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

Education programme 2017/18 focuses on research and design for the city and explores the opportunities posed by emerging technologies for interdisciplinary urban design practices. The New Normal is a speculative urbanism think-tank, a platform for the invention and articulation of a new discourse and new models.



AIR KISS is a speculative project looking into a visionary present, a “next normal” of Moscow. It carries a suggestive future scenario, where AI embedded in material and ambient computation in the form of a master DAO have largely become responsible for an all-capturing, all-tracking, equalitarian and predictive governance. It is a state of liquid anarchy where legislation morphs according to users’ values, beliefs and behaviour patterns in a hi-res geographical granulation of tracking and infrastructural implementation.

What used to be a room in a house, a street in the city, a suburban area, an oblast or a nation are now all subject to different degrees of amorphous legislation and flavours of logic. This is an ecosystem that simultaneously dissolves old state, sovereignty, property and even personal boundaries and on the other hand creates multiple levels of autonomy, zones that expand from anything like body parts to tectonic plates.

The video serves as a visionary medium of the proposed governance model and consists of several vignettes unfolding the post-state conditions in Moscow. The narratives show glimpses of human interaction, prototypes for future interfaces, and urban repercussions, such as the obsoletion of institutional buildings, dissolution of borders and modes of spatial distribution. The urban fabric of today is ashed out with the future, while narration visits the perception of human and non-human entities. The urban regime in which in institutional buildings become obsolete due to the death of old governmental structures brings up the question of their appropriation by citizens.

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 initiative.

During the intensive program, students work in small teams to research and develop original speculative interventions and platforms. Urban design projects include spatial plans, but the Strelka program also emphasizes strategy, cinema and software.

The New Normal program is designed for young designers and specialists from around the world with diverse backgrounds: architecture, urbanism, film & cinema, interaction design, software design, humanities & social sciences, game design, economics, and more

The Education programme is project-based and runs for 5 months (February 2018 – July 2018), combining intensive studies in Moscow with an international field trip and internships. The programme is tuition free, and participants are provided a monthly stipend.

About Strelka Institute

The New Normal is an experimental postgraduate programme of Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design - 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:

Education programme 2017/18 focuses on research and design for the city and explores the opportunities posed by emerging technologies for interdisciplinary design practices.

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.


The second year of The New Normal design research program at the Strelka institute builds on the work of the previous year. This year, we shift our focus East, and toward emergent systems of value: ecologies, logistics, governance, addressing, gaming, moving, seeing, living. Our design research will explore four interrelated areas.


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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 geodesign.

Core Faculty

Ben Cerveny
Keiichi Matsuda
Kim Albercht
Etienne Turpin
Sougwen Chung
Julieta Aranda
Geoff Manaugh
Gene Kogan
Casey Reas
Agustin Indaco
Petra Blaisse
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby
Armen Avanessian
Marta Ferreira de Sá and Benedict Singleton
Trevor Paglen

Other visiting lecturers and experts from year 1

Alexander Semenov, marine biologist
Alexey Kokorin, climatologist
Angelina Davydova, environmental journalist
Anna Bronovitskaya, architectural historian
Annika Kuhlmann, artist
Anton Vidokle, artist and filmmaker
Arseny Zhilyaev, artist
Christine Bjerke, architect
Christopher Kulendran, artist
Daniele Profeta, architect
Evgeniya Belyakova, activist
John Graham, systems engineer
Konstantin Glazkov, sociologist
McKenzie Wark, writer
Nick Srnicek, writer
Pascal Gagneux, biologist

Patricia Reed, artist and writer
Paul McCabe, facilitation and innovation professional
Polina Kolozaridi, sociologist,
Sascha Pohflepp, artist and writer
Sean Monahan, writer and artist
Sergei Sitar, architect
Sergey Medvedev, political scientist
Sergey Sivaev, economist
Sheldon Brown, artist
Stephanie Sherman, artist and curator
Tamara Alvarez Fernandez, anthropologist
Teddy Cruz, architect
Thomas Björk, learning facilitator
Valia Fetisov, artist and programmer
Zach Blas, artist and programmer

Photo of Olga Tenisheva

Olga Tenisheva

Executive Director

Photo of Nicolay Boyadjiev

Nicolay Boyadjiev

Programme Design Tutor

Photo of Masha Slavnova

Masha Slavnova

Programme Tutor

Photo of Elena Mozgovaya

Elena Mozgovaya

Programme Producer

Photo of Vlad Ilkevich

Vlad Ilkevich

Student Coordinator

Curriculum: Modules

The New Normal

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Pattern recognition

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Speculative sensing and cinema

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Speculative Megastructures

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Platform Aesthetics

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Project strategy and development

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Field trip: China

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Participants of the programme will be in residency in Moscow as well as go on research trips within Russia and to China.

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.

Admission period for the New Normal 2017/18 programme is now closed.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

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