The New Normal is a multidisciplinary postgraduate programme at the Strelka Institute which focuses on research and design for the city and explores opportunities and challenges posed by emerging technologies for interdisciplinary design practices.

The New Normal is a 3-year initiative Strelka started in 2016. Each year the Institute admits 30 students from around the world for a 5-months research cycle as part of this longer initiative. The programme functions as a “speculative urbanism think-tank”, a platform for the invention and articulation of a new discourse and new models.

Application period for the programme 2018/19 is now over.

Visit to learn more about the programme. If you have any questions about the admission process, contact us at


  • Multidisciplinary
  • Tuition-free (+ monthly stipend)
  • In English
  • Duration: 5 months (January 30, 2019 - June 28, 2019)
  • Class size: 30 students (15 Russian & 15 international)
  • Residency in Moscow + trips within Russia and abroad

The New Normal 2018/19 is designed for young professionals with diverse backgrounds: architecture, urbanism, film & cinema, interaction design, software design, humanities & social sciences, game design, economics, and more.

During the intensive 5-months programme students will work in small teams to research and develop original speculative interventions and platforms. Urban design projects include spatial plans, but the Strelka programme also emphasizes strategy, cinema and software.

Strelka’s experimental programme employs tools and approaches from a wide variety of disciplines and mixes seminar, studio and technical workshops in an alternating sequence of modules that closely link conceptualization and prototyping, one folding into the other. Students will critically engage urban futures in traditional and non-traditional ways: formal analysis, scenario development, site modeling and programming, speculative design, quantitative cultural data analysis and visualization, and the contemporary philosophy of technology, design, and aesthetics.

The programme is designed and led by Benjamin Bratton (The New Normal Programme Director) – sociological, media, design theorist and author based in California. He is a Professor of Visual Arts and Director of the Center for Design at the University of California, San Diego and Visiting Faculty at SCI_Arc. In addition to Bratton, Strelka Faculty include Liam Young, Keller Easterling, Metahaven, Lev Manovich, as well as Ben Cerveny, Rival Strategy (Marta Ferreira De Sá + Benedict Singleton), Etienne Turpin, Paul Feigelfeld, Geoff Manaugh, Armen Avanessian, Gene Kogan, Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby and many others.

The third year of The New Normal design research programme at the Strelka institute builds on the work of the two previous years. Learn more about the programme, see the final projects from the previous year and submit your application at

Read Benjamin Bratton’s essay The New Normal – part manifesto and part syllabus. ‘It lays out why we would undertake an urban design programme 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’ (Benjamin Bratton).