September 5, 2019 - Strelka Institute - The Terraforming: new research program for 2020
e-flux Architecture
September 5, 2019
September 5, 2019

Strelka Institute

Black Hole image, captured using The Event Horizon Telescope.

The Terraforming: new research program for 2020

Application deadline: October 31, 2019

theterraforming.strelka.com
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On August 27, Strelka Education Programme Director Benjamin Bratton presented the Institute’s new tuition-free research programme, The Terraforming.

The Terraforming is the comprehensive project to fundamentally transform Earth cities, technologies, and ecosystems to ensure that the planet will be capable of supporting Earth-like life. Artificiality, astronomy, and automation form the basis of that alternative planetarity.

The term “terraforming” usually refers to transforming the ecosystems of other planets or moons to make them capable of supporting Earth-like life, but the looming ecological consequences of what is called the Anthropocene suggest that in the decades to come, we will need to terraform Earth if it is to remain a viable host for Earth-like life.

The next Strelka education programme will explore the implications of this proposition for urbanism at planetary scale, a venture that is full of risk—technical, philosophical, and ecological. The programme will consider the past and future role of cities as a planetary network by which humans occupy the Earth’s surface.

The programme will run as an interdisciplinary urban design think-tank directed by design theorist and author, Benjamin Bratton. Over the course of the initiative, The Terraforming will host contributions from multiple faculty and experts including: Jussi Parikka, Nick Srnicek, Helen Hester, Robert Pietrusko, Kim Stanley Robinson, Liam Young, Elie During, Metahaven, Denis Leontiev, Nicolay Boyadjiev, Boris Groys, Holly Herndon, Mat Dryhurst, Lisa Messeri, Kodwo Eshun, Design Earth, Xin Liu and many others.

The Terraforming will mix seminars, studio work and technical workshops in an alternating sequence of modules running over a period of 5 months (from January 25 until July 5, 2020). The programme will combine intensive studies in Moscow with field trips within Russia and abroad, including a research trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts (MIT / Harvard). The programme is tuition free and researchers receive a monthly stipend. 

Strelka Institute invites researchers and designers from diverse backgrounds such as architecture, urbanism, film, interaction design, software design, humanities & social sciences, game design, economics, and others who are interested in how urban design research can shift toward the governance of infrastructures that operate on different time-scales than our current cultural narratives. 

The design research of the programme will articulate what is at stake, how we actually arrived at this point and, most importantly, what should happen next. The researchers will work with the highest resolution media for their models of proposition, which will be primarily cinema and text.

For further information, please visit the programme’s website.

Deadline for applications is October 31, 2019.

Strelka Institute for media, architecture and design is a non-governmental institution founded in 2009 in Moscow, Russia with a mission to change physical and cultural landscape of Russian cities. 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.

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