Latvia, Cesis

Get Well City

when 26 July 2014 - 9 August 2014
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 675

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.

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.

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.

Course leader

Programme director — Evelina Ozola
Managing director — Toms Kokins

Target group

Focus of the course is architecture, urbanism and design, but it also welcomes students and young professionals of related disciplines: geography, sociology, design, arts etc. Applicants should have finished at least one year of studies by the beginning of the course, be fluent in English and keen to work in groups.

Course aim

The Summer School is a possibility for students to test new approaches in research and design in an informal atmosphere, choosing a specific focus area to meet their interests: mapping and collecting data, designing and constructing spatial structures, interviewing and observing local residents, or developing visual representation skills.

Students will be given an opportunity to work hands–on with creating actual events and spatial structures that accommodate public interactions.

Fee info

EUR 675: The fee includes registration, tuition, accommodation, meals and social programme. Participants should cover their own travel expenses and insurance.


A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available, provided by State Education Development Agency and the organisers.