Summer 2013:
Here and Now

It might be impossible to predict the future, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. Today architecture, design and technology are changing the course of time. Trying to see the spaces, mechanisms, stories and heroes of tomorrow forces us to expand our horizons and focus on the non-obvious, and hitherto invisible places where the future is being formed by the present.

Anna Shirokova and Anton Kalgaev
— Strelka Summer curators 

What is the secret to living through a changing world? When will robots finally change cities? How do northern cities and border regions live? Why do we need good markets in a city? Can you turn a profit on waste? Do cities appreciate their biennial art and architecture exhibitions? Who are urbanists, and where do they work? What do we know about Russia at all, and what global changes have we failed to notice?

Answers to these and many other questions will be on offer at lectures, discussions and workshops featuring some of the world’s most famous architects, designers and sociologists at Strelka this summer. Graduates of Strelka will talk about their current projects, while entrants will be able to try their hand at research. And that’s not including new publishing from Strelka Press, film premiers,  parties and much, much more.

From May 23 till September 20, all are welcome to share summer with us – especially those who bring an interest in the future of cities.

"Four quarters" Tea Parties

Throughout the summer we will be holding informal “Four quarters” tea parties. Each event will see a fifteen-minute debate amongst four experts, followed by an open discussion on topics including the industry and culture of rubbish dumps, the latest trends in biotechnology, public inquiry and how it works, and the history of Russian modernization and the economics of private property – from cemetery plots and garages to drive ways and fences.

Discussions and conferences

The arc of discussion will focus on border zones and the fate of people both separated and united by borders, including life on Russia’s borders with Norway, China, and the former Soviet Republics.

Another important theme is the assimilation of the north. What should be done with Russia’s developed northern regions? How can cities be developed in extreme cold? And what does Chukotka, Russia’s most remote region, look like following the reforms introduced by Roman Abramovich during his stint as governor between 2000 and 2008?

At the end of July a conference will examine the complex interrelationship between annual arts festivals and the cities that host them (including Moscow). And in the middle of the month, at a small festival dedicated food on the lawn directly outside Bar Strelka, we will be testing whether there is any point in urban gardens, preparing a feast, and debating how to feed large cities and the advantages of traditional markets over supermarkets. Carolyn Steel, author of the best-selling The Hungry City, will be joining us to deliver a lecture on the subject.


Japanese architect and 2013 Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito, whose works include the city museum in Yatsuseo and the award-winning Mediatheque building in Sendai, will discuss whether architecture is possible after modernism.

Charles Renfro, one of the team of developers behind New York’s Highline Park, will talk about his new projects in Boston, Rio de Janeiro and Palo Alto.
Mitchell Joachim, the inventor of the “house of living trees” and whose innovative environmental design projects led Wired magazine to name him “one of 15 people the U.S. president should listen to, ”will explain just what he would like to tell Barack Obama.

Professor of robotics Illah Nurbakhsh will discuss the many roles robots may play in the cities of the future.

Stephan Trüby and Manfredo de Robilant, who inspired Rem Koolhaas’s choice of theme of the coming Venice Biennale 2014, will talk about the history of corridors and ceilings.


Workshops at Strelka last from 2 to 7 days, and offer invaluable insights and useful practical skills.

Experts from the New School of Public Engagement (New York) will help worjshop participants to identify invisible boundaries within Moscow. Federico Parolotto, senior partner at the consulting firm Mobility in Chain (Milan), will lead a workshop on how to improve transportation hubs and pedestrian access to isolated areas. James Allen, director of the research department at the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design, will explain how architecture and acoustics interact and how sound “works” in a city. Felix Madrazo and his colleagues from the architectural research centre Supersudaca together with cultural studies expert Arseniy Khitrov will lead a summer school on critical thought, while an environmental summer school will work on designing “green” university campuses. Sociologist Albena Yaneva will teach exploration of the contradictions that arise around major architectural projects. And architectural historian Roger Connah will explain how to write about architecture.

Strelka's Education Program and Strelka Press

An exhibition of projects by students of Strelka’s 2012/2013 education program will be on display in the institute’s courtyard from June 26 through July 5. This is just one of a series of events that will be held throughout the summer to showcase the work of Strelka graduates. Elena Bykova will discuss urban redevelopment projects she is working on in Khimki, architect Natalia Kopeikina will talk about her contribution to create an artistic quarter in northwest Moscow, and a special workshop will showcase Jerzy Stankevic’s methods for developing parks. Studio teachers and experts who are helping students with their projects will discuss the themes and their findings from the year.

Strelka Press will host discussions on topics including the architectural results of the past 20 years in Moscow, the interrelationship between freedom, private property and architecture in Russia, and the organization of informal economies.

Holidays at Strelka

August will see Strelka courtyard become a summer playground where guests will be able able to play every generation of video game, from the earliest pixel-based classics to the latest releases, watch short films and the latest series of HBO’s The Newsroom on our big screen (screenings of which begin in mid July –simultaneous with the release of the new series in the United States), and, needless to say, listen to great music.

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