Asterisk Summer School

Asterisk Summer School takes place in Tallinn, Estonia from July 28 to August 4. The aim of the school is to introduce participants to different directions in the graphic design discipline and to expand the definition of graphic design practice. This includes exploring the different outputs design education could lead to – ones that differ from the common designer-client model. The participants are provided with the chance to experiment with various design methods and approaches and to get feedback from designers and artists from abroad.

The tutors at the summer school are designers and artists from abroad whose practices are directly linked to design but don’t always follow the classical definition of a designer. These tutors are Rebecca Stephany (DE), Paul Elliman (UK), Joris Kritis (BE) and Urs Lehni (CH).


Participation fee for the summer school is €95. The amount includes workshop fees and basic work materials.


The program for the summer school consists of daily workshops and an evening program of lectures and public discussions. The evening program is also open for the general public and takes place in Okasroosikese Loss, Uus tänav 19.


Monday July 29

19:30 — talks by Rebecca Stephany and Jan Tomson


Wednesday July 31

17:30 — Rebecca Stephany and Urs Lehni workshops presentation


Thursday August 1

18:00 — talk by Paul Elliman at KUMU Yard (Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1) in conjunction with the exhibition “Kõndides mööda salateid”


Friday August 2

19:30 — talks by Joris Kritis and Urs Lehni


Sunday August 4

17:30 — Joris Kritis and Paul Elliman workshops presentation



Rebecca Stephany (1980, DE) lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Having a background in art and graphic design, and being an educator in both fields, Stephany’s practice is reluctant to the categorization of cultural practices, especially in the field of art and design. Stephany makes use of the unspoken rules, expectations and agreements at work in the attempts of differentiating art from design. In doing so, Rebecca’s practice takes many forms, appropriating styles, disciplines and qualifications as needed. Her work includes installation, video, performance, sculpture, writing, self-publishing to performative lecturing. In 2010 and 2011, Stephany was research resident at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Rebecca Stephany has taught at the graphic design department of Gerrit Rietveld Academie since 2007. In spring 2013 Stephany was resident artist at CCS Bard (Center for Curatorial Studies) in Upstate New York. The Museum for Contemporary Art, Leipzig awarded her the Inform.Award for conceptual design in 2010. 


Paul Elliman (1961, UK) is an artist based in London. His work follows language through many of its social and technological guises, in which typography, human voice and bodily gestures emerge as part of a direct correspondence with other visible forms and sounds of the city. He has exhibited widely in venues such as the ICA and Tate Modern in London, the New Museum and MoMa in New York, Modern Institute in Glasgow, APAP in Anyang, South Korea, Kunsthalle Basel, Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht, and is currently part of the exhibition Kõndides mööda salateid in the courtyard of the Kumu Art Museum here in Tallinn. He is also visiting critic at Yale School of Art, New Haven, and thesis supervisor at the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem, the Netherlands.


Joris Kritis (1983 BE) is a graphic designer living and working in Amsterdam and Brussels. After graduating from Werkplaats Typografie in 2010 he established a studio together with Julie Peeters and has since worked mainly focused on the culture field in Holland and Belgium. From 2009 to 2011 he was the designer and visual editor for Dutch art magazine Metropolis M. Other notable clients include Roma Publications, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Piet Zwart Insitute, Flemish Architectural Review, Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen, bOb Van Reeth at Bozar Architecture, Architecture Workroom Brussels and Beursschouwburg. He was recently awarded the bronze medal in the Leipzig Best Book Design From All Over The World 2013 competition and also at the Prix Fernand Baudin in Belgium.


Urs Lehni (1974, CH) is a Zürich based graphic designer. He graduated from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts 1999 and in 2006 attended the post academic research program at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Since 2005 he runs the small graphic design studio Lehni-Trueb with partner Lex Trueb. Besides working for clients mainly in the field of art and culture, he often follows self-initiated projects, such as (with Jürg Lehni and Rafael Koch, 2000), Our Magazine (with Melanie Hofmann and Nick Widmer, 2002) and more recently the printing and publishing venture Rollo Press (2008). In 2008 Urs co-initiated Corner College, a non-commercial project space focusing on pseudo-academic happenings such as lectures, presentations, workshops and movie screenings. Urs is a Professor at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe, Germany and since 2013 he has been appointed critic in graphic design at Yale  School of Art in New Haven.


Asterisk Summer School is set up for graphic design students, young professionals, theorists, critics, curators and others interested in design.


•  32 participants in total will be accepted

•  Applicants will be notified 1st of July

•  Applicants will be accepted based on the submitted work and CV


Registration for this year’s summer school is now officially closed!


If you have further questions, offers or other thoughts, don’t hesitate to contact us via e-mail.


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The predecessor to Asterisk Summer School is the portable bookshop Asterisk, inaugurated in 2009. Asterisk has so far manifested itself through events and lectures around books and design. This summer we will broaden our activities through a summer school.
Asterisk is run by two freelance graphic designers; Laura Pappa and Elisabeth Klement who both studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Since 2012 Elisabeth, together with Pieter Verbeke, has run the San Serriffe book shop in Amsterdam. Laura is currently obtaining a Masters degree from the Werkplaats Typografie in Arnhem since autumn 2012. The summer school team has a third member; Triin Niinemets studying at the Intitute of Art History at the Estonian Academy of Arts.


Asterisk Summer School is kindly supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, The Council Of Gambling Tax, the Graphic Design department at the Estonian Academy of Arts and Sleeping Beauty Castle. Many thanks to Ranno Ait, Kaarel Nõmmik and Anu Vahtra.