Graduate Ivan Kuryachiy, 29, architect, Tomsk: “Strelka Worked Like an Awareness Expander”

08.04.2012, 16:12
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Ivan studied within the Thinning research theme headed by Jiang Jun and Joseph Grima. In his project, entitled Infrastructure/Borderline: Structures That Shape the Landscape, Ivan compared the modern economic system with a feudal one arguing that its epicenter lies in the very heart of Europe – the gas deposits of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region that provides Europe with gas.

My decision to enroll at Strelka was strongly influenced by the fact that the educational programme was designed by OMA and that Rem Koolhaas was to teach. But the most important “for” was that I had for a long time wanted to start to do research.

Strelka worked like an awareness expander: it greatly increased the field of discourse in which I was involved. And yes, the possibilities increased greatly, as did the quality of my professional network.

I feel that our research process, we gathered a great deal of interesting material, most of which must still be processed and presented as part of the continuing cooperation between theme supervisors and graduates. A small part of my research project was presented at the Utilitas Interrupta installation at last year’s Lisbon Biennale of Design.

The new Russia is a very understudied theme: there is no quality statistics for the majority of regions, the changes undergone by the socio-economic and physical landscape are poorly documented and not studied well enough.

I am now working on developing a number of territory development strategies; these include both financial models and territory planning materials. This is a somewhat different level in relation to architectural practice: the architect (or urban planner) works with provided technical assignments that are formulated by development strategists. I am interested in structuring the part of urban development process in which architects and urban planners in Russia have as yet little involvement. It is primarily the domain of officials, investors and developers. What I do now can also be called design, but on the level of strategies, project implementation programmes and stakeholder cooperation models.