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Ten Reasons to Apply for the Master’s Programme in Prototyping Future Cities

Ten Reasons to Apply for the Master’s Programme in Prototyping Future Cities

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

Studying in an English-taught curriculum, working with big data, learning the internet of things, and studying smart city technologies—these are some of the key features of the Master’s Programme ‘Prototyping Future Cities’ offered by the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism. Read on to learn more reasons why future urbanists choose the programme.

1. Become part of the international professional community

International workshops and research trips are an integral part of the programme’s curriculum.

In 2018, students participated in the workshop ‘Self-Sufficient City’, a joint project by the Shukhov Lab and Valldaura Labs (Barcelona). The participants attended lectures by world leading experts on green building design and the power industry, visited the Tersa waste-to-energy plant and the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, and saw modern implementations of smart city technologies.

Workshop in Barcelona

In 2019, the students travelled to Copenhagen, the world’s environmental capital, to study the cutting-edge practices of sustainable urban development. Over the several days of the expedition, together with Vicente Guallart, the programme head, and Nadezhda Khort, head of the Shukhov Lab, students visited the offices of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and Dissing+Weitling architect firms, talked to Jan Gehl, a globally renowned urbanist, and attended lectures by leading experts in public space and comfortable urban environment design.

2. Participate in big industry events

Students recently participated in the development of the Green Spark installation for Polytech, a popular science festival by Polytechnic Museum. The project suggests an alternative way to get plant-produced energy. The study was developed by the lab’s leading experts together with Paolo Bombelli, a researcher from Cambridge, and student participation.

Moscow Urban Forum 2018

Under Vicente Guallart, Elena Mitrofanova and Ivan Mitrofanov’s supervision for the 2018 Moscow Urban Forum and Zodchestvo’18, students created a sustainable residential block prototype.

In autumn 2018, students attended the Smart City Expo 2018 in Barcelona, which covers a wide range of topics, including city cooperation, e-government, transportation system development, information technology, and innovations in transportations and ecology.

In summer 2019, students talked at Geek Picnic 2019, a popular science festival in Moscow and St. Petersburg: they presented projects in ecology, urbanism, and modern technology, and conducted workshops.

Pablo Goldin Marcovich (Mexico), programme graduate and architect, was a co-curator at Shukhov Lab’s international project ‘Moscow 2050’ for the 2019 Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture – the biggest exhibition in Asia dedicated to contemporary urban challenges. The exposition presented Moscow’s historical and contemporary urban projects, as well as visualizations of the city’s future developed as part of Moscow 2050 workshop at Shukhov Lab. The exhibition curators were Vicent Guallart along with Sergey Kuznetsov, chief architect of Moscow, and Elena Mitrofanova, architect and the master’s programme teacher as co-curator.

3. Take advantage of financial support opportunities to make your ideas a reality

In June 2019, Anna Budnikova, programme graduate and winner of a grant by the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, received the Outstanding Science Award for her project ‘Mycokarst: New Generation of Self-healing Urban Materials Based on Fungal Spores’ at the 2019 Biodesign Challenge Summit in New York.

Under the supervision of Elena Mitrofanova, Anna conducted her research as part of the master’s programme and was chosen from over 500 students from 34 universities all over the world. The award ceremony took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Anna received a grant from the programme to cover her travel expenses to New York.

4. Present your work to recognized thought leaders

In 2018, the students who study on a grant from the President of the Republic of Tatarstan presented their research on developing a distributed model of development for Kazan to Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, where they studied the distribution and quality of various institutions and services in Kazan. The study was supervised by Vicente Guallart and Elena Mitrofanova.

At the 2019 Moscow Urban Forum, programme graduates and winners of the grant by the President of the Republic of Tatarstan presented their final projects to Rustam Minnikhanov, Natalia Fishman-Bekmambetova, Assistant to the President, and Marat Khusnullin, Vice Mayor of Moscow.

5. Implement your own project and while getting expert support from teachers and industry professionals

Students pursue a variety of projects on topics ranging from the potential production of electric power with repeated tree branch movements to the integration of natural biological species in the urban environment with a parametric system of façade modules, or how to create a self-restoring material on the basis of fungal spores. Many more projects are available here.

6. Gain the most cutting-edge knowledge and skills in the field

Programme courses are updated every year to ensure that students learn the newest field developments and gain the most crucial skills. Research and projects in the Prototyping Future Cities Programme is implemented at five key educational levels: urban planning, technologies, information, management, and culture. The curriculum includes required courses, research, international seminars and internships. The focus is on contemporary digital production, big data analysis, introduction to the internet of things, urban planning, social innovations, and ‘smart city’ construction technologies.

7. Develop both your hard and soft skills

8. Study in English

Courses are taught in English with the participation of international experts, which prepares students to enter the international job market upon graduation.

9. Complete an internship at a large international company

Students are able to pursue prestigious internships. Student Julia Baistrukova completed an internship at the Department of Housing and Land Use of the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva. Graduate Mikhail Sokolov completed an internship at Knight Frank, a real estate consulting company.

10. Enjoy a wide range of career opportunities, from IT to architecture

After graduating from the master’s programme, students have gone on to work at IT companies (Yandex), in city governments (Bishkekglavarchitectura), non-profit organizations (Urban Initiatives), real estate companies (Knight Frank), project and consulting companies (Novaya Zemlya), leading architecture firms (Atlas), and companies that develop and manufacture hydraulic equipment (Gidrosila). Some graduates continue their academic careers or open their own architecture firms.

Prepared by Nadezhda Khort and Valeria Kiseleva