We’re in Good Shape!
Olga Voronezhskaya, an undergraduate student in HSE’s School of Design (Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design), has won an award for the work she presented in the FORMA industrial design competition.
The Russian national student competition FORMA traditionally takes place at the Global Industrial Design (GID) forum of the Innoprom-2015 exhibition. Olga’s project was in the environmental design category and was praised highly by an international jury consisting of professional designers, representatives of the Russian Association of Designers, and representatives from various design schools. Olga presented her work Park Rummy, which is characterized by tall, contemporary arbors and a two-level path system. Members of the jury initially created a shortlist of the best works and asked participants to make mockups of their ideas. The models were what the judges ultimately assessed.
‘The idea to create arbors with pathways between them came from the layout of the board game Rummy, in which players move from space to space, collecting points,’ Olga notes. ‘The arbor is characterized by a seven-meter, two-story construction. The first and second levels of the arbors are the same in structure, placed on top of one another, and turned several degrees away from one another, allowing the roof of the lower level to serve as an additional space for relaxation.’ Olga adds that during walks in various parks, aside from young people on skateboards and skates, she would often see people playing different games in large groups on benches. They guess words, explain things, show things... ‘I thought about the fact that a lot of people like parks because they just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, work on their computers in the fresh air, or read a book. And I wanted to create the type of space where people are comfortable playing games or simply spending time with friends,’ Olga says.
The winners’ work was published on the official website of the forum along with a detailed description, and the works were shown on large screens during the exhibition.
Innoprom is an annual international industrial exhibition that has been taking place in Russia since 2010. Today, the exhibition is an important event in the country. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the exhibition the first day it was open, and there were around 50,000 participants who visited this year’s Innoprom.
The Art and Design School under the HSE Faculty of Communications, Media and Design has joined Cumulus, an international association of universities and schools of arts, design and media.
Cumulus the only international association in the field of education and research on art, design and media; it has been in operation since 1990. Through membership in the association, students in creative fields at HSE will now be able to study in exchange programmes at the world's leading universities and participate in international competitions. It will also be easier for teachers to publish in international academic journals and be at the centre of global trends.
Tatiana Rivchun, an advisor to the rector and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Communications, Media and Design, took part in the Cumulus conference in Milan. She recently spoke with us about the prospects that are opening up to HSE students and teachers.
— What does membership in Cumulus give HSE?
— First and foremost, there is the opportunity to be in unison with the world’s leading art and design institutions. We can now interact with them as full-fledged partners. In particular, we can take part in international events, with our students participating in competitions designed for the association’s members. Our teachers will find it easier to publish in Cumulus journals and increase their qualifications. International exhibitions, seminars, workshops and summer schools are all open to our students and professors. For example, Cumulus has just announced a competition on environmental design for students at participating universities. There will be five winning teams, each receiving 4,000 euros.
Moreover, Cumulus is not simply a university organization, but rather one that collaborates with business. This means that we will be able to send our students to other countries for internships. And, of course, the exchange programmes are very valuable for students; this represents a breakthrough to a new international level.
— Could you say a little more about the exchange programmes?
— As a member of Cumulus, we can send our students for study at other universities that are association members (there are more than 200 of them in 48 countries), free of charge, under the condition that they select courses that we can give them credit for at our faculty. The same scheme works from the other side. In other words, we can invite foreign students to study here if their faculties have similar courses with a total volume of 30 credits.
— How was the most recent Cumulus conference and the interaction with other association members?
— The theme of the conference was ‘Culture and Experiments in Design’. Each day had a full programme of roundtables and group exercises. There was also an exhibition by young designers called ‘Design to feed the world’ that featured 90 student projects from 33 Cumulus member universities on topics like the history of food, the wealth of food, and the future of food. This actually coincides with the name of Expo-2015 — ‘Feeding the planet — Energy for life’ — which is currently taking place in Milan.
I have to say that our foreign colleagues are very interested in collaborating with HSE and would like to develop exchange programmes as soon as possible. We are already corresponding with colleagues from Belgium on closer cooperation.
— What upcoming plans are there for international cooperation?
— Just after the Cumulus conference, the School signed an agreement with a young Italian designers’ store. They would like to promote works by our students in Milan and possibly open a joint store in Moscow. They said that although there is a large number of Russians living in Italy and that demand for Russian designers is high, they are virtually unrepresented in local stores. Apart from this, we will seek to take part in various Cumulus initiatives. The website of the Faculty of Communications, Media and Design will soon feature a section presenting news from the association.
Art and Design School Fashion Show
On June 16, the courtyard of the Art and Design School (HSE Faculty of Communications, Media and Design) was turned into a true podium with a fashion show taking place under the Black Box open sky. Thirteen original costume models were prepared by second-year students of the school as part of their final project defence.
The costumes presented were not a single collection; rather, they were visual illustrations of the extensive research that each student in conducted under the direction of Maria Smirnova (Inshade), the course’s curator and designer. ‘During the last module, we worked on final projects; we chose a topic, explored it from available sources, and then moved on to creating mood boards and sketches. Only after that did we begin working on the item itself’, said Alina Lobanov, one of the show’s participants.
The themes of the costumes were very different — ranging from the principles of Japanese deconstructivist designers to merging traditional Tibetan costumes with skate culture. ‘I studied the Japanese designers, but I transferred their working methods to my own associations, so my work is both an allusion to the Russian sundress and a quilted jacket’, explained Alina. ‘My choice of materials — linen and crepe de Chine — is connected with Russian motifs’.
Despite the fact that each designer had his or her own idea, the show was united by a common concept of the Black Box — an unknown space obtaining information and hiding the production process. Preparation for the event was motivated by this idea — brick walls were draped with black cellophane and chairs were loosely covered with cling film.
The students not only designed and sewed costumes, but they also came up with the show’s concept and the corresponding design for the event. In addition to creating a costume, each student took on additional responsibilities. One was in charge of directing, and others were responsible for casting, styling, make-up for models and postproduction. The students were thus able to try their hand in different guises and understand what area of the fashion industry is most interesting to them.
This is the second fashion show held by the Art and Design School. Last December, students staged Papershow, which featured costumes of unusual and unexpected materials, including perforated and ruffled paper, plastic spoons and cocktail straws.