Anastassia Smirnova, Strelka Institute programming director
Perhaps for the first time the general public is getting a chance to participate in urban design beyond the mere post factum. All these processes need an urbanism based on dynamic fusion, a splicing and intertwining of the internal and external, local and global, random and logical, etc. How can we prepare cities to meet the random, diverse and unexpected, without descending into chaos? How to enjoy the advantages of this era of globalisation and not lose our local identity? And to what extent do we need to preserve it? I guess hybridisation of all sorts is the key. So, I decided to ask the opinion of professionals who have been exploring this issue for more than 20 years. Prof. Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Prof. Frans Vogelaar are founders of the Hybrid Space Lab, an r&d and design practice focusing on the hybrid fields that are emerging through the combination and fusion of environments, objects and services in the information-communication age. The scope of their research, development and design projects ranges from those on urban games and urban planning to buildings, architectural interiors and industrial design applications and wearables. Elizabeth Sikiaridi lectures on design in the urban landscape at University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany and Professor Frans Vogelaar is Head of the Department of Hybrid Space at Cologne’s Academy of Media Arts in Germany.