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.
The HSE ART AND DESIGN Festival, which was held at the Museum of Moscow, served as the final exam for students of HSE’s School of Art and Design. On the final day of the festival, undergraduate and graduate students of the ‘Fashion’ programme presented more than a hundred of pieces of their own design in a fashion show. HSE News Service covered the event.
On June 18, the HSE Art Gallery opened a new exhibition, Comrades of Light, a full-scale installation simulating the space of a Soviet apartment with barely noticeable mutations and distortions. Within this space an alternative history of the Soviet Union unfolds on a sequence of matchbox labels, some of which are copies of real labels from the 1950-80s, and some of which are the creations of project authors Alexandra Kuzetsova and Darya Dolgopolova.
From June 20 to 27, the Museum of Moscow and the HSE Art and Design School will hold the HSE ART AND DESIGN Festival 2019, a graduation show. The project authors and curators for the event are HSE Art and Design School students, graduates and lecturers.
A video created by Polina Sotnikova, a student of the ‘Design’ programme at the HSE Lyceum, is being shown as part of the interactive exhibit Gogol in Moscow, which runs until June 2. The work, created in a motion design style, is currently being shown in the museum’s exhibit hall, which attracted tens of thousands of people on Museum Night.
On May 17 and 18, the annual Telling Stories festival, organized by the Faculty of Communications, Media and Design, will take place in Moscow. Festival guests will be able to attend a public talk with a Hollywood director, learn how to create their own successful micromedia, see a theater performance by HSE students and much more. Entry to all of the festival events is free.
HSE students are invited to participate in a design competition in which a series of three illustrations will be selected. Submissions will be accepted until May 22. The winning patch projects will be set in the form of stripes on adidas bomber jackets. The author of the best work will travel to the head office of adidas in Germany.
Polina Parygina, a fourth-year student at HSE University’s School of Art and Design majoring in Communication Design, is one of four illustrators selected worldwide by the famous clothes brand Fred Perry for the international Record Store Day 2019. In honour of the holiday, music stores around the world are distributing satchels bearing graphic illustrations she has designed.
The HSE Look continues a series of interviews with international postdocs about their research. For the latest issue we’ve talked with Iain Ferguson, Research Fellow at the International Laboratory on World Order Studies and the New Regionalism, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, about his work and exploration of Moscow and other cities.
International faculty at HSE are involved not only in research and teaching, but some also combine it with active participation in the city’s public discussion spaces. The HSE Look, the university's newsletter, has talked to Jan Surman, Research Fellow at Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI), about his research interests and Cultures of Critique project.
From March 8th to April 7th, 2019 HSE ART GALLERY is hosting a large-scale exhibition on the topic of Women Who Change the World. This joint project by HSE ART GALLERY and LEVI`S® has given HSE Art and Design School students the opportunity to realize their ideas on this important theme.