TAB 2019


Open Call for TAB 2019 International Architecture Schools’ Exhibition “Terribly Beautiful!”

Tallinn Architecture Biennale TAB 2019 Architecture Schools’ exhibition ”Terribly Beautiful!” investigates school as a facility for getting (terribly) lost and making (terrible) mistakes. The best school project is not necessarily the one rated with the top grade, but the one that restructures it’s author by taking them to unknown path prone to failure – a crucial part of creative process.

TAB International Architecture Schools‘ Exhibition is part of TAB Main Programme and includes the latest work of academic institutions that teach architecture in various parts of the world. TAB 2019 Architecture Schools’ Exhibition is curated by young Estonian architects: Merlilin Kaup, Margus Tammik and Ulla Alla and will be exhibited in September 2019 at Estonian Academy of Arts gallery.

What is a school project about?

Should one’s work find it’s finalisation through solving a problem set up by the professors? Or should it doubt the problem itself and the value systems constituting it?

Is there a space in the academia, above all, to really explore, or are we expected to diligently perform the task given with known methods?

In school at the evaluation usually the final result is considered by the committee of critics, not the process of the work. The most defining moments of the process – including emotional lows and production of ”junk” are often not seen even by the supervisor..  s are the moments that actually teach us the most.

A school project seeks to be acclaimed, compared to a mainstream practice. Just like diligence, work that does not fear failure, challenging the problem setup itself, also deserves acknowledgement.

What are we looking for?

We are mostly interested in projects that hide a sinuous process and tell a story in which we can see author’s state of mind, personality and value systems.

These can be projects that might be concidered as a failure by the academia, but have a strong core idea that meets the the author’s belief system; unfinished projects that have the potential and allure in them, evoking imagination to continue the open-ended story; completely random projects that you would not dare to show your professor; projects, that turned out in the end to be the end.

Terms and Conditions

Open Call targets current students, practicing architects and everyone else who has ever studied in architecture school. DOWNLOAD THE BRIEF

For applying just send an email with the digital version of the project outcome: Posters, pictures of models, drawings, sketches. Whatever illustrates your work the most, even if the project is not of a classical architectural output.

For our further understanding of the work, a short description of the process and the background. 

Works that are also accepted: Group work, a project not presented to the professors, something you did for the classroom/school space, tools that made your work easier, past-time drawings or even a performance for a faculty christmas party.


The Competition consists of 3 stages: 

1st Stage– we ask students to send us their most explorational, wild works. We expect it digitally in a format it was originally presented and accompanied by a short personal statement (max A4) about the background of the project.
Works to be submitted via e-mail to
Deadline: 18.03.2019      

2nd Stage – A number of works will be selected to the second round with whom the curators will continue to work individually. The authors are asked to explore and analyse meta-context surrounding the project, open up about their value judgements and origins, work methods and thinking techniques.
Deadline: 01.06.2019

3rd Stage – workshop in Tallinn. The goal is to add a new layer to the project based on analysis and reflections from the stage 2. Workshop takes place in the beginning of September.
Exhibition opening: September 11 2019. In the final exhibition the initial work, analysis, reflections and new layer will be presented as a continuous story. 


Margus Tammik, Merilin Kaup, Ulla Alla


Q&A Questions are to be submitted via email to  by  February 11 2019.
Q&As will be published on the competition page

How to apply for the exhibition?
Just send the work and a short description, we will see from there on. The most important is your interest and how you percieve beauty and mistakes. 

Is group work okey?
Yes, group works are also accepted. Refer in the description a little about people and their roles in the project. 

I recently graduated university, can I still apply?
Yes, even if you did that 20 years ago, a project made during school back then or right after could tell us a lot of things now. 

Should the project be of architectural form?
When describing the project, maybe you will question where lies this fine line in spacial disciplines. Any kind of project made in an architecture school, by young architects have an architectural output to it. Anything goes. 

“Beauty Matters: The Resurgence of Beauty” is the topic for the next Tallinn Architecture Biennale – TAB 2019. The winning proposal was selected from the international curatorial call for the 5th installment of the biggest architecture event in the region. The selected head curator is Dr Yael Reisner, a registered architect in Israel, who works and lives in London (Yael Reisner Studio). Her proposal focuses on the subject of how beauty matters again, reflecting on a cultural shift, after nearly eighty years of dormancy, as beauty was a tabooed, denigrated subject. Curators‘ assistants roles in the TAB curatorial team has been appointed to architect Liina Soosaar (Tallinn), who has recently graduated from Architecture and Urban Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts and architect Barnaby Gunning (London), from Principal, Barnaby Gunning Studio Ltd, London.

Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB) is an international architecture and urban-planning festival with a diverse programme that promotes architectural culture. TAB encourages synergy between Estonian and foreign architects as well as between architects and the general public by way of creating contacts and exchanging ideas. TAB core programme consists of five main events – Curatorial Exhibition, Symposium and Tallinn Vision Competition that are all curated by TAB Head Curator, then International Architecture Schools’ Exhibition and Installation Programme (IP). TAB main Programme is accompanied by a diverse Satellite Programme, that consists exhibitions, lectures, installations, architectural film programme and other events, all over Tallinn that are related to TAB. Tallinn Architecture Biennale is organised by the Estonian Centre for Architecture.

TAB 2019 Opening Week September 11–15 2019