During the new academic year Strelka students will answer the question: ‘What has become “The New Normal” in the modern world?’
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.
The New Normal is:
- 30 international students from Russia and abroad
- monthly stipend of $600
- 5 months from February 2017 to July 2017
- for experts in media, architecture, design, urbanism, creative industries (artists, scenarists, writers, filmakers), and other fields like software studies, digital media, social sciences
- in English
Students will learn the methods of creative interdisciplinary urban research, speculative design, scenario planning and ideation, digital technologies, critical thinking, platform design, prototyping, urban and social media data gathering and analysis.
Varvara Melnikova, Director of the Strelka Institute:
“Strelka Institute has always been a think-tank for modern research, innovations and shaping a new discourse and models: we have been examining public spaces, citizens as consumers, urban routines and the agents of changes when their roles were to be shaped. Now we witness the need to define the outcome of the process, when technologies influence our demand to urban environment and our habits to a greater extend than even political decisions. Within The New Normal we strive to develop an effective dictionary of the contemporary era and define the processes which have changed us, but have not been articulated. The future is where we will live, but first we need to catch up to the present”.
Benjamin H. Bratton, new Education Program Director at Strelka Institute, is an American sociologist and architectural theorist. Bratton is a Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at the University of California, San Diego, where he has become Tenured Professor and developed a program on speculative design.
Benjamin H. Bratton about The New Normal:
“Have our technologies advanced beyond our ability to conceptualize and describe their implications? If so, such a gaps can be perilous. In response, one impulse is to pull the emergency brake, and to try to put all the genies back in all the bottles. This is ill-advised (and hopeless). Better instead to invest in emergence, in contingency, in designation: to map the New Normal for what it is, and to shape it toward what it should be. That is what we strive to in the coming academic year”.
In addition to Bratton, Lev Manovich, expert in new media, is a leading member of faculty. Lev was one of the first to work with big data and information analysis in social networks. Lev is the author of a famous book ‘The Language of New Media’ and director of the Software Studies research initiative which produced the Selfiecity project. The Verge put him on the list of the 50 people who create the future. Among other faculty members are Liam Young, an architect and futurologist, who operates in spaces between, design, fiction, and cinematic futures; Metahaven, Amsterdam-based studio for design, research and art, founded by graphic designers and writers Daniel van der Velden and Vinca Kruk, who teached at ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design, Yale University, New Haven, and Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam.
Minimum age required is 25 years old. Working language is English. Application date is November 6th. More information is on programme Facebook page.
The program consists of 5 modules:
The New Normal
Students will examine the challenges posed by emerging technologies but the forms of speculative urbanism we will explore have to do with shifting boundaries between human, society, system, and ecology.
In this module students will learn new techniques in quantitative and qualitative analysis, data visualization, and cultural analytics.
The module is about several new design technologies, including virtual /augmented reality, biosensing, and 3D scanning.
Science-fiction often anticipates things before they arrive. The lesson is that we cannot enact another urbanism before we imagine it and model it. This module will explore potential urban futures, from the metabolisms of global flows to infrastructure scale robotics, and how 21sth century modernity will be shaped by how cities rise to common challenges.
The design outcomes of the program will mix traditional and emerging forms of design and media to reset the terms of the urban discussion. In this module will learn strategies for the development and communication of design projects as speculative urban platforms, incorporating branding, user experience, narrative, irony, paradox and sleight-of-hand to turn audiences into users, developers, believers, collaborators. Here urban futures move from fiction into prototype.
About Strelka Institute
Strelka was founded in 2009 to change the cultural and physical landscapes of Russian cities. The Institute promotes positive changes and creates new ideas and values through its educational activities. Strelka provides brand new learning opportunities, while the City remains at the centre of the Institute’s research programme.
Strelka Institute was included in the list of 100 best institutions for architecture according to the Domus magazine and also is a holder of Russian pavilion’s special mention of the Venice architecture Biennale 2014. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Institute — Alexander Mamut.