The construction of the city is something that goes beyond architects and planners. It involves the government, the citizens and the private sector. For the ArchDaily Interview series we have interviewed many architects with very different backgrounds, and we have started to include people outside the field that have played an important role either for our profession or the city.
During our last trip to Moscow, we had the opportunity to interview Alexander Mamut, businessman and investor who is involved in projects such as the Pioner Cinema, the Waterstone book chain, the blogging service LiveJournal and other projects related to culture, media and the city. He is also one of the founders of the Strelka Institute, a post graduate school located at the Chocolate Factory in the heart of Moscow and using the city as a laboratory, with an ambitious plan to raise the quality of architectural education in the country.
The founders of Strelka (who also include Sergey Adonyev, Dmitry Likin, Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper and Oleg Shapiro) invited Rem Koolhass to design the curriculum for this new school, who under the AMO research arm prepared the educational programme for Strelka, with a research agenda based on design, energy, preservation, public spaces and thinning. The institute brings together professionals from different disciplines to have a comprehensive approach to city and architecture, from architects to urbanists, writers, designers, scientists, and journalists.
The city of Moscow is facing tremendous challenges, due to the growth and changes it has undergone in the past few years, which will only accelerate as the result of its vibrant economy. The city is expected to double its population in the coming years, and many competitions, including the masterplan for the city's expansion, are being held with this objective in mind.
In this scenario, architecture education is key in order to form the new generation of professionals that wil face the critical issues of contemporary Russia. And this is why we wanted to include Alexander Mamut, whose passion for the city led him to invest in the city in a particular way, in our interview series. He is a good example of what can be done from the private sector to develop cities with a long-term vision.
During the interview, we discuss with Alexander Mamut the future of Moscow, how education can improve the quality of life of its habitants, the importance of the private sector in the development of cities, and more.