Rem Koolhaas and OMA / AMO have developed the programme for the 2010 / 2011 year at the Strelka Institute , a non-profit cross-disciplinary school in Moscow. Dang, the deadline for free scholarship international registrations was August 22nd – but you could blame me for not getting around to this until now. If you happen to be reading this in Italy, you could also hot-foot it across to Venice to hear Rem and Strelka founders Alexander Mamut and Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper discussing architectural education on the 26th.
Here’s this year’s programme. Love the last one.
What do we preserve? Is there an alternative to the existing relationship between preservation and dominant ideologies that privilege certain moments in history over others? How can we deal with preservation within the context of a market economy in which architecture and cities are often reduced to marketing tools? How do we preserve urban substance without compromising its vitality and capacity to incorporate changing lifestyles? This theme takes Russia as a case study for addressing and reframing preservation within the global context of the free market.
What happens to Russia when its neighbours are no longer reliant on Russian oil and gas? How can Russia’s energy-based economy diversify? How can the country’s climatic diversity and resource richness be translated into a new approach to power? What is the role of energy in shaping the emerging global order? This theme promotes energy as a subject of design and Russia as a platform for innovation.
How does the mobility of Russia’s population shape its urban environments? How is the decline of certain territories connected to the growth of others? When people move to cities in significant numbers, what happens to the places they leave behind? Demographic and urban change is a critical issue with which Russia has extensive experience. This theme will formulate a distinctly Russian perspective for a global conversation.
What is the state of design in Russia today? Is the status of architecture changing in the age of mass media? How does money influence taste? How does ideology influence design? How will the eastward shift in economic and political power influence the look of the 21st century? This theme is a critical examination of the current state of design.
What comprises public space in Russia: kitchens, bars, streets, squares or virtual social spaces? What should be done with the excess of open space produced by monumental Soviet planning? What can be learned from the architecture of improvisation that populated these spaces after the arrival of the market economy? Is there a correlation between the heavily-programmed nature of 21st century public space and the relative free-for-all of virtual social spaces? This theme examines the current state of shared space in Russia in its physical and virtual manifestations. It calls for a reassessment of the open spaces in Russian cities and a committed architectural engagement with the virtual territories created by the new media.