Urban designers and architects almost always focus on future scenarios for cities. We tend to forget that at, the same time, many, many city dwellers are just living their daily lives. They drive their cars through over-populated streets, they sit in front of computers in offices, and they buy their daily groceries in the supermarket around the corner. Shouldn’t we take a moment to look at the things that are happening now in our cities? The Strelka Institute in Moscow hosts a new program around the theme Urban Routines — everyday life in the big city.
Since its opening three years ago, Moscow’s Strelka Institute has grown into one of the world’s leading institutes for architecture, media and design. During its few years of existence the institute has already accommodated some 110 students, 30 teachers and 200 international experts who have studied and looked at the complex problems of a Russian city, the urban environment in general and the nature of its transformation. Located in a former chocolate factory on an island in the Moskva river, Strelka is not just another design school, as we noticed some time ago when we had to give a talk — it’s also creative hub thanks to its lovely bar, restaurant and roof terrace.
The Strelka Institute’s post-graduate program have already done a great job in introducing the notion of public space into the Russian context and making urban development a public matter. In the upcoming research year, the theme will be Urban Routines. This time the focus will be on the everyday lives of Moscovites, down-to-earth, the very now, the complex world of the ordinary, the routine… subjects that are quite under-researched and poorly analyzed in urban design. How does one remain a visionary, while closely studying the very fabric of reality? What national habits and traditions continue influencing daily routines and what is being imported from other cultures? Urban routines will be turned inside out along four thematic lines — Dwellings, Offices, Cars and Retail.
The outcomes of research will make up the Urban Routines student publication, as well as a big student exhibition in Russian and English, that will open a month after the launch of the upcoming Venice Biennale of Architecture. Sounds good, huh? Click here for all information regarding the program. There’s only one week left to apply for this program, so be quick if you’re interested!