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HSE Gears up for Staff and Student Conference: A Look Back at the School of Art and Design

On March 20, a conference for HSE staff and students will take place at HSE. It will consider the university’s development programme and elect the new Academic Council. The previous conference took place five years ago, in 2014, and the university has changed a lot since then. HSE News Service talked with some of the university leaders about how their own work at the University has changed over this period.

Today, the HSE News Service spoke with Arseniy Meshcheryakov, Head of HSE School of Art and Design, about how things have changed in the School.


Arseniy Meshcheryakov

What’s the main difference between the School of Art and Design of 2014 and now?

In 2014, the School of Art and Design was a small HSE department.

Since then, 20 times more students have studied here. Moreover, this increase occurred in fee-paying places, which indicates an increased market demand for educational programmes of HSE School of Art and Design. In 2014 there was only one educational programme in ‘Communication design’. Now we have more than 20 different programmes - from animation and game design to contemporary art.

What has been the School’s main achievement over this time?

The main achievement of the School of Art and Design is that it succeeded. The School of Art and Design has become the leader of art education in Russia, but that’s not even the main thing. The main thing is that it has become a leader and cultural authority. There are very few examples of an educational initiative managing to achieve such success from scratch in less than a decade. This was possible due to the fact that we manage to attract the best designers and artists as instructors. And this was in turn possible thanks to the modern, flexible and free education system implemented at the School of Art and Design.

What’s the main failure of the School?

It's hard to talk about failures. Little time has passed - I think, our failures are yet to come!

To be serious, it's a pity that we have no architectural track at the school. We have urban design, but no architecture. I think we should open our own architectural school. And I think that sooner or later, we will open one.

What would you say to yourself and your colleagues if you were to go back to 2014?

I'd say the same things. I don't see any serious mistakes in our development. For me, there is no big difference between 2014 and 2019 in this sense. Every week I meet with key people—some of whom I meet with even more often—and we always talk, coming up with ideas. So there is absolutely no need to go back to 2014 — now we have even more interesting tasks ahead of us.

What is HSE’s main goal for the next five years?

We need to preserve that incredible creative team drive that fueled the School of Art and Design. To do this, it is necessary to continue our development, to ensure that people maintain their passion for the projects with which they’re involved and to constantly invent something new. As soon as this project turns into something routine, we lose the drive, and creative people start to abandon it. We can’t let that happen, because the whole point of the project is these people—it’s the creative people who push for development.

The conference agenda has been approved by the Academic Council and includes the following items:

  • Review of the report on the ‘HSE Development Programme for 2009–2015 and up to 2020’ and discussion of its progress since 2014;
  • Discussion of the key points in the HSE University Development Programme up to 2030;
  • Election of the HSE Academic Council;
  • Election of a representative body representing the interests of HSE staff.

When and where will it take place?

The conference will take place on March 20, 2019, at 1pm, in the HSE building on 57 Trifonovskaya Ulitsa, Moscow (Conference Hall).


Photos: HSE

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