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The first MAD International Summer School of Design will take place in Sigulda from August 1 to 7, exploring food as nourishment and as a pleasurable process. The Summer School is organised by designer Rihards Funts and Liene Kuplā, manager of the Historical Complex of Sigulda Castle, with the aim to understand design and craftsmanship to the bone, while taking action, creating things and experimenting with space and materials. Public lectures will also be held next week.

Stories Editorial July 26, 2016

MAD International Summer School of Design in Sigulda will welcome fifteen participants, young design and arts professionals from the Art Academy of Latvia and other universities in Europe, as well as tutors and workshop leaders — professionals of various fields, including design, crafts, gastronomy and hospitality. The leading masters will be Jēkabs Dimiters, founder of «John Neeman Tools», and the experienced woodworker Jānis Straupe. The participants will have a chance to choose between woodworking, blacksmithing and ceramic workshops and to get to know traditional crafts techniques. Twelve lecturers are invited to share their experiences, and four of them will give public lectures on August 1 and 2.

The motto of the MAD Summer School of Design is «Mars on Plate». The organisers intent to address the possibility of life on Mars and the food that Martians might have. The participants will look at nutrition from a rational, aesthetic and philosophical point of view, and the course will conclude with the opening of an exhibition «Mars on Plate».

The work at MAD is organised in multinational teams and the design brief will be given by Rihards Funts, co–founder of design studio «Rijada» and tech start–up «Ampple», together with chef Andris Jugāns.

Besides workshop activities and lectures on design, crafts, environment, sustainable lifestyle and nutrition the participants will go on trips in the valley of Gauja to get to know their colleagues and teachers better, discover nature, local lifestyles and traditions.

Public lectures

Lectures will take place at the Historical Complex of Sigulda Castle, Pils iela 16, Sigulda. Language — English, free entrance.

August 1

Asen Chumov, research coordinator and faculty tutor at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow.


Fionn Dobbin, lecturer at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Creative Director of the social design company «Mammu» and design consulting agency «age5».

August 2

Jānis Gailītis, Design project manager at the Art Academy of Latvia.


Charles Bušmanis, Head of Riga Technical University Design Factory.


The International Summer School of Design MAD will take place in Sigulda from August 1 to 7, 2016. More information on the summer school and its programme is available on the MAD homepage and Facebook page. Funding provided by the State Culture Capital Foundation.