Landmark event for innovative design lovers. Innovation Festival IF... and VI Design Night DISAINIÖÖ starts September 16th. 11.09.2011

IF... is a series of festivals which promotes creativity and innovation and aims to introduce the success stories of different European regions where design has been the driver of innovation and change and to present the results of the collaboration between designers, engineers, businessmen, scientists and students to the public. Within the span of 2 years, 6 cities organised the Innovation Festival – Barcelona, Milan, Kortrijk, Lisbon, Vilnius and Tallinn. Every city has chosen a topic which is prevalent in the region, stimulates development and increases awareness about innovation and design. The aim is not only to demonstrate excellent design but also to engage in a dialogue about and contribute to the processes taking place in the society like the climate change, pollution, environment without borders, etc. The festival emphasises innovation and user-friendly design, social inclusion, mobility, environmental awareness and the influence of technology on everyday life. People and their needs are in the centre of attention.

On September 16-25, Tallinn is overtaken by the innovative design fans who are taking part of the European Innovation Festival IF... and Design Night both of which belong to the official programme of the European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011.


The programme of the sixth design festival is broad as is to be expected from the European Capital of Culture. The programme which offers more that 45 events includes several conferences, workshops, exhibitions and much more. The heart of the festival is located in the Rotermann quarter but several large museums and galleries all over the city are also involved in the festival. Numerous events take place in the urban space, galleries and design shops.


The goal of the organisers is to offer educational lectures and new experiences for the public. The conference “Innovation and Intelligence” which concentrates on innovation in the field of education is organised in cooperation with the innovation centre InnoEurope. Furthermore, the conference “Services of Tomorrow- What’s Next?” is organised in cooperation with Tallinn University and Lahti University.

The festive opening of the festival takes place on September 16 in the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design with the launch of the exhibition “Novelty” which offers the guests an opportunity to acquaint themselves with examples of innovation from the XX and XXI century Estonian design. The end results of the project “Cities for All – Tallinn for All” are displayed in the Rotermann quarter. It is a project during which students together with disabled people and under the guidance of professionals developed solutions which grant equal access to all citizens. The Museum of Estonian Architecture is showing a lighting exhibition called “Games with Fire” by the talented Estonian designer Tarmo Luisk. The same venue also houses the exhibition “Fresh Estonian Poster” and an extensive exhibition on French design “Saint-Etienne Design- Creative City for All by Cité du Design” which concentrates on urban projects.

Nokia lounge, the festival centre is located on the ground floor of the mall in the Rotermann quarter and different workshops and presentations are held there. Furthermore, the festival centre also houses the IF...Corner where the guests can learn about the other IF...festivals and take a look at the results of the innovation idea contest IF...Lab which was organised in 6 cities. Finnish design is displayed in the Lahti Biennial lounge.

In addition to all that, the programme also features entertaining events like the Design Auction and Pecha Kucha and the Design Nightclub is opened in the Estonian Design House.

Furthermore, the Malaysian-Danish graphic design exhibition “Man&God” is a good example of experience design. During the opening of the exhibition, Swee Keong Lee, a real Butoh dancer for Malaysia is giving a performance.

The organisers have also thought of fashion fans and gourmets. The festival starts and ends with a fashion show in the Nisurukkiveski and food design can be seen and experienced at restaurant Novell and in the design gallery.

The festival ends with the festive gala of the European Design Management Awards. These Oscars of the design world are given to the European companies who have successfully applied design for their own competitive advantage. Two of the finalists are Estonian companies, thus, the home audience has the opportunity to cheer for them. During the same time, the exhibition of the nominees of the Design Management Europe awards is displayed.

Many of the events in the programme take place in the urban space – Austrian design in the Viru bus terminal, video installations by Polish artists, the guerrilla lighting event by Valgusmaania and different exhibitions which take place in the galleries, studios and even wine cellars in the Old Town. Furthermore, the Gulliver Map will be installed at Vabaduse Square where the inhabitants of the city can mark their favourite places and obstacles on a huge map of Tallinn. The outcomes of the project will hopefully help to notice the concerns of people with special needs. The results will be presented to the city government for analysis and will be displayed at an exhibition in Tallinn, Helsinki and St Etienne.

Additional information about the festivals and the programme is available at and