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Tolstoy Rules and Tinder for Mayakovsky: HSE Students Present Projects for Moscow Museums

At the end of November, HSE students presented their projects for Moscow literature museum development at Gogol’s House.

The projects are one of the outcomes of cooperation between Mosgortur and HSE. Students of the HSE master’s programme 'Media Production in Creative Industries' spent three months studying the work of the capital’s literature museums, and prepared their trans-media projects aimed at expanding the real museums’ digital presence.

Projects

The students presented a total of 11 museum media projects at Gogol’s House. Nine of them are related to literature museums in Moscow, and the other two to small museums of the Tretyakov Gallery and Kolomensky Posad.

The student projects have been prepared in active collaboration with the museums, as well as the project supervisors and leading HSE lecturers. Below is more detail about some of the projects.

Mayakovsky Museum

HSE students decided that Mayakovsky, as a very modern poet, can easily communicate to young people in the digital environment. The target audience of the virtual museum is young people who are potential visitors of the real museum, which is now under reconstruction. That’s why in their project, a Telegram channel, a bot with quotes, active social media profiles, and Tinder will talk about Mayakovsky’s life and work.

Sytin’s Bookshop

Today, the name ‘Ivan Dmitrievich Sytin’ doesn’t sound familiar for many people, but there was a time, on the eve of the 20th century, when this publisher and educator was a notable figure. The students designed the ‘Sytin’s Bookshop’ website in order to speak about the life of this media mogul, who had only three years of elementary education, and to draw the public attention to the museum, which will open soon. Website visitors will learn about the ‘Russian Ford’, calculate the publisher’s revenues at the 2017 rate, take a test on their knowledge of pre-revolutionary and the contemporary media crowd, learn about the publisher’s friends, family, and his unique archives. The final version of the website will be available in spring 2018 and will be defended as a master’s graduation project.

Turgenev Museum

The house on Ostozhenka will open after a reconstruction in autumn 2018, but a interactive long read will provide more detail about its renowned residents from spring 2018. The final version of the website ‘The Secrets of Turgenev House’ will be defended as a master’s graduation project. One of this house’s residents was Ivan Turgenev’s mother, a wealthy and powerful landlady, who became the prototype for the lady from Mumu. Her relations with her sons were far from ideal, and the details of this dramatic story are told in ‘cards’, a format popular nowadays. At various times, this city estate was also occupied by Metropolitan Bishop Seraphim, who has been consecrated a saint, and the ‘Russian American’ Fedor Tolstoy. Tolstoy took part in circumnavigation expeditions and was friends with many renowned Russian writers, including Pushkin and Gogol. Timelines and interactive maps will provide visual stories about the inhabitants of one of the Moscow’s oldest houses.

Bulgakov Museum

For the ‘Haunted Flat’, the students suggested creating an immersive audioguide based on Mikhail Bulgakov’s works and diaries, his contemporaries’ memoirs, an audio drama, and archive audio recordings. This means that when the cat is ‘fixing the primus stove’, you can hear the cat, the stove, the fire, and the voices in the kitchen. The flat becomes alive. The audio guide will include 12 audio stories, which are spread around four rooms: Bulgakov’s room, the kitchen, the living room, and the blue study. The audio guide will be available not only in Russian, but in English and other languages.

Paustovsky Museum

This Soviet writer’s museum started as a school exhibition, but soon became popular among Moscow fans of Paustovsky. The museum is housed in a wooden 18th-century building in Kuzminki. Konstantin Paustovsky never lived here, but would definitely love the big park surrounding it. It seems like the students had the same thought, and developed a project of mobile app quest ‘Paustovsky Path 2.0’. The route goes through Kuzminki Part and includes tasks related to Paustovsky’s works.

Gogol’s House

For this museum, the students developed a project of Gogolege, an interactive college. The project is aimed at schoolchildren, who equally love both Gogol’s mysteries and Hogwarts magic. The website offers a test, which divides the participants into three departments –devilry, soul-searching, and Government Inspectors. In order to graduate and get a degree from one of the departments, the schoolchildren will have to visit the real museum. The final version of Gogolege will be available in spring 2018 and defended as a master’s graduation project.

Tolstoy Museum

‘Tolstoy Rules’ – this is how the students named their bike quest for the writer’s estate museum in Khamovniki. To start the bike trip around Tolstoy’s Moscow, you need to launch a chat bot in Telegram. If the tasks seem too hard, the bot gives clues and helps reach the destination point. Specifically for this bike quest, the museum is planning to expand the number of bike parking spaces.

Photos by mosgortur.ru

The news article on the Mosgortur website (in Russian).