January and February — before everything was turned upside down.
We started year 2020 with great enthusiasm — VIVISTOP Telliskivi team had grown to 10 members and together with children we were marking the time when we could finally move into our new and bigger studio.
Collaboration with Estonian Academy of Arts
The beginning of 2020 took off with an exciting collaboration. With the open sharing of knowledge running as a thin red thread through all our activities, we partnered up with the Estonian Academy of Arts to offer an elective course on social design focusing on co-creation with children. For three months, a multidisciplinary group of 8 students partnered up with 14 children from VIVISTOP Telliskivi to tackle the brief of reimagining the new studio premises of VIVISTOP Telliskivi. The course was facilitated by VIVITA designers Eva Liisa Kubinyi and Vera Naydenova.
One of VIVITA’s fundamental ideas is mutual respect in everything we do. We do not treat children as kids but as equal partners to grown-ups. The more so are we in VIVITA happy to see when children take the initiative and organise workshops where they share their knowledge and skills. VIVITA member Mia, who loves drawing more than anything in this world, conducted an animations workshop. She introduced different animation drawing techniques to other VIVITA members.
March, April, May — from new studio space into the virtual world.
In the beginning of the year we moved into a larger studio space where in addition to tinkering and inventing area and machinery we now have our own kitchen island and woodwork-room. However, due to COVID-restrictions we were only able to use our space for a meager few weeks before summer. But that did not stop us from the inventing and tinkering mood. We quickly decided to move all our activities into virtual environments and organised daily VIVITIME — one hour per day, where members could get together with other inventors in ZOOM and share what they have been up to.
Our partner Wendre, one of Europe’s largest bedding producers, donated VIVITA members a great amount of materials for sewing, including soft filling for pillows. While it was still an isolation period, we were a bit worried that while good materials kept piling up, there were no kids to create something out of them. We put our heads together and and announced a pillow challenge “Buddy-pillow”. Its aim was to create unique pillows. All the materials needed for this crafting were sent to children, so that they could work on the project from home. Final pillow designs were as different as chalk and cheese — various animals, veggies, mythical creatures and even human-size friends. Pillow making material has been a great source of inspiration hitherto and each week there is a new pillow made in VIVISTOP Telliskivi.
Crazy three summer months
Besides the warm weather and sunshine, during summer we could return to our to our usual pace of work and again meet with our young inventors in our studio. After having spent almost two months indoors at their homes, our studio room was filled with sparkling energy and bright ideas. Keeping in mind the idea that we might have to work remotely soon again, we decided to test out a hybrid workshop concept (some participants in the studio, some on Zoom call). As music is always a good way to connect people, regardless of time and space, music creation using Playtronica kits was the topic of the workshop.
In June activities in our studio were back to full speed. To introduce our new capabilities we organised a pasta making workshop on our kitchen island and a LED-lamp making workshop in our woodwork studio. With Italian music playing in the back, we indulged on our home-made pasta dinner around the ping-pong table — what a yummy-scrummy memory it is. In the LED-lamp workshop we mashed up the knowledge of woodwork and electronics. Participants could learn to use the saw and soldering station and get the basic skills of polishing and striping the cables, drilling and attaching the screws. All that resulted in a bedside reading lamp that each participant could take home with them.
Four weeks and 80 bright-eyed inventors in VIVISTOP Telliskivi!
That’s right — for four weeks in a row we organised three-day-long summer camps, each on a different STEAM topic. An Inventor’s Jumble with crazy experiments, start-up basics and first steps in creating one’s own fashion collection, game design and entertaining inventions, and graffiti & music. Our dear neighbour, photographic art center Fotografiska Tallinn added a good zest for summer camps by feeding our young inventors and entrepreneurs and inviting them to wander around their galleries for inspiration.
Kitchen Island and “The Tasty Molecule”
Our spacious kitchen and spunky inventors caught the eye of children's’ food science programme “The Tasty Molecule” team, who chose VIVISTOP Telliskivi’s kitchen as their next season’s shooting set and asked our young inventors-masterchef-tinkerers Emma Anette, Gretel and Sass to co-host the show. You can read more about young TV-hosts in the blogpost and take a look at this season’s episodes and experiments on the Lasteekraan webpage.
Fotografiska Tallinn turned 1
Fotografiska Tallinn photographic art center is one of our long-term collaboration partners with whom we have organized several workshops and who has been a great help in feeding our young inventors and team members at various occasions.
In June they celebrated their first birthday and as a little birthday present VIVISTOP Telliskivi mentors Vera and Timo designed cool F-letters for our next-door neighbours. For the festivities we gathered in Fotografiska’s backyard and together with children we painted and decorated those bold life-size F-letters. You can also check the video about the Fotografiska birthday event on our YouTube channel.
Tallinn Music Week children’s program
The city culture festival Tallinn Music Week, that usually marks the beginning of spring in Tallinn was this year, due to COVID, postponed to August. We were lucky to be picked as the location of Tallinn Music Week’s children’s programme. And as part of the programme we arranged four workshops facilitated by our own team members and local celebrities such as a DJ & politician Heidy Purga and master of jew’s harps — Meisterjaan. Youth TV show NOVA made an exciting overview of all the workshops.
September to December — fresh ideas and challenges
The new autumn season started at a great pace — September full of workshops, brought new and old VIVITA inventors back to our studio. In October our main focus was on robotics, programming and 3D- design. November, as the year 2020 in whole, was chaotic and full of surprises, we took the best from the bad situation and reorganised our work so that young inventors could still keep coming to turn their dreams into reality.
Code Week and robotics corner
All the different robots that live in VIVISTOP Telliskivi had somehow got stuck behind the brushes and pencils, so in the new studio we created a special new place for them. We installed shelves on the walls, and a proper robot arena for — and hence a cozy robotics corner was born. In October as part of the European Code Week we held five coding-related workshop in our studio helping Estonia reach the top three countries participating in this event. Take a look, what we did in VIVISTOP Telliskivi during this fun coding week.
Designlab MA+KE Lab masterclass during school break.
During the school break we decided to take on something totally new. Designers collective MA+KE Lab is a team of designers operating in Tallinn who has taken reviving extinct bird-and animal species as the matter of their hearts.They are doing it on a different interior design accessories. MA+KE Labi designers Martin, Kevin and Nele introduced VIVITA members the whole work process from the idea to the production. Throughout the workshop series children learned to make a pattern from a single drawing, print with silkscreen technique, print on large areas in a printing house and exhibit their creation in a room. The children participating in a workshops gave a totally new life to the forgotten and extinct birds, animals and fishes. You can be part of the whole design process by reading our summarizing blogpost about the masterclass. The collaboration with MA+KE Lab continued after the masterclass. We printed some of the patterns onto wallpaper and sent them as a Secret Santa present to a VIVISTOP Kanazawa studio in Japan. In the new year we plan to develop this idea even further and hopefully soon you can admire some of the childrens’ created wallpapers at your home.
Full Moon gaze and continuing the traditions with Fotografiska
To convey children the message of beloved Swedish photographer/artist Erik Johansson exhibition “Places Beyond” Fotografiska Tallinn and VIVISTOP Telliskivi joined forces. Together we organized a workshop where children had first a guided tour to explore the art and afterwards make themselves their own Full Moon lamp, inspired by the exhibition.
How the 12 Full Moon lamps were made, can be read in this blogpost.
Already for a second year in a row Fotografiska Tallinn cafe area’s Christmas decorations are made by VIVITA kids! It has become somewhat of a tradition to make the decorations using the leftover materials from earlier exhibitions. This year crafty fingers turned the outdated advertising brochures of Fotografiska Tallinn using a simple cut and fold technique into beautiful snowflakes. To an observant eye these snowflakes remind also of Fotografiska logo. Read here, how Fotografiska was decorated.
In spring we successfully took part in Startup Estonia’s public procurement “Eesti iduettevõtluse ökosüsteemi arendamine ja iduettevõtjate arenguprogrammid 2020”. As a result, we are creating a 10-episode educational video content that promotes entrepreneurial skills, start-up mindset, digital competences and STEAM-education. The title for this video series will be VIVITA Vista and the characters of it are VIVITA members Karolin, Marta and Morten, who all have their own start-up ideas. Throughout the episodes they will find out about start-up lifecycle and how to turn their idea into a real product or a service. Vista videos will be a good material for schools and educational organizations. The VIVITA Vista videos will launch in the beginning of 2021.
VIVITA Junior program
In the beginning of 2020 we reinvented our program for the younger tinkerers and Digital Tribe turned into VIVITA Junior. VIVITA Junior is series of STEAM-realated workshops for children in the age group 5–8, where a child with an accompanying adult can together discover science-and technology world and conduct several experiments. Juniori-program workshops are held every first Saturday of the month and the program is a good preparation of becoming a VIVITA member. This year we have mixed together a perfect mixture for making giant soap bubbles, put a rain cloud into a jar, tinkered a safe landing capsule for the astronaut Egg, build bird houses, created art with robots and brought a tornado into a bottle.
It feels so great to realise that VIVITA’s activities and efforts have been noticed. In 2020, in a competition ”Enterprise Promotion Awards 2020”, held by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, VIVITA was given an award for promoting entrepreneurial mindset among youth. The competition ”Enterprise Promotion Awards 2020“ took place already for the 14th time and its aim is to define, acknowledge and introduce to a wider audience the best initiatives promoting enterprise.
Estonian Research Council gave traditionally Estonian Science Communication Awards and in the Science and technology communication via audio-visual and electronic media category the award was given to the childrens’ kitchen science show “Tasty Molecule”, that took place in VIVITA’s kitchen and for the first time the co-hosts of the show were children — VIVITA members.
VIVITA is grateful
Thank you everyone, who is part of our big family — children, parents, volunteers and collaborators.
Thank you, Fotografiska Tallinn photographic art center for the inspirational collaboration projects and crafting materials!
Thank you Fotografiska Tallinn restaurant and Peeter Pihel for the tasty meals and collaboration in our workshops.
Thank you Artproof — thanks to you we were able to furnish our inventing lab with the furniture suitable to young inventors.
Thank you, Lincona Põrandakeskus for all the materials and table covers for VIVISTOP Telliskivi studio!
Thank you Akzo Nobel Baltic AS for the paints!
Thank you Uuskasutuskeskus, for resolving our bizar wishes quickly!
Thank you, Alpek OÜ for all the foam materials.
Thank you Microsoft Estonia — thanks to you, children programmed Estonia to the pedestal during the European Code Week!
Thank you Wendre for all the huge amount of textile and filling materials!
Thank you Ruth Oltjer and Chemi-Pharm AS for supporting our young scientists!
Thank you Karin Rask Design for donating inspiring materials for our young fashion designers.
Thank you Särgid-Värgid for the shirts in summer camp, for the team and for the masks!
Thank you Velvet for being our partner since the very first moment!
Thank you La Muu for the materials and ice-cream!
Thank you Veriff for continuous support and the Christmas surprise!
Thank you Insplayle for the thrilling robotics equipment!
Thank you Unicorn Squad for the continuous wonderful collaboration!
Thank you “Tasty Molecule” team and ERR Lastejaam!
Thank you Telliskivi Creative City!
Sten Tamkivi, Anna-Greta Tsahkna, Kaidi Ruusalepp, Ahti Heinla, Kadri Tuisk, Rainer Sternfeld, Kaarel Kotkas, Kristel Kruustük, Karen K Burns, Kristjan Maruste, Ragnar Sass, Martin Villig, Markus Villig, Taavi Tamkivi, Kertu Birgit Anton, Taavet Hinrikus, Halina Mugame, Aigar Vaigu — thank you for your time and commitment to our VIVITA Vista kids!
An exciting year is almost over and in a new year we will continue changing the world with our young and bright inventors, with one small step after another. VIVITA is convinced that every kids’ voice and thought has an impact.