• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Project Modules

 

Mapping the Campus (First Year)

This short introductory workshop will help students, who will be from a number of various countries, to get to know one another at the beginning of term and prepare them for the first year of the Masters degree. The workshop promotes the specific working culture and ethics of the programme, establishing standards and principles of research and design that students will be required to adhere to throughout the course. It will help students to understand how the educational institution is structured, both spatially and administratively and will also provide an opportunity to make direct contact with the students of other years and Professors from different faculties.

The workshop itself is process-oriented and field-trip based. It will provide the students with a basic set of tools for mapping different types of urban territories, allowing them to test various research techniques while making space for mistakes and errors that are necessary for productive learning.

Students will work in small groups of three under the supervision of the researchers from the Graduate School of Urbanism Lab – a team who work on the spatial organisation and development of campuses around the world. The Austrian architect and cartographer Theo Deutinger, who has been a moderator of the Mapping the Campus at Strelka Institute for four consecutive years, will oversee both the research and the production phases of the project.

Students will research the distributed campus of the National University Higher School of Economics (one of the largest in Russia), focusing on three campus clusters in three different zones of Moscow and the Moscow Region. The urban fabric of these zones (with high, medium, and low density) will be analysed alongside the routes which connect them.

The workshop will be concluded with team presentations and a detailed reflection session, during which the moderator will discuss the working process with the entire class and assess both individual and collective inputs.

Type: Introductory
Duration: Four days
Location: Moscow City Center and Moscow Region (Odintsovo)
Moderator: Theo Deutinger Assistants: Marina Sapunova, Ekaterina Dyba (GSU HSE Research Center)

The Mapping the Campus format was originally developed, and tested, over a period of five years by the team of educators at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.

Research Simulator (First Year)

Akin to a flight simulator for aircraft pilots, the Research Simulator provides mechanisms and a safe working environment for the training of the urban researchers. This one-week workshop will guide students through planning and various stages of research, providing an opportunity to test various approaches to data collection and processing with a strong emphasis on the methods of qualitative analysis. It will build on the experience of the Mapping the Campus workshop, but with an increased level of complexity and with more challenging objectives.

The Research Simulator will require the spatial, cultural, social, and economic research of a small, yet paradoxically diverse, area in the historic center of Moscow under the umbrella theme ‘The Porous City’. Students will investigate (in pairs and individually) public spaces and routes in the area, revealing its innate character and creating a detailed Nolli plan. They will be encouraged to apply the skills and attainments that they have accumulated during the Critical Thinking course and the first sessions of Access to Knowledge and Data.

During the final presentation, students will be asked to explain the main problems associated with the territory and speculate about ways in which to solve them. The descriptive outcomes of the Research Simulator will serve as the basis for the formulation of the brief for the Project Simulator module that follows.

Type: Research
Theme: The Porous City (Moscow)
Duration: One week
Location: Moscow City Center
Moderator: Daniele Belleri
Assistants: Strelka Institute graduates
Invited critic: Patrick Reevell (The Guardian)

Research Simulator format was originally developed and then tested over a period of four years by the team of educators of the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.

Project Simulator (First Year)

This one-week training workshop recreates (in a simplified form) the process and structure of work on a multidisciplinary project (specifically, the RBD module) in the second year of the programme, and the environment in which it will happen. It introduces the students to the research-based design methodology, helping them to understand its logic, define the purpose of work, and learn how to meet its tight deadlines.

As a logical continuation of the Research Simulator, it examines the same topic (‘The Porous City’) and the same city territory (Moscow City Center), but also introduces its own conceptual brief and pays maximum attention to prescriptive proposals.

During the Project Simulator, students will work in small groups of three under the close guidance of the Strelka Institute and GSU alumni. This workshop will strengthen professional ties between various generations of students and prompt contacts with external experts. The teamwork will be presented at the ‘mid-term’ (mid-week) and ‘final’ (Saturday) reviews to a jury of invited experts.

Type: Research and Design
Theme: The Porous City (Moscow)
Duration: One week
Location: Moscow City Centre
Moderators: Danielle Belleri, Anastassia Smirnova
Assistants: Strelka Institute graduates

The Project Simulator format was originally developed and then tested over a period of two years by the team of educators of the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.

Game Changers 1 (First Year)

The Game Changers workshop is fast-paced and intense. It operates with bold and radical briefs instigating projective exploration and outside-the-box ideation. It helps to sharpen the conceptual and critical thinking of the students and encourages the development of strong visionary concepts (which change the rules of the game), rather than those of pragmatic solutions. At the same time, all proposals should be informed by the research of the given urban territory and be based on sound knowledge of the existing situation.

During the workshop, students will work in small multidisciplinary teams supported by an experienced adviser. A series of lectures and meetings with experts will help to deepen their understanding of the topic and prepare them for the research-based design work. On the last day of the workshop, all teams will first participate in the peer-to-peer review before presenting to a jury of invited guests.

Game Changers 1, ‘The Tribal Land’ will invite students to examine a typical Socialist microrayon in Belyayevo (the Southern Administrative District of Moscow) and respond to the highly provocative workshop brief. Students will be asked to imagine an improbable, yet very intriguing, situation in which a new homogenous group of inhabitants (a ‘tribe’) with very particular characteristics would, overnight, entirely replace the current diverse population. They will then speculate about how and why these new users might change the public and private spaces of the area. Each student team will select its own ‘tribe’ and develop scenarios for its life in a microrayon.

The goal of this conceptual exercise is to investigate the complex relationship between the citizens and the space they occupy and examine how an extremely rigid urban structure would react to a dramatic and abrupt change in its populace. 

Theme: ‘The Tribal Land’
Type: Advanced Conceptual
Duration: Ten days
Location: Moscow Periphery (‘microrayon’)
Moderator: Theo Duetinger
Assistants: Researchers of the Graduate School of Urbanism

The Game Changers format has been originally developed and then tested over a period of two years by the team of educators of the post-graduate programme of the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.

Game Changers 2 (First Year)

The Game Changers workshop is fast-paced and very intense. It operates with bold and radical briefs instigating projective exploration and outside-the-box ideation. It helps to sharpen the conceptual and critical thinking of the students and encourages the development of strong visionary concepts (which change the rules of the game), rather than those of pragmatic solutions. At the same time, all proposals should be informed by the research of the given urban territory and based on sound knowledge of the existing situation.

During the workshop, students will work in small multidisciplinary teams supported by an experienced adviser. A series of lectures and meetings with experts will help to deepen their understanding of the topic and prepare them for the research-based design work. On the last day of the workshop, all teams will first participate in the peer-to-peer review before presenting to a jury of invited guests.

Game Changers 2, ‘The Island of Health’ will explore how cities, designed and built after the Second World War, could potentially respond to contemporary demands for healthy lifestyles.

The Socialist city was invented out of the necessity to improve the quality of life of the general population. It was also designed to strategically combat infectious diseases (Tuberculosis, Smallpox, Spanish Flu, etc.). Urban planners introduced more natural light and greenery into the city, developed new standards of hygiene, planned a network of district poli-clinics, and promoted an architecture of “existenzminimum“, offering affordable and decent quality living conditions to ‘the masses’. These initiatives helped—among others—to diminish the impact of infectious diseases, mitigating the risk of epidemics.

In present day developed countries chronic, rather than infectious, diseases are considered the primary cause of death among the urban population. In Moscow, cardiovascular diseases of all varieties, along with several types of cancer, are currently at the top of the black list. Ever increasing numbers of urbanites have turned to healthy living and preventive medicine, but the city itself does not necessarily provide the right environment. This workshop will examine what and how should be changed in a typical Socialist urban district to support this new attitude to health.

Theme: The Island of Health
Type: Advanced Conceptual
Duration: Ten days
Location: Moscow Periphery (“microrayon”)
Moderator: Anastassia Smirnova
Assistants: Strelka Institute graduates

Urban Race (First Year)

Urban Race is the final project and the highlight of the first year of the programme. It will recreate a real-world situation of an architectural or urban development competition, in which various professionals work on complex assignments under the pressure of tight deadlines. Students will spend three weeks working in groups of four on a competition proposal for the redevelopment of a particular urban area in Russia. Strelka KB, the institute’s consultancy agency for research and urban projects, will prepare the detailed competition brief and oversee the working process.

The organization of international competitions is one of Strelka KB's core competencies, and Urban Race will open with an introductory lecture by KB experts on the role and protocols of professional competitions in contemporary urban practice. Students will then be invited to interview competition jurors and Russian architects (who have won many such contests) in order to understand the specificity of this kind of assignment.

KB will also provide basic materials such as plans, statistics, and historical analysis to ensure a high level of entries. Although all student teams will be able to regularly consult with experienced Strelka Institute and KB curators, the emphasis in this exercise will be on self-organization and the personal responsibility of each student.
After three weeks, each team will submit its proposal in the form of a text and a series of visual schemes, before defending it before an international jury of experts – the best project will be awarded a prize.

Type: Competition
Duration: Three weeks
Location: Moscow
Moderators and tutors: Strelka KB (consultancy bureau of the Strelka Institute)
Jury: International


The Research-Based Design Project (RBD):
Re-thinking Socialist Cultural Systems (Second Year) 
The Research-Based Design project (RBD) is the key component to this programme. In an RBD project any design proposal — be it a scheme, a model, a system, a design, or a programme — should be fundamentally supported by the research of the existing context (historical, cultural, economical, political, spatial, etc.) alongside an understanding of the main factors affecting its development.

Systematic multidisciplinary investigation informs and enriches the design process, ensuring an optimal level of problematization, as well as the quality and relevancy of proposed solutions. The RBD project will comprise two stages: brief development, and research and design. At both stages students will work in studios of twenty, each guided by the studio Director and project supervisors.

In the academic year 2017/2018, both studios will work with the theme ‘From Socialist Cultural Systems to Contemporary City Networks’, exploring and making proposals for rethinking Moscow Public Libraries, Houses of Culture, district movie theatres, Museums of Local Culture, and other such institutions. 

Type: Research and Design
Duration: Two months
Location: Moscow
Studio Directors: Theo Duetinger, Anastassia Smirnova
Assistants: Strelka Institute Graduates

Student Exhibition (Second Year) 

The Student Exhibition project is the culmination of the Advanced Urban Design programme. At the very end of the Masters degree students will, over a three week period, develop a public exhibition that will showcase the Second Year's research and design outcomes.

Guided by an experienced curator, students will develop the conceptual framework for the exhibition and design it. They will also be responsible for the production, budget, and promotion of the show. The students will be required to program the opening of the exhibition as a public event and advertise in social media and through online press.  
This project will build on the last course of the programme (Curatorial Practices in Urban Projects, organized with the support of the Garage Center for Contemporary Art) and will encourage students to use the skills and knowledge accumulated during this course. 

Type: Design and PR
Duration: Three weeks
Location: Strelka Institute or other venue
Moderator: Daria Paramonova
Assistants: Strelka Institute Graduates