School of Design: Taking a Closer Look
— The School of Design is unique in many ways at HSE. What does it mean for you in terms of international dimension of learning and teaching?
— I would say that the whole Faculty of Communications, Media and Design is rather different from other faculties. Our knowledge and skills are essentially practical and project-based, and our contribution to the reputation of HSE worldwide is our reputation as practitioners rather than researchers. It means that we want to be an attractive design school for fellow professionals and students, on the one hand, and to bring our projects to exhibitions and give talks and workshops all over the world.
Nearly twenty years ago international activity of HSE used to be a project of its own, because we were building partnerships, looking for the best practices to implement and adapt, and I am very happy to see that now internationality is embedded in the university.
— How do you make sure that students are in touch with the global trends?
— Our students are very much interested in what is going on in the design world, and we’ve started holding open lectures with the best designers, artists, photographers, etc. Lectures are not only for our students, but are open to everyone, so everyone is welcome, whether you study at another university or just interested in design. And by design we do not mean only “pictures” or other visuals, it is also environmental design, fashion, architecture, and design thinking in general.
We also encourage our students and lecturers to participate in exhibitions, whether they are in Moscow, regional, national or international, and we regularly share information about upcoming events and application deadlines.
— Do you have international students?
— Students from universities and art schools abroad visit quite frequently. These are usually short visits for one or two weeks, and are very good for sharing experience and learning from each other. Currently we have about 40 full-degree international students, mostly from CIS countries, and also from Latvia and Estonia. It’s not much, but we are a very young School, only four years old, and we want to take grand steps only when we are ready, so that they do not undermine the reputation we are working hard to build. For HSE to become one of the top 100 design schools we need to be not only well known and sought after among colleagues and students, but also to become a place where people would want to bring their works for an exhibition. It applies to all the programmes we have, be it visual design, animation, fashion, environment design, and the new study tracks which we are planning to launch, such as design and futurology, and design and contemporary art.
One of the challenges we face is that our building at Pionerskaya street is rather old and not fit for exhibitions, so in the meanwhile we are holding events at Bakhrushin Museum nearby. We are hoping to finish renovations which will enable us to have our own exhibition space soon. There are quite a lot of requests from design professional and student from different countries who would like to exhibit their work with us, and this is what constitutes the international dimension of our work, along with roundtable discussions and workshops.
— Are you participating in other international events at HSE?
— We have not yet held a session within HSE’s major event, April Conference. However, this year we started discussing what our participation would look like, and we would like to hold a session on contemporary design and technologies, mostly through displaying projects and discussing them. HSE has a lot of public design and branding projects for schools, museums and Moscow districts, and our Design Lab has a lot to show.
As I’ve said before, we are mostly focused on projects, but we do have plans to develop research as well. It is going to be a PhD school in art history, and the idea is to involve colleagues at HSE who are already working in cultural studies, art historians from the Faculty of Humanities. It would be very important for us to study not only classics but also contemporary art, as it is very closely related to current social and economic situation and its challenges.
HSE Art and Design students, graduates, and curators have been participating in the World Brand Design Society international competition for several years. The winter of 2023/24 was no exception—several projects won in various categories.
As part of a continuing exploration of the national cultural context, the HSE University Art and Design School and the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, in collaboration with the Sergei Parajanov Museum and the Artists' Union of Armenia, have announced the second open international online contest for collage in animation dedicated to the centenary of Sergei Parajanov’s birth.
In December, HSE University launched its first concept store—the HSE ART AND DESIGN STORE (part of the HSE Art and Design School). The new space offers ample opportunities for the successful implementation of design projects and features young and promising brands from students, graduates, and teachers of the HSE University Art and Design School.
Beginner-level specialists and students, as well as graduates of any university, regardless of geographical location, are invited to participate. Works can be submitted in the categories of Identity, Object Design, Illustration and Comics, Game Visuals, and Sound until January 21, 2024. Launched by the HSE Art and Design School in 2022, the competition collected more than 1,500 works in its first year. Its goal is to present a unified platform to host original ideas and spectacular projects in all areas of design, contemporary art, and fashion, as well as to draw the attention of the creative community to the development of professions in the industry.
The HSE Design Lab was named one of the winners in the Best Interior Solution project category of the Union of Moscow Architects for its project to renovate the interiors of the HSE University building on Maly Tryokhsvyatitelsky Pereulok. The awards were presented at the BUILD SCHOOL exhibition in Moscow, which ended on November 2.
In early October, the HSE Design Lab presented a new project at the HSE Art and Design School. A team of teachers and students has developed a navigation system for the G-Drive sports arena in Omsk. The ice stadium, which is home to the Omsk hockey club Avangard, opened in 2022 and seats 12,000 spectators.
‘In Search of the Key to the Past’: Students of HSE Art and Design School in Nizhny Novgorod Develop Collection of Souvenirs
The HSE Art and Design School in Nizhny Novgorod, together with the ‘Protected Quarters’ project to revive Nizhny Novgorod’s historical territories, have carried out the ‘Timeless’ creative project, which included a design laboratory and an educational programme. As a result of the creative workshop, students made concepts for souvenir products based on the local identity.
On July 22, the HSE CREATIVE HUB space hosted the ‘AGREED’ street art festival. This is the first collaboration between HSE Art and Design School students and the CHAIN community. The event participants learned how street art changes the urban environment and also created their own artifacts in the form of special stickers and stencils.
In early July, HSE ART GALLERY hosted the grand opening of the ‘Telling Stories. Big Data’ exhibition. The first part of this project has been exhibited at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art since the end of June. The exhibition will be open at both venues until August 13th.
At the end of each academic year, students of the HSE Art and Design School present an exhibition of their works. On June 30, the opening ceremony of this year’s exhibition, titled ‘Telling Stories. Big Data’, took place at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA). The exhibition unites students, graduates, and teachers of the HSE University Art and Design School and the Faculty of Creative Industries.