Summer/fall 2020:

SPATIAL EXPERIENCE
Etude 〉 Madis Kõiv, Paco Ulman
Environmental Psychology in Interior Architecture 〉 Silver Sternfeldt, Aksel Part
A Factory of the History of Modern Times: The Revival Narva Castle 〉 Triin Ojari
How to Preset Fat Margaret 〉Raul Kalvo, Helen Oja, Artur Staškevitš
The Hall – A Way Into Silence 〉 Marianne Jõgi
Comment 〉 Linda Madalik
Captivated by Sensational Space 〉 Kadri Liis Rääk
Bathology 〉 Kaisa Ling
Mutual Feelings 〉 Johanna Jõekalda
Photo Essay: Aulo Padar 80 〉 Päär-Joonap Keedus, Sille Pihlak

DIALOGUES ON INTERIOR DESIGN
Architect and Interior Architect Tandems 〉Karen Jagodin
Global Interior Architecture From a Local Point of View 〉 Kaja Pae, Urmo Vaikla
The Association for Spatial Culture 〉 Eero Jürgenson, Kristiina Raid
The State as Client 〉 Pille Lausmäe-Lõoke, Kalle Komissarov, Kristiina Vasar

EDUCATION
Vision + Education 〉 Kaja Pae, Hannes Praks, Tüüne-Kristin Vaikla, Ville Lausmäe
Journey Into the Unknown 〉 Eeros Lees, Päär-Joonap Keedus
Mobile Craftsmen 〉 Gregor Taul
Vision + Education 〉Kaja Pae, Suzie Attiwill, Graeme Brooker, Pavle Stemenović

 

EDITORIAL

Living with Interior Space

The world of interior architecture is going through exciting times—the speciality is seeking its role, and not only in terms of how to service the inhabitant in the best possible way, but for ways that allow defining a reciprocal relationship between the inhabitant and her environment. The recent pandemic placed many individuals in a position where they had to experience domestic space over an extended and intense time period. Is interior architecture an entity that we place inside architecture? Or is the discipline that we have agreed to call interior architecture in Estonia concerned with space that lies in our closest proximity and is scaled to human perception? For a long time now, the concern of the interior architect has been more than the mere interior room; our relationship to space is addressed in the urban environment as well. This shift reflects in the names of the study programmes and the speciality itself, which in some countries is referred to as interior design instead of interior architecture, expanding the search territory for self-determination beyond the boundaries of architecture.

The writings by medievalist historian Aron Gurevitsch and architecture historian Robin Evans on spatial perception, spatial projection and preferred floor plan typology reveal how close the tie between the biological human aspects—our body and cognitive functions—and cultural worldview really is. The latter possesses undeniable power over the biology. Spatial design assumes that the universal needs connected to the body and psychology be somewhat more durable. The vast innovation in social and technology-driven pursuits undoubtedly impacts on intimate space and scale (even to the extent that literary science points towards a congruence between realism and science fiction), and these changes might introduce fascinating opportunities for a spatial art that is concerned with a most intimate type of space.

This issue looks at both the less mutable side of spatial design that is connected to bodily and cognitive processing, as well as the swiftly changing pole related to social development and technology. We address evidence-based psychological needs in the context of interior architecture and study an environment called Rhizopia which activates various sensory organs and broadens the mind. Modern expectations for contemporary museum space are exemplified in a review of Narva Castle. Using VR equipment and photogrammetry, we present Fat Margaret tower and look into how the technological means aided in the creation process of the interior architecture of the maritime museum she encases. A brain-computer interface enables measuring environmentally evoked changes in human mental states. We examine how enabling data-driven dialogue with space provides an additional scientific dimension to the design of spatial experiences, and we envision the new crossroads these methods might bring forth in and for spatial design.

The large concert hall of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre was recently completed. Its genesis reflects the encompassing nature of extensive spatial art where the corporeal, cultural, and technical meet to blend into an enabling environment that supports the development and birth of skills and experience impossible to attain outside those conditions. Acoustician Linda Madalik has described this phenomenon as the ability of the hall to intermediate a musical composition in the most profound way.

Spatial art, like the other arts, cannot progress without constantly questioning and challenging itself to seek and define its own substance—it is the only way the potentiality of art can survive. Let us all broaden our horizons and view the world from the perspective of a bathtub. Why should this matter? Our daily environment shapes our habits that end up shaping us. Our cohabitation with things is a serious matter.

This issue of Maja is dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Estonian Association of Interior Architects.

Editor-in-chief Kaja Pae, 

October, 2020

Kaja Pae. Photo by Renee Altrov