As the forces shaping our built environment have shifted, engaging technology, networks, and complex systems, architects need to envision more than the physical space but produce narratives on how to best operate within this new societal landscape. In this context, speculative architecture seems to have never been more critical; therefore this article takes a closer look at the mediums that currently question the existing conditions of the built environment and explore new architectural possibilities.
Strelka Institute: The Latest Architecture and News
In order to inspire our audience, generate critical debates, and develop ideas, ArchDaily has been continuously questioning architects about the future of architecture. To define emerging trends that will shape the upcoming cities, examining “What will be the future of architecture?” became an essential inquiry. More relevant during these ever-changing moments, discover 10 interviews from ArchDaily’s archived YouTube playlists that will highlight diverse visions from 10 different pioneers of the architecture field.
Strelka Institute's 2020 Summer program has invited Delft University and Politecnico di Milano professor Filippo Santoni de Sio’s to give a lecture about keeping control of technology which is more and more intelligent and autonomous.
Our future is full of robots and artificial intelligence. Intelligent systems like the ones we already have in our smartphones assess our health, make financial transactions, take strategic decisions and actions in warfare, drive our cars, and more. Some people dream of intelligent systems that will perfectly match our desires and needs, be beneficial for everybody, and make us happier, healthier, richer, and smarter. Others fear intelligent systems will turn against us, make us unhappy and unemployed, damage us, enslave us, and dehumanize us (if not kill us). Which scenario will eventually be realised crucially depends on the question of whether we as a society will be able to control the direction of future technological development.
Strelka hosts online public presentations of The Terraforming 2020 program to showcase the results of five months of research, investigation and creative exploration.
The two events will premiere projects by 9 multidisciplinary teams and 4 research fellows. The work presented will cover a range of topics of space and sci-fi, artificial food and landscapes, geo- and macro-engineering, and range from speculative design proposals, to cinema, to legal frameworks, to practical propositions for intervention.
The presentations will be accompanied by keynotes from the faculty of The Terraforming – Benjamin Bratton, Lisa Messeri, Jussi Parikka, Helen Hester and Kim Stanley Robinson.
This summer, on the occasion of the annual Moscow Urban Forum, ArchDaily's CEO David Basulto visited the Russian capital to give a talk at the event and meet with some friend of ArchDaily. Among others, David visited Strelka Institute, our dearest longtime partner and companion, and spoke with its CEO Varvara Melnikova.
ArchDaily, Strelka Institute, and Strelka KB have selected a long list of 50 architectural projects nominated for the joint ArchDaily & Strelka Award, which celebrates emerging architects and new ideas that transform the contemporary city. Now the readers of ArchDaily and Strelka Mag can vote for their favorite project to decide the finalists.
ArchDaily, Strelka KB and Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design announce an open call for a joint award to celebrate emerging architects and new ideas that transform contemporary cities. Apply before July 10.
The New Normal, a three year-long educational programme at Moscow's Strelka Institute of Architecture, Media and Design, is focused on "the opportunities posed by emerging technologies for interdisciplinary design practices." In this short essay, taken from a new book of the same name, course director Benjamin Bratton lays out the thesis behind the project.
Something has shifted, it seems. We are making new worlds faster than we can keep track of them, and the pace is unlikely to slow. If our technologies have advanced beyond our ability to conceptualize their implications, such gaps can be perilous. In response, one impulse is to pull the emergency brake and to try put all the genies back in all the bottles. This is ill-advised (and hopeless).
Better instead to invest in emergence, in contingency: to map the new normal for what it is, and to shape it toward what it should be.
In this article, originally published by Strelka Magazine and translated into English by Alexandra Tumarkina, Anton Khitrov sits down with Julia Ardabyevskaya to analyse the urban environment and spectacular world that the blockbuster movie Ghost in the Shell creates.
Ghost in the Shell, a new sci-fi blockbuster starring Scarlett Johansson, is based on a 1992 manga comic and a more famous 1995 anime adaptation. In the film, humans are presented as obsessed with high-tech prosthetics, spending vast amounts of money on “self-improvement”. The story proceeds to show that the next step for humanity will be complete robotization; this new generation of human machines is represented by the movie's heroine – a female cyborg with an organic brain but a synthetic body. The action takes place in a futuristic city in which almost every surface is covered in holograms the size of a skyscraper, each and every one an advertisement.
Benjamin Bratton, Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design at the University of California, San Diego, is the new Programme Director at Moscow's Strelka Institute. The New Normal is based on the premise that "something has shifted. [...] We are making new worlds faster than we can keep track of them, and the pace is unlikely to slow."
Have our technologies have advanced beyond our ability to conceptualize their implications? "One impulse," the course advocates, "is to pull the emergency brake and to try put all the genies back in the bottle." According to Bratton, this is hopeless. "Better instead to invest in emergence, in contingency: to map The New Normal for what it is, and to shape it toward what it should be."
This article, written by Svetlana Kondratyeva and translated by Olga Baltsatu for Strelka Magazine, examines the most interesting cases of the role of culture in sustainable urban development based on the UNESCO report.
UNESCO published the Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development in the fall of 2016. Two UN events stimulated its creation: a document entitled Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which emphasizes seventeen global goals for future international collaboration, was signed in September of 2015 at the Summit in New York. Habitat III, the conference held once in twenty years and dedicated to housing and sustainable urban development, took place in Ecuador in October of 2016. The question of culture’s role in urban development, and what problems it can solve, was raised at both events. To answer it, UNESCO summarized global experience and included successful cases of landscaping, cultural politics, events, and initiatives from different corners of the world in the report.
While Yekaterinburg’s avant-garde architecture is the city’s hallmark, and Moscow’s avant-garde is the subject of arguments, in Saint Petersburg the prominence of the style and its influence are somewhat harder to identify. Some researchers even suggest that the avant-garde is an “outcast” or a “non-existent style” here, and its presence in has remained largely unrecognized. Alexander Strugach sheds light on this phenomenon:
In Saint Petersburg, the avant-garde style is simply overshadowed by an abundance of Baroque, Modernist and Classical architecture, and is not yet considered an accomplished cultural heritage category. Meanwhile, gradual deterioration makes proving the cultural value of avant-garde buildings even more difficult.
In August of this year the White Tower, one of Yekaterinburg’s signature Constructivist-era buildings, opened its doors to the public for the first time. Polina Ivanova, Director of the Podelniki Architecture Group gave Strelka Magazine insight into how the practice got its hands on the tower, and launched it as the city's latest cultural venue.
The Strelka Institute for Architecture, Media and Design has launched the enrollment campaign for the postgraduate education program. The theme of the 7th academic year at Strelka is entitled The New Normal. Research will focus on the new contemporary condition, which has emerged because of the rapid development of technology—including machine intelligence, biotechnology, automation, alternative spaces created in VR and AR—and define new paths for urban design and development.
Earlier this year the development of a new Street Design Standard for Moscow was completed under a large-scale urban renovation program entitled My Street, and represents the city's first document featuring a complex approach to ecology, retail, green space, transportation, and wider urban planning. The creators of the manual set themselves the goal of making the city safer and cleaner and, ultimately, improving the quality of life. In this exclusive interview, Strelka Magazine speaks to the Street Design Standard's project manager and Strelka KB architect Yekaterina Maleeva about the infamous green fences of Moscow, how Leningradskoe Highway is being made suitable for people once again, and what the document itself means for the future of the Russian capital.
When it comes to urbanism these days, people’s attention is increasingly turning to Moscow. The city clearly intends to become one of the world’s leading megacities in the near future and is employing all necessary means to achieve its goal, with the city government showing itself to be very willing to invest in important urban developments (though not without some criticism).
A key player in this plan has been the Moscow Urban Forum. Although the forum’s stated goal is to find adequate designs for future megacities, a major positive side-effect is that it enables the city to organize the best competitions, select the best designers, and build the best urban spaces to promote the city of Moscow. The Forum also publishes research and academic documents to inform Moscow’s future endeavors; for example, Archaeology of the Periphery, a publication inspired by the 2013 forum and released in 2014, notably influenced the urban development on the outskirts of Moscow, but also highlighted the importance of combining urban development with the existing landscape.
In this interview Nadya Nilina, a Russian architect, urban planner and educator specialising in large-scale masterplanning and historical preservation, traces the formation of Russian discourse on urbanism and discusses what goals might be set for the future of urbanisation in the country.
Alongside Prof. Dr. Ronald Wall, Nilina is curating the Urbanisation of Developing Countries course as part of the new Advanced Urban Design programme at Moscow's Strelka Institute, which will provide a detailed critical overview of Russian urban development over the last three hundred years. Urbanisation of Developing Countries is considered one of the key topics in urbanism today and represents a large and complex part of this discussion.
Developed early on in the Soviet era, and fully subordinate to Soviet ideology, the Constructivist movement was intended to form the foundations of a brave new world. The introduction of the Five-Year Plans coincided with the time when Constructivism was adopted as the official architectural style in the USSR. These circumstances allowed many architects to implement daring projects across the entire Soviet Union, and the Urals became one of the biggest magnets.
In this article—written by Sasha Zagryazhsky, translated by Philipp Kachalin and with photographs by Fyodor Telkov—you can take a virtual tour of fourteen of Yekaterinburg's most significant Soviet Constructivist buildings.