AMO develops an educational program for a new architecture school in Moscow
While the architectural field has changed more in the last 30 years than in the previous 3,000 – thanks to the rapid acceleration of globalization and the convulsions of the market economy – architectural education has mostly failed to keep pace. The Strelka Institute, in Moscow, proposes a different way of looking at architecture: not only for the general improvement of design, but with the intention of introducing research as the most essential basis of architectural education. AMO is developing an educational program with Strelka to address a range of issues that are pertinent worldwide, and particularly urgent in Russia.
Strelka, a non-profit and independent institute based in Moscow’s former Red October Chocolate Factory, brings together architects, intellectuals, designers, and media professionals in a relationship of creative interdisciplinarity. Each year, a select group of 30-40 students (all studying for free) will undertake pioneering and innovative research in order to generate a final ‘product’ – a report, book, website, film, object, or something else entirely.  With an ethos of “thinking and doing,” Strelka’s students will be tutored and guided by a network of prominent cultural figures selected and mobilized by AMO.

Students will focus on one of five topics developed by AMO: design, energy, preservation, public space and ‘thinning’ – the low inhabitance rate of many new developments in burgeoning cities, the gradual disappearance of other cities, and the simultaneous emptying out of rural areas. This concept is typical of how Strelka aims to engage students with ideas and issues beyond the realm of a standard architectural education.

AMO and Strelka will take a series of questions as a starting point for its research: How is design impacted by economics, politics, and journalism? How can architecture engage with energy and sustainability beyond the scale of individual buildings – especially given the vast renewable resources that Russia can tap? What should Russia preserve from the Soviet era, and how is the issue of preservation embedded in new architecture everywhere? In a moment where vitality is shifting to the digital realm, what are the implications for physical public space?

Project: Educational program for Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design

Status: Ongoing

Client: Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design

Location: Moscow

Budget: N/A

Program: Educational program for academic year 2010/11

Guardian, 10 August
Foreign Policy, 4 June
Monocle, 26 May
Vogue Russia, 26 May
The Independent, 25 May
Sztuka Architektury, 20 May

Partners in charge: Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf

Team: Willem Boning, Ekaterina Golovatyuk, Brendan McGetrick, Stephan Petermann, James Westcott