Founded by an impressive list of well-heeled Russian sponsors, with a curriculum and campus designed by Rem Koolhaas (founder of The Office for Metropolitan Architecture), The Strelka Institute for Architecture, Media and Design in Moscow, Russia was conceived as a “stock exchange for human capital.” Structured as a one-year pan-disciplinary school, Strelka boasts a summer program comprised of a series of lecture-events, public talks by industry leaders, podcasts, workshops, film screenings, performances and (of course) a bar at it’s social heart. Moreover, the institute’s educational framework is flexible enough for research gurus from MIT to established architects to create unorthodox classes: traditional courses like ‘the history of architecture’ are replaced with research themes (i.e.: Preservation, Public Space, Thinning, Urban Culture, Hinterland, Megacity, etc.). Since its recent inception three years ago, the institute has expanded its educational and creative ambitions, venturing into the world of publishing. Having published eight books, Strelka Press has a listing of authors with backgrounds as varied as their curriculum: from architects to a teacher of modern Chinese history.
The institute’s grand vision of education is truly contemporary in its execution. This nonprofit identifies itself as a ‘third place’: a space alternative to home and the workplace. Indeed, the institute has consulted on political urban development, created public art installations and enjoys a green campus. Almost all activities are free and only require registration, while all students receive a stipend to study. It’s no wonder young and restless Muscovites and industry elites alike gravitate around this international creative forum. This dynamic model of constant active participation stimulates an entirely new vision and conversation on the nature of education, wherein learning is a by-product of intelligent exchange.