The New Normal

Programme  2016/17

Something has shifted, it seems. We are making new worlds faster than we can keep track of them.

Education programme 2016/17 focuses on research and design for the city and explores the opportunities posed by emerging technologies for interdisciplinary design practices. Strelka will become a speculative urbanism think-tank, a platform for the invention and articulation of a new discourse and new models.

About Strelka Institute

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design is an educational institution in Moscow, Russia, founded in 2009. The Institute promotes positive changes and creates new ideas and values through its educational activities. Strelka provides new learning opportunities, while the City remains at the centre of the Institute`s research.

Strelka encompasses:

  • A 5-months postgraduate research programme in English;
  • A public summer programme with a series of free thematic lectures, discussion, workshops and film screenings;
  • “Advanced Urban Design” master`s programme (implemented jointly with the Higher School of Urbanism);
  • The Strelka Press publishing;
  • Vector online school for urban entrepreneurs in Russian;

Education programme 2016/17 focuses on research and design for the city and explores the opportunities posed by emerging technologies for interdisciplinary design practices.

The Programme employs tools and approaches from a wide variety of disciplines and is aimed at young international and Russian specialists from a variety of professional backgrounds with a strong interest in working on urban-related projects who would bring their own unique perspective, vision and expertise to the team.

The Education programme is project-based and runs for 5 months (February 2017 – June 2017), combining intensive studies in Moscow with an international field trip and internships.

The New Normal: Introduction

Something has shifted, it seems. We are making new worlds faster than we can keep track of them, and the pace is unlikely to slow. Have our technologies advanced beyond our ability to conceptualize their implications? If so, such gaps can be perilous.

In response, one impulse is to pull the emergency brake and to try put all the genies back in the bottle. This is ill-advised (and hopeless). Better instead to invest in emergence, in contingency: to map The New Normal for what it is, and to shape it toward what it should be.

Programme Director

Benjamin H. Bratton is the new Programme Director of the Strelka Institute. As one of the most important global design theorists, he brings an extraordinarily interdisciplinary scope to our research.

He is Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design at the University of California, San Diego. He recently founded the school`s new Speculative Design undergraduate major. He is also a Professor of Digital Design at The European Graduate School and Visiting Faculty at SCI_Arc (The Southern California Institute of Architecture).

He has recently published two books of design theory, strategy and fiction. In The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2016) Bratton outlines a new theory for the age of global computation and algorithmic governance.

He proposes that different genres of planetary scale computation-smart grids, cloud platforms, mobile apps, smart cities, the Internet of Things, automation- can be seen not as so many species evolving on their own, but as forming a coherent whole: an accidental megastructure that is both a computational infrastructure and a new governing architecture.

The book plots an expansive interdisciplinary design brief for The Stack-to-Come. Dispute Plan to Prevent Future Luxury Constitution (e-flux/ Sternberg Press, 2015) is a collection of short fictions on architecture, utopias and dystopias.

His current research project, “Theory and Design in the Age of Machine Intelligence” is on the unexpected and uncomfortable design challenges posed by A.I in various guises: from machine vision to synthetic cognition and sensation, and the macroeconomics of robotics to everyday geoengineering.

Core Faculty

This is the core faculty of the education programme. Over the next weeks we will be announcing more equally fantastic faculty and experts joining the Programme. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date on these announcements.

Curriculum: Modules

The New Normal

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Pattern recognition

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Synthetic Sensing

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Speculative Megastructures

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Field trip: California

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Platform Aesthetics

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Programme Outcomes: After Strelka

After graduating from the programme students will become a new kind of professional who is no longer limited by a particular occupation; they will no longer be just architects or UX designers or economists. In 5 months they will expand their professional training and acquire skills and methods that will enable them to create and apply multifunctional and multidisciplinary solutions to current urban problems.

As they develop their own vision for their design practice, they may develop projects toward many different formats and outcomes: online and offline, physical and virtual, fact and fiction. They will be encouraged to try and master new skills and experiment with diverse platforms.

Application period for the New Normal programme 2016/17 is now closed. The start date of the application period for the 2017/18 programme will be announced in August 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

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