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Planetary Countryside. Future Ecologies of the Island: Architecture and town planning(ISCED 0731)

Tuition fee €750.00 one-time

This covers program, accommodation and meals. 150EUR is due when you are accepted to the course (non-refundable) and 600EUR is due on July 1, 2019.


Naissaar is a renowned Estonian nature conservation area, the military and civic history of which have left their traces on its environment in tangible and intangible forms: military buildings, sea-mine relics, heavy minerals, and a vague 3-month period following the October Revolution when it was declared an anarcho-syndicalist autonomous republic. The island formally known as Nargen in German or Nargö in Swedish, had a historic Estonian-Swedish fishing community until WWII, but was closed as a military base during the Soviet period. The island has a small number of permanent residents and the population jumps significantly in summer time with 25 000 recreational visitors. The future of the island has been revised by a series of speculative proposals, from envisioning it as an extra-state enclave to lure Asian capital in the mid-1990s or more recent ideas of designing its landscape to facilitate a large-scale golf course.

EKA International Summer School of Urban Studies looks at Naissaar using the concept of future ecologies in order to map the main concerns within human relations to the island as a necessary foundation for future social and political policy.

Students are asked to contest the much-used method of scenario planning, creating only one possible, probable and preferable future. The summer school starts with intensive fieldwork, backed up by lectures and excursions on Naissaar. Divided into groups, students are assigned a collective task to define Naissaar as a place being prepared for more urban forms and structures (bringing electricity on the island, railway renovation, harbour reconstruction, etc.), but which has to acquiesce to the reality that it is the urban Tallinn, 12 km from the coast, that has always required the ruralness on Naissaar. What are the strategic foresights and future ecologies of the island’s spatial development in addressing the socio-political and ecological issues over time?
A detailed programme will be sent to all participants.

LEARNING OUTCOMES. The participants:

• demonstrate the ability to select and apply appropriate methods in analysis of the island;
• draw reasoned conclusions and support them with own arguments, offering novel interpretations in contesting the scenario planning method;
• present the results in a clear, creative and convincing way in a visual, textual, oral or/and other chosen form for wider audiences. That is e.g. staging ecologies of future as a play (visual theatre in nature scenography, acting a word play, etc.).


Final output and presentation. Public intervention in chosen locality and a feedback discussion within the group and its tutors, visit hosts, etc. (pass-fail evaluation)

Tuomas Toivonen is an architect who runs a public sauna, Kultuurisauna, in Helsinki and owns a small strip of woodland. He co-founded the Helsinki-based New Academy and is visiting lecturer of architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Keiti Kljavin is an urbanist, operator of the Estonian Urban Lab (Linnalabor) and editor of Estonian Urbanists’ Review, as well as a teaching staff member at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She gives lectures and supervises urbanism and interior design master theses at the Faculty of Architecture.

Programme structure

Monday, August 19
Arriving on Naissaar and settling in. Introducing the assignment
Tuesday, August 20
Site visits and meetings
Wednesday, August 21
Presentations and working in groups
Thursday, August 22
Working in groups
Friday, August 23
Collective intervention. Feedback and closing the Summer School

Apply now! Summer semester 2019/20
Application deadline
May 26, 2019 23:59
Europe/Helsinki time
Studies commence
Jul 29, 2019

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States