TAB 2019


Tallinn Architecture Biennale TAB 2019 is titled “Beauty Matters: The Resurgence of Beauty” and is curated by Dr Yael Reisner.
TAB Opening Week will take place on the 11
th– 15th September.

Many architects still associate the word beauty with shallowness, old world, or non-progressive values, cultural bias that is expressed in architecture and also in politics, psychology, poetry and music. Paradoxically, the first measure of good architecture continues to be its capacity to create a great aesthetic experience. 

The pursuit of beauty ceased to be a lead generator of architectural design in the early 1940s, when objective considerations were promoted as rational and pragmatic and subjective decision making seen as irrelevant.  

Advances in disciplines such as neurobiology suggest that civilisation could not exist in the absence of pleasure, including the experience beauty. Beauty is part of the neurobiological structure that makes us not only happier, but healthier.

The first buds of a new interest in aesthetics are emerging in architectural discourse. This cultural shift returns us to the individual’s role in generating new knowledge but increasingly in collaboration with technology and the logic of machine ‘thinking’, forming a new partnership for our post-digital era. Its influence on human intuition and decision making is coming to the fore in many disciplines, breathing new life into the status of aesthetics and beauty.

The selected head curator Dr Yael Reisner is a registered architect in Israel, who works and lives in London (Yael Reisner Studio). 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(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. The core programme consists of five main events: Curatorial Exhibition, Symposium and Vision Competition (all curated by TAB head curator Dr Yael Reisner), an International Architecture Schools’ Exhibition and Installation Programme. Moreover, the programme is accompanied by a diverse Satellite Programme, that consists of exhibitions, installations, architectural film projections and other events spread around the city.

Architect Dr Yael Reisner combines architectural practice with her research, teaching and curatorial work. TAB 2019 explores Reisner’s research interest of the last decade, the troubled relationship between architecture and beauty. In addition to curating the exhibition and symposium, Reisner is guest editor of a complementary issue of Architectural Design (UK).

Reisner taught at UCL The Bartlett for a decade and from 2005 internationally, at Sci-Arc, AA, Confluence, a guest professor at Peter Behrens, Dusseldorf; and PhD examiner at RMIT/PRS, Barcelona. Alongside research, Yael Reisner Studio has created large scale public works including Take My Hand, Rights and Weddings, an installation produced by the Enric Miralles Foundation, Barcelona 2014.

A native of Tel Aviv, Reisner has a BSc in Biology but switched to architecture, studying in London at the Architectural Association and gaining her PhD from RMIT, Melbourne. Her book Architecture and Beauty, Conversations with Architects about a Troubled Relationship (2010), was the first dissemination of her thesis research.

The curatorial topic was selected from the international open call for the 5th installment of TAB. The winning entry was proposed by Dr Yael Reisner and Johanna Jõekalda.

TAB is organised by Estonian Centre for Architecture.