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Regular version of the site

Main Tutors

Anastassia Smirnova

Russia / The Netherlands

Programming Director of the ‘Advanced Urban Design’
Master Programme
Programming Director (2012 - 2015) – Strelka Institute
Co-Founder – SVESMI

Course: Spatial Planning Analysis and Urban Design, Future Urbanism (Module 2)

Project Modules: Project SimulatorGame Changers (2) Research Based Design Studio

Anastassia Smirnova is a writer, journalist, and researcher. She worked for OMA/AMO as editor/designer (2007 – 2008), leading the research for the master-plan of the State Hermitage Museum project. In 2007, she and architect Alexander Sverdlov co-founded SVESMI – a Dutch-Russian office for architecture, urbanism, and consultancy with branches in Rotterdam and Moscow. Anastassia is also an educator. Since 2012 she and David Erixon (Hyper Island) have been the Strelka Institute’s programming directors, over which period they have experimented with new formats and methodologies for providing a contemporary education in media, architecture, and design. The Strelka curriculum, developed by this team, has become an integral part of the collaborative programme ‘Advanced Urban Design’ by HSE Graduate School of Urbanism and Strelka Institute.  Anastassia also publishes and teaches internationally. Her texts and translations have been featured in such publications as Volume, Content, Innostrannaya Literatura, Afisha, and Strelka Press. She has been a juror at the Berlage Institute, TU Delft, Rotterdam Academy of Architecture, and KTH School of Architecture and a studio director at the Strelka Institute.

Read more on SVESMI project of modernization of Soviet public libraries in Moscow

Learn more on SVESMI projects on official web site
Watch Anastassia Smirnova's lecture about Strelka Institute and research-based design methodology 

Markus Schaefer 


Course: Spatial Planning Analysis and Urban Design

Markus Schaefer is an architect and urban researcher. He has a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University and a Masters in Science (Neurobiology) from the University of Zürich. At Harvard, he first collaborated with his current partner Hiromi Hosoya on the ‘Harvard Guide to Shopping’, edited by Rem Koolhaas et al. and published by Taschen in 2001. Prior to founding his own firm, Markus Schaefer was the first director of AMO in Rotterdam, the think-tank and research department of OMA. Since 2003, Markus Schaefer and Hiromi Hosoya have run Hosoya Schaefer Architects, an office for architecture, urban design and research based in Zürich. The office has won several international awards and is working on a wide spectrum of projects. Schaefer is also a partner at CityTrackerX AG, a privately funded research and development company aiming at a real-time performance analysis of cities. He has been a studio professor at the Berlage Institute where he ran two client commissioned research studios: ‘The Architecture of Hospitals’ and ‘Light Capital: Urban Scripts for Ljubljana’. Markus Schaefer has continued his teaching work with a professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and now at the Strelka Institute in Moscow. He lectures and publishes internationally.

Watch Markus Schaefer's lecture on Future of Urbanism 
Read on the project by Hosoya Schaefer Architects for Salon Swiss at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014 
Read on one of the Hosoya Schaefer Architects' projects -'City As Laboratory' - about development of the Technology-Cluster/V-Zug Area in Zug 

Dr. Cor Wagenaar 
The Netherlands

Associate Professor – Delft University of Technology
Professor – University of Groningen

Course: Urban Histories

Dr. Cor Wagenaar studied History of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Groningen. He was awarded a PhD in 1993 for his thesis about the rebuilding programme in the city of Rotterdam after the Second World War. He has written extensively on urbanism, culminating in ‘Town Planning in the Netherlands Since 1800: Responses to Enlightenment Ideas and Geopolitical Realities’ (2011, 2nd ed. 2015). He has also worked more specifically on the relationship between urbanism and ideology, culminating in ‘Happy: Cities and Public Happiness in Post-War Europe’ and ‘Ideals in Concrete’ (2004). In his role as an academic advisor, Dr. Wagenaar has been closely involved in writing a book and organizing a conference entitled ‘Architecture of Hospitals’, which was held at the University Medical Center Groningen in 2005. Since 2006, he has been working as an associate professor in the Chair ‘History of Architecture and Urban Planning’ at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at TU Delft. In 2014, Dr. Wagenaar began teaching as a professor at the University of Groningen. The Chair focuses on the health in relation to architecture and urban planning, covering themes ranging from the hygienic revolution in the nineteenth century to today’s ‘healthy cities’ and ‘healthy ageing’ strategies.

Read Cor Wagenaar's book ‘Healthcare architecture in the Netherlands’ 

Prof. Dr. Ronald Wall
The Netherlands and South Africa

Research Studio “Links” Director – Strelka Institute (2014)
Professor – WITS University (Johannesburg)
Head of Urban Competitiveness and Resilience Department, Institute for Housing and Urban Studies (IHS) – Erasmus University Rotterdam

Course: Urbanization in Developing Countries

Ronald Wall specializes in urban and regional economic development, city network analysis, and urban planning. He has worked for urban planning offices such as OMA, MVRDV, West 8 and the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM). He has worked on urban planning projects in various Asian, African and European countries. He received a commendation letter from Nelson Mandela for his work on the ‘Housing Generator’ project concerning upgrading slums. Between 2001 and 2009, Ronald was professor in Urban Planning at the Berlage Institute, and taught at the Rotterdam and Amsterdam Academies of Architecture and Urban Planning. In 2009, Ronald completed his doctorate in Economic Geography at the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Erasmus University Rotterdam. His doctoral dissertation—‘Netscape: Cities and Global Corporate Networks’ — examines the economic flows that take place between cities across the world, demonstrating the utility of network analysis to understand urban development. Ronald has published in various high-level journals, such as Applied Economics Letters, the Journal of Economic Geography, Economic Geography, European Planning Studies and Environment and Planning. Ronald’s central research areas are urban and regional development economics, plus happiness economics and its relationship with urban development. Ronald holds the Chair in Economic Development of the City of Johannesburg, at the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (South Africa). He is also the Head of the Urban Competitiveness and Resilience Department, IHS, Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands). He was also Research Director at Strelka in 2014, concerning the informal economies of Moscow.

Download research articles by Ronald Wall
Watch video of Ronald Wall's research on Amsterdam within investment network 

Theo Deutinger

Research Studio “Cars” Director – Strelka Institute (2014)
Founder – TD Architect

Project modules: Mapping HSE, Game Changers 2, Research-Based Design Project (Studio)

Theo Deutinger is an architect, urban planner, urban mapping expert and a founder of TD Architects. He created the series ‘Snapshots of Globalization’ – maps and information visuals representing a ‘guerrilla’ perspective of the world in the latest phase of globalization.Theo Deutinger’s world maps are frequently published in Mark, Wired, Domus, Pasajes and GEO. His works have been exhibited widely, most recently at Future Fictions Z33 (Hasselt, 2014), the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (Shenzhen/Hong Kong, 2014), and the 14th Architecture Biennale in Venice (Italy, 2014). Recent projects include: ‘Help Me I Am Blind’, a book created alongside artist Heidi Specker; a collaborative exhibition design with the Bauhaus Dessau in Berlin; the research-design project ‘Social City’, a futuristic renaissance project for the Ruhr area alongside Droog and Ruhrmoderne. Deutinger teaches and lectures widely at institutions including the Harvard GSD, the Strelka Institute in Moscow, and the Bauhaus in Dessau.

Read more on the projects of TD Architects
Watch lecture of Theo Deutinger 'Athlete City' at Simposium Performative Urbanism at Technical University of Munich
Watch the video on the project 'Way We Are' – a story about Tarwewijk – Rotterdam neighbourhood that "travels around the world in quest of a new home"

Victor Vakhshtayn

Professor – Russian-British University (MSSES, “Shaninka”), Faculty of Social Science
Honorary Fellow – University of Manchester, School of Education, Environment and Development
Dean – Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Faculty of Sociology and Philosophy

Course: The City: Economics, Sociology, Politics (Sociology)

Victor Vakhshtayn is a sociologist, professor, and writer. Since 2004 he has organized and conducted more than thirty research projects in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Israel and in fifteen CIS countries.Victor’s academic interests range from the social theory of knowledge to the sociology of everyday life. His works include such books and publications as ‘Sociology of Things’ (2006), ‘Reality of Education and Research Realities’ (2010), and ‘Frame Analysis and Sociology of Everyday Life’ (2011). His most recent book, ‘The Case of Everyday Life: Sociological Theory in Judicial Precedents’ (2015), covers the issues of instability in everyday life, increasing mobility, expansion of technologies, and new sociological problems in modern globalized life as they are represented in legal practice.

Watch Victor Vakhshtayn's lecture at PostNauka (in Russian)
Read Victor Vakshtayn's 'Sociology of Architecture' publication (in Russian)

Nadya Nilina
Russia / USA

Lecturer – MARCH-Moscow School of Architecture

Course: Urbanization in Developing Countries (thematic block: Urbanization in Russia)

Nadya Nilina is a lecturer and urbanism module coordinator at MARCH-Moscow School of Architecture. She is an urban planner with graduate degrees from MIT and the City College of New York, alongside undergraduate degrees in Architecture and Urban Studies from The New School for Social Research and Parson’s School of Design in New York City. Nadya specializes in large-scale master planning. Her professional career began in 1997 in the office of Beyer Blinder Belle Architects (New York) where she specialized in historic preservation and university campus planning. She has also worked at the New York City Housing Authority. Since 2006 Nadya has been working at West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture and KCAP Architects and Planners, both in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Her projects have included master plans for the city of Samarra in Iraq, the Brussels 2014 Plan, Perm Strategic Master Plan, and several competitions and redevelopment projects. Since 2012, she has been teaching the History of Urbanism and Urban Design practice at MARCH. Nilina has given numerous public lectures and interviews on the subject of Urban Design and public space. She is a member of the ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners) and is an independent consultant to UNESCO.

Read more on Nadya Nilina’s projects at KCAP Architects and Planners official website: 
Perm Strategic Master Plan  
Transformation of former industrial zone in Krasnoyarsk  
Sustainable strategic vision for the metropolitan area Brussels

Read on ISOCARP report on Liveable cities 

Nick Axel

Managing Editor – Volume Magazine (Archis)

Course: Critical Thinking

Nick Axel is the Managing Editor of Volume Magazine and a Researcher at Forensic Architecture in its interactive division. Originally trained as an Architect in the United States, he received an MA with distinction from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work spans across the practices of writing, speculation, research, cartography and design, and has been published widely. Nick has previously taught at DAE, KABK, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, and The Bartlett (UCL).

Read editorial by Nick Axel in Volume magazine
Read more on research projects of Forensic Architecture

Jan Levchenko

Professor – Higher School of Economics

Course: Cityscapes through the Prism of Cultural Studies

Jan Levchenko is a cultural historian, critic in the area of cultural studies and visual arts, and Professor of Cultural Studies of the Faculty of Philosophy of the National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’ (Moscow). He received an MA in Art History from the European University in St. Petersburg and holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Tartu. He has more than ten years teaching experience in Art History, both in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Levchenko's professional interests range from the theory and history of Visual Arts and popular culture of the XX Century, to the history of critical theory in the XX Century and the early Soviet film industry. For several years, he has been a curator of the 'Ulysses' educational project which offered sophisticated explorations of big cities to students of the Cultural Studies Department of the HSE. He is also a well known journalist writing for such publications as 'Novaya Gazeta', 'Séance', 'Gefter' and many others.

Watch lectures of Jan Levchenko at PostNauka (in Russian)

Dasha Paramonova

CEO – Strelka Architects
Director – Alexander Brodsky Bureau

Project module: Student Exhibition

Dasha Paramonova is an architect and curator. Since 2006 she has been a Director at Alexander Brodskiy Bureau. Between 2010 and 2011 Dasha researched the issue of Moscow’s ageing architecture from the Luzhkov era as part of Rem Koolhaas' studio ‘Preservation’ at the Strelka Institute. This research was published as an essay-book ‘Mushrooms, and Other Mutants: Architecture of Luzhkov Era’ (2013). She was also one of the curators for the Russian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, the exhibition of which was awarded a Special Mention. Dasha has been working as teacher at MArchI (2005-2010) and as a Faculty Tutor for several research groups on the topic of Future Urbanism at the Strelka Institute (2014-2015). Since 2015, she is CEO of Strelka Architects.

Read Dasha Paramova’s book “Fungi, Mutants and Others: Architecture of Luzhkov era” (in Russian) 

Kirill Asse

Architect – Alexander Brodsky BureauLecturer – MARCH-Moscow School of Architecture

Course: The Next Agenda for Contemporary Architecture.

Kirill Asse is a critic, artist, writer, and currently a project architect at the Alexander Brodsky Bureau, where he leads various architectural and curatorial projects. He has co-curated the ‘ArchMoscow’ exhibitions (2003, 2004), as well as the exhibitions ‘500 Years of Palladio in Russia’ and ‘Simplicity’. Kirill was engaged as an architect for the exhibitions ‘Jan Švankmajer’s Kunstkammer’ (2013) at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, ‘Look into the Eyes of the War’ (2014) at Moscow State Exhibition Hall ‘New Manege’, and ‘Contemporaries of the Future’ (2015) at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. His works has been published in major Russian magazines such as ‘Project Russia’, ‘Project Baltia’, and media portals ‘OpenSpace’ and ‘Colta'.

Read publications of Kirill Asse (in Russian)

Anna Trapkova

Deputy Director of Development – The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Course: Curatorial Practices in Urban Projects

Anna received her degree in Cultural Studies from the Russian State University for Humanities. Throughout the course of her career she has been a researcher at the NGO ‘Liberal Mission’ Foundation, a partner in a private consulting company, has run forums and conferences (Moscow Urban Forum), and has served in the Ministry of Culture where she ran a project to create new centers for innovative art and cultural practices in the Russian regions of Kaluga, Ekaterinburg, and Vladivostok. Between 2010 and 2011, Anna researched around the topic of the Economics of Public Space at the Strelka Institute, in the studio ran by Michael Schindhelm and Yuri Grigoryan. Since 2014, Anna Trapkova has been Deputy Director of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art, where she is responsible for the urban development of Pushkin Museum’s quarter. Most recently, her professional and scientific interests have been focused on the development of art and cultural institutions in Post-Soviet Russia.

Read article of Anna Trapkova on migrants in megacities (in Russian)
Article about transformative role of museums (in Russian)

Daniele Belleri

Editorial Director – Granger Press
Communication Manager – Carlo Ratti Associati

Course: From Storymaking to Strategic Communication (Thematic Block: Strategic Communication), Project modules: Research Simulator Project Simulator.

Daniele Belleri is a journalist, researcher and communication consultant, interested in the connection between design and urban issues in relation to economics and geopolitics. His reports have been published or broadcast by more than forty media outlets, including magazines, dailies, news agencies, and radio stations, both in English ('Domus', 'Reuters', 'Volume'), Italian ('Corriere della Sera', 'IL Magazine', 'Il Messaggero'), Russian ('Afisha', 'Slon'), Dutch, and Chinese. In 2012, Daniele co-founded the strategic design agency Granger Press, for which he has been developing projects for institutions and businesses such as Triennale Design Museum, the Institute for Russian Realist Art, the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing, Zanotta, Pandora, and Santa&Cole. He has held lectures and courses at Milan’s NABA academy, at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, and at the Strelka Institute, from where he also graduated in 2014.

Read Daniele Belleri’s articles:
‘Shengzhen’s Design Revolution’ in Domus Magazine
Article about Rem Koolhaas' project Fondazione Prada in Artemest Magazine 

Philipp Kats

Courses: Access to Information and Data; Metropolitan Data

Philipp Kats is an analyst and data journalist. His main interests are data visualization, human-computer interaction, applied data science, and urban studies. For the last four years Philipp has been working in RIA Novosti's Infographics Department and Rambler Infographics, covering multiple political and economic issues. His work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Malafej Silver Prize in 2014. He has also taken part in several research projects for Thomson Reuters, Skolkovo, and Open Innovations — among others — working with large quantitative data analysis. In 2013 he started teaching an Urban Informatics course at ITMO, St. Petersburg. Philipp holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture. He completed postgraduate research at the Strelka Institute, working in Senseable Moscow Lab with Carlo Ratti (MIT). He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Urban Informatics at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, and works there as a graduate research assistant.

Read more on Strelka Institute students’ research ‘Senseable Moscow Lab’ in collaboration with MIT
Check all projects of Philipp Kats on his personal website

Ekaterina Serova

Co-Founder – Habidatum

Courses: Metropolitan Data

Katya Serova is an urban analyst focusing on socio-economic processes and space-time analysis. She is trained as a socio-economic geographer (MS in Geography) and urban planner (MS in Urban Planning). Katya is also a co-founder and vice president of Habidatum where she is responsible for the company's operations, project management, and analytical coordination. For two years Katya leaded Urban Data Project at Thomson Reuters. On behalf of Habidatum she has lectured on urban data at educational courses and workshops, participating in Urban Planning, digital art and data science exhibitions and festivals. She has also spoken at related conferences and round-tables (such as at the World Bank in September 2014, at Smart City Expo in November 2014, and at POST City Symposium at Ars Electronica in September 2015). Katya has been teaching Urban Informatics at ITMO (Saint-Petersburg) and is involved in academic and public activities in the field of innovative urban research internationally.

Read more on projects of Habidatum at official website
Watch Katya Serova’s talk at PostCity Simposium IV at Ars Electronica Festival, Linz (Austria)

Patrick Reevell
Great Britain 


Course: From Storymaking to Strategic Communication 

Patrick Reevell is an Emmy award-nominated multimedia journalist, currently a Moscow correspondent for the U.S. television network, ABC News.

A British citizen, he has covered Russia and the former Soviet Union for several years, as well spending time working as a journalist in France and India. Besides ABC, he has written and reported for The New York Times, Rolling Stone and the Associated Press among others.


Egor Kotov

Research fellow – Graduate School of Urbanism (HSE)

Course: Access to Information and Data

Egor Kotov is a data analyst and research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Data Analysis of the Graduate School of Urbanism HSE University Russia. He holds a Master degree in Rural Planning & Environmental Management from University of Aberdeen and a BA diploma in the World Economy from the Higher School of Economics, World Economy and International Affairs department. His professional and research interests are focused on transport policy, urban planning, urban management, automation of data processing and analysis.



Konstantin Gaaze

Professor — Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences

Course: The City: Economics, Sociology, Politics (Module 'Politics')

Konstantin Gaaze (born 1979) received his degree in Public Administration from the Moscow State University in 2001. He then worked in PR industry, managed his own advertising business and from 2006 till 2008 was an adviser to a head of a Federal ministry of agriculture. In 2008 he began his career in journalism working as a reporter and political commentator in a “Russian Newsweek” journal, in online publisher Slon.ru, was an editor in “Moscow news”, in a media group “Interfax” and a “Big City” periodical. In 2016 he received his MA degree in Sociology from the University of Manchester, and from 2017 he works as a senior researcher and professor at the International Centre of Social Theory of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. In 2017 he received a “Journalism as a Profession” award in the nomination “Opinion Journalism” for his piece on The Accidental Formation of Russia’s War Coalition.


Maria Slavnova


Academic Assistant for the Master program Advanced Urban Design
Architect — Project Meganom

Course: Future Urbanism

Maria Slavnova is the Academic Assistant for the program. An architect and researcher with a degree in Architecture from the University of Texas in Arlington. As an architect she has worked on award-winning residences in Dallas and San Francisco. Was a part of Rebar Group in San Francisco, an art and design collective dedicated to creative activism and urban ecology. Participated and worked on Pavement to Parks Initiative, Hayes Valley Urban Farm, conducted workshops on activating under-used space in Montreal and participated in workshops on urban regeneration in Taipei. Graduate of Strelka Institute and a tutor for Urban Routines / Retail Studio. Project leader for the research ‘Archaeology of the Periphery’ conducted for the Moscow Urban Forum by Project Meganom with 2012-2013 Strelka graduates. Currently works as an architect in bureau Project Meganom and as a tutor in The New Normal think-tank at Strelka Institute.  

Aleksander Semenov

Course: Access to Information and Data

Aleksander Semenov is a junior research fellow at the International Research Laboratory for Applied Network Research at the National Research University Higher School of Economics. Aleksander has a huge experience with social network analysis and its applications in industry and government consulting and academic research. He has published several articles on data mining and detection of depression in Vkontakte (biggest Russian social network), building communication networks of political protest movements in Twitter, citation networks of Russian sociologists etc. He has 5 years of teaching experience of applied methods of sociological data analysis for computer engineers, mathematicians and managers. He has taken 7 international summer schools in this area, including Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctorate Programme 2012 and Dynamic Network Analysis and Computational Organization Theory, Center for Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS), School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. Besides, Alexander has more than a dozen of reports and presentations at academic and industrial conferences.

Read blog of Alexander Semenov (in Russian)