Program Details

During the course, work is going to be organised in several thematic studios with different methodologies, use of media and expected outcomes. Some of the units are going to research the physical, socio–economic and political realities of Cesis on an urba
Location:
Riga, Latvia
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:
Current life expectancy trends show that people are living longer than ever before, and the average lifespan will continue to increase. The issue is whether we are not only living longer, but also better. The need for an improved quality of life challenges designers to create environments where one can feel healthier, happier and more comfortable. What can rural towns offer for the well–being of their residents and visitors? Is clean air, locally produced food and a stress–free working day a sufficient foundation for a wholesome life in the 21st century? We are going to revisit local natural assets, infrastructure and traditions of wellness, and propose ways how they can be updated according to the needs of a healthier society and possibilities of current technologies.

During the course, work is going to be organised in several thematic studios with different methodologies, use of media and expected outcomes. Some of the units are going to research the physical, socio–economic and political realities of Cesis on an urban scale, while others are going to design, test and build ephemeral installations in the public realm, using methods of architecture and design. Students will be given an opportunity to work hands–on with creating actual events and spatial structures that accommodate public interactions. Students will be offered an intensive two–week programme of lectures, discussions and workshops, as well as sightseeing tours and parties. The programme will be conducted by an international team of architects, urbanists and designers, representing both practice and academia.

Participants of the Summer School will be awarded a Certificate of Riga Technical University and 3 ECTS points upon completion of the course.
Setting Description:
The Summer School is going to take place in Cesis – a town where health and leisure have always been intrinsic to the local lifestyle. Cesis is located within the Gauja National Park, which is the largest protected natural area in Latvia. Its high biological diversity, varied terrain and natural water resources provide for outdoor sports of all seasons and traditional picking of mushrooms, berries and medicinal plants. In early 19th century local doctors contributed to the revival of water procedures in Europe by opening several hydrotherapy establishments. The healing qualities of natural springs have attracted countless visitors ever since and are still an essential part of the town’s identity. The cosy Rucka manor, located just outside the town's centre, is going to accommodate the Summer School and become one of the cases to study — in the past the building has served as a tuberculosis hospital, but currently it is on its way to transform into a new creative hotspot.
Cost:
The fee including registration, tuition, accommodation, meals and social programme is € 675. Participants should cover their own travelling expenses and insurance. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available, provided by State Education Development Agency and the organisers.

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