Monday 03.06.19, 18:00
Look who's talking. Day 1 (Conferences)

Conference on involving children in museum and architecture projects, organized by the Polytechnic Museum and Strelka Institute in the framework of city educational events of Polytech 2020 









On Day 1, educators, museum experts, and architects will discuss involvement tendencies and address three major topics: why it is important to promote participation practices, whether children can manage cities, and, most importantly, how to take children’s ideas seriously.

18:00–19:15. Forum Theatre and talk “Better Together”

The opening play of the Forum Theatre was created especially for the conference. Viewers will have a chance to put participation into action. Under the watchful eye of director Yulia Sheveleva, they will act as museum workers having a heated discussion about involving children in culture related processes. After that, they will join museum experts, architects, educators, and representatives of the children’s community in a talk on co-design and reasons to involve children in museum and architecture projects.

Speakers include:

  • Yulia Shakhnovskaya, General Director of the Polytechnic Museum;
  • Daria Agapova, founder and curator of the annual Festival “Children’s Days in St Petersburg”, family program coordinator of CulturaFest in Helsinki, co-organizer of a US–Russia Participatory Museum project;
  • Natalia Makovetskaya, Head of Engagement at Strelka KB;
  • Nadezhda Papudoglo, mother, author of books about maternity, Editor-in-chief at, Internet portal on educating children;
  • Mikhail Krotov, student at teenage program of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, volunteer at the Polytechnic Museum, student of high school 179.

Moderator: Oxana Moroz, culturologist, associate professor at MSSES, Creative Director at Gaidar Fund.

19:15–20:30. Showcase “Designing with Children”

Participation practices have long become an international trend. Russia is no exception and is developing the culture of involvement. For example, the architectural office Druzhba together with teenagers opened Meteor, a space in Moscow’s city center The topics to be addressed are: how to make children’s ideas come true, why a playground is a choice, and how to channel youth energy into something positive.


  • Architectural office Druzhba and architectural club Koni na Balkone form an interdisciplinary expert community. Bella Filatova argues that involving children in urban design is a two-way street: the city gets a new perspective and a pool of opportunities and children can make their own contribution while stepping outside playgrounds. According to Filatova, children must take part in creating shared spaces.
  • Architectural office Project Group 8 are pioneers in continuously embracing participation practices. Nadezhda Snegireva will talk about interactions with clients, municipal bodies, and ministries. She will also speak about the challenges of engaging local residents in design.
  • Kruzhok is a non-profit educational project that creates synergies between small and large places. Its co-founder Sergey Nugaev will talk about unleashing the potential of teenagers and helping them tell a story about the place they come from. For example, they can create their hometown’s website or even organize a festival of local culture.
  • Architectural office Chekharda creates, designs, and constructs unique playgrounds for children using logs, ricks, and ropes. Its founder Maria Pomelova will share her vision on whether children should make their own decisions and tell us why a stick and a rock are far better for children than a plastic toy house.

The talk will be moderated by Natalia Makovetskaya, Head of Engagement at Strelka KB, who helped residents of 40 cities make their neighborhoods sustainable ahead of the 2018 World Cup and involved them in creating development strategies for areas including Svobodny, Kaliningrad, and the Ivanovsky Region.

20:30–21:30. Lecture of Amsterdam Bicycle Mayor Katelijne Boerma “Can Children Run Cities?”

In summer 2018, Amsterdam appointed eight-year-old Lotta Crok to the position of the first ever Junior Bicycle Mayor. According to her senior colleague Katelijne Boerma, they work in synergy and “it’s important that adult professionals help children to implement ideas that would be good for the city and the whole country. In her lecture, Katelijne will talk about the scope of responsibilities of the Junior Bicycle Mayor and share her opinion on joining efforts with kids.

The event is organized by the Polytechnic Museum and Strelka Institute in the framework of city educational events of Polytech 2020 with the support of the Embassy of Denmark in Moscow, the Polish Cultural Center in Moscow, the Danish Ministry of Culture, Danish Arts Foundation, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Russia, and the Embassy of Finland in Moscow.

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