The Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design opened its doors three years ago. 110 students, 30 teachers and over 200 international experts took part in developing a radically new intellectual and physical space in Moscow. This collective effort resulted in a unique research, educational and public center, looking at the complex problems of a Russian city. Strelka Institute studied urban environment and the nature of its transformation, as well as changed the world around us.
Within three years of its existence, Strelka’s educational programme developed several broad themes. In their projects students researched “Public Space”, “Design”, “Preservation”, “Thinning”, “Urban Culture”, “Hinterland”, “Megacity”, “Information”, “Education”. Student projects and research, while remaining inherently student work, made a significant impact on the evolution of public discussion in Moscow, helped introduce the notion of public space into the Russian context and focus public attention on the theme of urban development.
In 2013-14 Strelka will select the theme of its research & design studios differently. We are radically shifting perspective and in the framework of intensive three month research studios are focusing on very concrete, real and seemingly familiar matters.
Applications for this program are open until July 26th. Read more about the program:
While Strelka is discussing and designing the future, Russian city dwellers continue living their daily lives. Driving their cars through over-populated streets, sitting in front of their computers in offices, buying goods and groceries in stores and shops, at home educating their children, renovating, watching tv. The very usual Lebenswelt, routine, everyday – a gigantic and complex world of the ordinary – is quite under-researched and poorly analyzed. The theme for Strelka research this upcoming school year is Urban Routines.
This theme is both great risk and great responsibility for Strelka. How does one remain a visionary, while closely studying the very fabric of reality? Is it possible to research the structure of the ordinary and arrive at ambitious outcomes and to create on their basis innovative projects? How does one not drown in minute details and preserve the skill of balancing a detailed research of a very down-to-earth topic with a larger perspective? We hope to find answers to these questions, focusing on four themes of exploration and design: Dwelling, Offices, Cars and Retail.
The outcomes of research will make up the Urban Routines student publication, as well as a big student exhibition in Russian and English, that will open a month after the launch of the upcoming Venice Biennale of Architecture.
The theme of Urban Routines in an interesting way complements the main theme of the Venice Biennale, that Strelka team is developing a concept of the Russian pavilion for and that will stay in a form of close dialogue with Strelka education programme. While Rem Koolhaas, the curator of the 13th Biennale, suggests reflecting on the processes of adaptation of the modernity to various national cultures, that took place in the course of a whole century (1914-2014), Strelka education programme will look at the same processes in the context of the present. How and why does the urban space of a Russian city shape today? What did globalization bring us and what lessons can be learned from the experience of other nations, that took the same path before us? What national habits and traditions continue influencing daily routines and what is being imported from other cultures? Each studio will research these issues and offer its original look at ordinary life.