Projects and research

The New Normal programme is designed similar to a 3-year think-tank structure. Research and design projects are not individual but rather collaborative endeavors specific to different modules or programme cycles. As such The New Normal is an ongoing effort: each year’s sequence will result in an annual body of work that will, in turn, form part of the three year cycle of distributed, collaborative research between the core faculty and the students.

The final projects emerge as new platforms for urban engagement and governance including applications, simulations, protocols; as worlds glimpsed by partial views and emergent totalities; as models for foresight, mapping, and reaction; as systems for sensing, differentiating, and archiving; and as territories for development, addition, subtraction and mobilization.

See below a selection of our ongoing research during the Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.

Researchers

The programme convenes young professionals from Russia and abroad from a wide range of backgrounds — architects, programmers, interaction designers, game designers, artists, philosophers, filmmakers, novelists, economists, free-range computer scientists and others.

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Tsz Ching Joy Zhu

Writer

China

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Asia Bazdyrieva

Art Historian

Ukraine

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Paul Heinicker

Designer

Germany

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Huey Chan

Architect

Malaysia

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Tom Pearson

Artist

United Kingdom

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Mikhail Anisimov

Developer

Russia

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Anna Paukova

Psychologist

Russia

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Pedro Moraes

Artist

Brazil

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Konstantina Eleni

Architect

Greece

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Daria Stupina

Architect

Russia

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Ivan Puzyrev

Project Manager

Russia

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Nataliya Mezhetskaya

Designer

Russia

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James Kubiniec

Architect

United States of America

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Katya Sivers

Artist

Russia

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Nikolay Nikolaev

Urban planner

Russia

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Yulia Gromova

Journalist

Russia

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Christopher Burman

Artist

United Kingdom

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Thomas Grogan

Designer

United Kingdom

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Denise Luna

Architect

Mexico

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Qiao Lin

Programmer

China

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Alexey Orlov

Videographer

Russia

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Solveig Suess

Designer

Switzerland

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Leo Stuckardt

Architect

Germany

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Andrei Zhileikin

Lawyer

Russia

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Artem Konevskikh

Physicist

Russia

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Ekaterina Bryskina

Architect

Russia

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Tomas Clavijo

Architect

Spain

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Lukáš Likavčan

Philosopher

Czech Republic

Photo of Dana Baddad

Dana Baddad

Graphic Designer

Russia

Photo of Liudmila Savelyeva

Liudmila Savelyeva

Photographer

Russia

Photo of Paul Van Herk

Paul Van Herk

Architect

Australia

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Vsevolod Okin

Analyst

Moscow

Public presentations

The objective of broadcasting the Institute’s work through various channels (publications, public presentations and events, project websites and exhibitions) is to add critical new perspectives and facilitate discussions. It is a way to explain what we do and engage with the public audience. Multidisciplinary teams present their projects which take several forms, from cinema to software to strategy, and range from imaginative speculations to practical propositions for intervention. These presentations are broadcasted and promoted online.

Final project reviews 2018

The second year of The New Normal focused on expert feedback and panel discussion about the final projects as initial provocations and proposals for larger ongoing initiatives and collaborations. The invited panel of reviewers at The New Normal 2018 Final Project Review included:

  • Benjamin Bratton, Programme Director and design theorist
  • Etienne Turpin, philosopher, writer and founder of anexact office
  • Anastassia Smirnova, writer, researcher and co-founder of SVESMI
  • Patricia Reed, artist, designer and writer
  • Ben Cerveny, designer and strategist
  • Jennifer Leung, architect and MIT faculty
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Showcase 2017

On July 3-4, 2017, Strelka Institute hosted a big Showcase event in Moscow, a two-evening presentation of the first year of research of our joint design think-tank. See the faculty presentations from the event (project presentations are available above alongside the project descriptions)

SHOWCASE PRESENTATIONS:

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The New Normal Covfefe

Benjamin Bratton

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Scale & System

Benjamin Bratton, Rem Koolhaas and Janna Bystrykh

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CITY EVERYWHERE

Liam Young

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Metabolizing complexity

Ben Cerveny

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Medium design

Keller Easterling

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THEY ARE BUSHY, THEY ARE DARK, AND THEY ARE CLUMPS

Julieta Aranda

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Strelka students about Strelka (summer 2018)

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Programme essays

This is a new series by Strelka Press, one that parallels the Institute’s 2017-2019 programme. The first essays in the series will be written by the Core Faculty of the programme - Benjamin Bratton, Keller Easterling, Daniel van der Velden and Vinca Kruk (Metahaven), Liam Young and Lev Manovich and will be released throughout the year of 2017. Further essays written by invited faculty and experts are to follow in the next two years.

The first essay (Benjamin Bratton: The New Normal) is part manifesto and part syllabus. “It lays out why we would undertake an urban design program with such a strong emphasis on emerging technologies and speculative philosophy; or conversely, why we would convene a think-tank on emerging technology and speculative philosophy that takes urbanism — Russian urbanism, in particular — as its assignment.”

The second essay (Keller Easterling: Medium Design) is a provocation to invert some of our habitual approaches to problem solving, aesthetics and politics with regards to spatial practice. Rather than favoring declarations, right answers, objects or determinations, contemporary designers should learn to detect and manipulate the medium in which they are suspended and in which they change over time. To design medium is to manage the potentials and relationships between objects, the activity immanent in their organization... In other words, the disposition which makes some things possible and some things not.

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Student presentation at The New Normal Showcase (16:16)

PATTERNIST / СХЕМА

Emerging from speculations on urban so ware layers and research on informal economies, Patternist reimagines the spatial experience of the city embedded within a mixed reality platform. The project encompasses an introductory demo of a location-based augmented reality game, presented alongside urban research, gameplay documentation, and ficional materials.

The gameplay centers around exploring the terrain of a fictional exoplanet, Patternist-3, overlaid onto Earth’s surface through augmented layers. Three teams trade and collaborate to collect fragments of the global-scale map and transform their territory.

The project responds to the effects of urban scale artificial intelligence on a near-future Moscow through the lense of a location-based augmented reality that codifies the city through the urban typologies that are not immediately legible to the topological view of artificial intelligence.

Extending this obfuscatory logic, the game acts as a strategy to facilitate alternative social and economic networks within cities through an algorithmic trading system. Its technical roadmap of decentralization looks toward how distributed ledger technology will change in-game economies as virtual assets rapidly circulate through location-based platforms.

For the introductory demo, Patternist is built upon intensive research into several neighborhoods of Moscow, which inspires a chimerical inventory of game objects spawned in unique locations throughout the city. From darkened underpasses to onion domes, the game transposes site specific urbanism and design onto the topology of another planet that is constantly transformed and terraformed in real-time by players.


  • Team

  • Lina Bondarenko

  • Martin Byrne

  • Holly Childs

  • Kei Kreutler

  • Jelena Viskovic