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Rotterdam, Moscow, Venice. Graduate School of Urbanism at the World’s Largest Architecture Exhibitions

In April and May, the Graduate School of Urbanism (GSU) took part in three of the largest architecture biennales, held in Rotterdam, Moscow, and Venice. The exhibitions presented the results of independent research carried out by the School, student projects, and the results of an international student workshop organized by GSU.

7th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), April 23 – July 10, 2016

Joint exhibition by GSU, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia – IaaC, Habidatum, and Guallart Architects at 7th IABR

The biennale in Rotterdam is a key international intellectual event in urbanism and architecture. It traditionally brings together leading specialists in urbanism and architecture, including those with theoretical and practical expertice, summarizes the previous years, and outlines the global agenda for urban development. This year, the curator was Maarten Hajer, a leading Dutch environmental expert and professor of urbanism at Utrecht University. He was appointed for the topic he suggested, ‘The Next Economy’.

Alexei Novikov, Dean of GSU said ‘Architecture Biennale Rotterdam is one of the world’s most prestigious international construction exhibitions. This year, its topic was The Next Economy. The Graduate School of Urbanism presented calculation models of distributed city economies looking at mobility, power, and local markets, together with IaaC, Habidatum, Guallart Architects, and Ceremony design bureau. The models simulate development scenarios that are built on the basis of an assumed transformation of a city’s centralized economy into a distributed, multipolar one. The exhibition presents six interfaces illustrating these scenarios. The models use stream open source data on New York, Barcelona, and other cities.’

5th Moscow Biennale of Architecture (ARCH Moscow exhibition), May 18-22, 2016

Urban Shorts exhibition – project by Graduate School of Urbanism for the 5th Moscow Biennale of Architecture (ARCH Moscow exhibition)

This year, the Moscow Biennale of Architecture was held at the Central House of Artists jointly with the ARCH Moscow international exhibition. Both events are respected platforms for discussions between architects, designers, developers, and urbanists. The suggested themes and exhibits aim to reflect the most recent architecture trends and promote technical innovations in urban development. The theme of the 2016 Moscow biennale was Architecture and Life, focusing on the importance of architecture and urban development for a modern urban resident’s daily life. GSU’s exhibition was part of the ‘Offline Architecture. Trilogy’ programme. The project received a diploma at the end of the biennale as the best curator programme. It was about such key processes in urban construction as specialized education, urban design, and criticism (public opinion). The HSE exhibition was called ‘Short Urbans’ and brought together 11 graduation projects by 2015 graduates in a 20-minute video.
Marina Sapunova, GSU expert said: ‘Urban Shorts is a collection of ten short films presenting graduation projects by 2015 master’s graduates of the Graduate School of Urbanism. Each film is based on a research project carried out by a GSU graduate, which covers real problems of modern Russian urban design and development. The films about the projects are related to relevant topics such as effective use of city space, flexible management of urban planning, big data and technologies in the city, as well as Arctic cities.’

15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, May 26 – November 27, 2016

Student projects at the Russian Pavilion, 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale

The Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale is the world’s largest architecture exhibition, and has been held for over 30 years. It is usually more related to the global architecture agenda rather than urbanism. The exhibitions at the national pavilions present architectural trends in particular countries. This year, Alejandro Aravena, the biennale curator, architect from Chile and the winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize, chose a biting social topic for the biennale – ‘Reporting from the Front’ – about living under social instability.

Vicente Guallart, Academic Supervisor of the HSE Laboratory for Experimental Urban Design said: ‘It is a great honor for us to participate in the Venice Biennale. This year, Sergey Kuznetsov, curator of the Russian Pavilion and chief architect of Moscow, suggested that the Graduate School of Urbanism organize an international student workshop for the VDNH Urban Phenomenon project. VDNH is a space that was created as an illustration of progress, a vision of our bright future. But today this ‘city within a city’ is in urgent need of re-invention. We offered the workshop participants full creative freedom, and received 40 very interesting projects. The participants looked at the VDNH space as a whole, and thought about the future of specific pavilions. We are happy that we received not only realistic ideas, but also rather radical concepts of the future, since what seems impossible today can become reality tomorrow.’


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