the students with their knowledge. In 2012 the tutors were Monika Järg, textile design, Jaak Roosi, furniture design and Aet Ollisaar, project management. In 2013, in addition to Jaak Roosi, the project tutors were Katrin Trumm, textile design and Aet Ollisaar, textile design and project management.

Project manager Aet Ollisaar [email protected]


For more information about textile and furniture departments:http://www.artcol.ee/moobel/


Textile and furniture

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8:TOOLThe project started in the textile and furniture departments already in August 2012, when the task and project name were discussed. September was starting point for teamwork: the 3rd and 4th year students of furniture and textile departments of Tartu Art College began collecting ideas for the project. Altogether twenty students in eight teams participated in the project.

The project combines modern textile technologies and furniture design. Preceding the project, a workshop was held in the textile department, where students learned about jacquard weaving using the digital jacquard loom TC-1. The possibility of creating a fabric in which the pattern and structure vary throughout the whole textile, according to the designer's vision, was the starting point of designing the products.

The prototypes reflect the authors’ design preferences; the clash of different characteristics and the symbiosis of the ideas born in the process resulted in playful and interesting solutions. All eight prototypes were exhibited at the 2013 Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, at Tent London the project is represented by the seat LEELO in hall T3 stand N18.

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project 8:TOOL TTTTTTT

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LEELODesigners Maria Kuusik and Mari Kõrgesaar

Materials: birch and birch plywood, bamboo viscose

The design is inspired by vernal colours and patterns: green symbolises freshness, spring, a new start and hope; black stands for the trails spring waters create in the melting snow.

project 8:TOOL LEELO

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Maria Kuusik: Birch is the most widespread and used hardwood in Estonia. It has been used for building houses, making furniture and other household items since people first settled in this area. It has great working qualities and a beautiful texture. I have a respect for this material and because of that I have tried to use it as sparingly as possible. Also knots are not cut to waste since branches are naturally a part of a tree and for me there is no justification in throwing them away.

Mari Kõrgesaar: The starting point for the textile is a print on paper which I made with my hand covered in paint. By magnifying the unique handprint I created a surface that reminded me of a landscape with hills and ponds. Using my own handprint as the basis of this design has a significant meaning to me: it symbolizes a trace of human influence in the nature. The fabric was woven on the digitally controlled loom TC-1.



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Mari Kõ[email protected]

In Tartu Art College I have learned to think outside the box. New skills, encouraging learning environment and a wide range of technical possibilities have opened a whole new world for me. I have also learned to appreciate the existing and to create responsibly and sensibly. For my diploma work I developed a business plan for reusing and redesigning lighting using environmentally friendly textile solutions for lampshades. This is a subject I am truly passionate about.

Education:2008–2013 Tartu Art College, Textile Department1994–1996 Tartu Vocational Education Centre, hairdresser1982–1993 Tartu Commercial Gymnasium

Work experience:2012–OÜ Hõõgniit, lighting design and redesign2002–2008 maternity leave, mother of 3 sons1996–2004 hairdresser

Projects:2013 diploma work on reusing lights2013 Exhibition OOTERUUM in Võru Town Gallery2013 Exhibition ÕPPEREIS in Gallery NOORUS2013 Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, textile and furniture departments cooperation project 8:TOOL2012 The annual exhibition of the Estonian Textile Artists’ Association, participation with tapestry “I Love You“2011 EESC Design Eleven, European Design Award for a Sustainable Present 3rd prize winner with Liina Tiidor2011 Erasmus Intensive Program Innovating Sustainable Fashion summer school in Copenhagen

Maria [email protected]

I get most of my inspiration from nature and the world around me. I think most beautiful and functional forms already exist in nature, we just need to recognize them and find a way to use them in design.

I love travelling and gathering ideas from other countries but regardless of that, I still think it is important to focus on local materials and resources as much as possible.

In Tartu Art College I have learned how to form my thoughts and ideas into real objects. I have participated in many exhibitions and projects. I also had the opportunity to study furniture restoration for one year which has given me a lot of practical skills along with learning to respect and value old pieces of furniture.

Education:2010– Tartu Art College, Furniture Department2006–2009 Tartu Mart Reiniku Secondary School

Exhibitons:2013 Exhibition OOTERUUM in Võru Town Gallery2013 Exhibition ÕPPEREIS in Gallery NOORUS2013 Participation in Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, textile and furniture departments cooperation project 8:TOOL2012 Exhibition/performance DUUBEL2011 Exhibition TEATRIKOOL

Work experience:2013 June–September Intern in BuroJET, the Netherlands

project 8:TOOL LEELO


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Designers Kaisi Rosin, Kadri Nutt

SYMBIOSIS is a mutually beneficial interaction between picture and shape, pattern and form, fabric and chair.

Materials: wood, cotton, polyester.



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DU DODesigners Kersti Teenu, Liis Somelar

DU DO is meant for people that value comfort and like to curl up. DU DO is inspired by curved forms which are balanced out by a graphic textile and angular legs.

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WOODYDesigners Hertta Võido, Kairi Lentsius, Jaanus Paaver

WOODY is a minimal looking chair which combines wood, metal and textile. Having a chameleon-like character, the panels with fabric have two sides with different designs to fit the right mood.

project 8:TOOL WOODY

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LuuPDesigners Maria Kukk, Rainer Klement

LuuP is a modern streamlined seat designed to unite comfort with looks; what better way to rest after a long day’s work than to lay cosily on a spacious upholstered chair and relax while reading a favourite book or magazine.

project 8:TOOL LuuP SKETCH

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SKETCHDesigners Liis Saare, Sarah Kopli

A series of random drawings resulted in a chair named SKETCH that combines birch plywood and jacquard fabric. Its woven geometric textile and unconventional profile make it a noticeable addition to any public space or home interior.

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EKLEKTDesigners Helen Teigar, Reela Nigul, Maarja Leola, Kristjan Allik

Angular plywood and colourful fabric are organically joined into a chair with armrests. The relationship between materials and surfaces is simultaneously adversarial and symbiotic. Complemented by each other’s qualities they form a unique ensemble.


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PINTODesigners Riin Kivisild, Leelo Moor, Mihkel Mölder

Rounded black and white comfort zone.

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Project is supported by

Cultural Endowment of Estonia

Cultural Endowment of Tartu

The city of Tartu

Tartu Art Collegewww.[email protected]+372 730 9822Tähe 38BTartu 50103Estonia

Design and layout: Kadi PajupuuPhoto credits: Malev Toom, Andrus Kannel, Juri Seredenko, Aet Ollisaar