Physical training for a digital world

VKhUTEMAS Training is a unique multidisciplinary design education program engineered to activate original thinking by emphasizing the fundamentals of design.

Based on a core curriculum originally developed in the 1920s at the Higher Art and Technical Studios (or VKhUTEMAS School) in Moscow,  VKhUTEMAS  Training confronts designers of all experience levels with fundamental architectural concerns - composition and construction, volume and space, rhythm and structure, color and form. Over months, they are challenged to develop original strategies within each of these domains - without computerized aids of any kind. The resulting experience is both radical and traditional, archaic and timeless. Undergoing VKhUTEMAS  Training separates participants from their contemporaries and places them within a long and illustrious line of architects from the pre-digital age.


Our emphasis on the physical is not reactionary or nostalgic; in fact, it's the best way for architects to prepare for the future. A recent study by academics at Oxford University suggests that 47% of today's jobs could be automated in the next two decades. Big data increasingly enable computers to perform complicated tasks more cheaply and effectively than people. The Economist reports that "Computers can already detect intruders in a closed-circuit camera picture more reliably than a human can. By comparing reams of financial or biometric data, they can often diagnose fraud or illness more accurately than any number of accountants or doctors." It is only a matter of time before architecture, a practice filled with replication and uncreative grunt work, undergoes automation of its own.

The VKhUTEMAS emphasis on interdisciplinarity and physical construction is designed reorient architects and encourage the kind of creative sensitivity that cannot be simulated by a machine. Based on courses created by some of Russia's greatest avant-garde architects and artists - including Lyubov Popova and Alexander Vesnin (Color), Anton Lavinsky and Boris Korolev (Volume), Alexander Rodchenko (Graphics), Nikolay Ladovsky and Vladimir Krinsky (Space)- VKhUTEMAS Training submerses participants in the ways of a more radical age.