The Kharkiv School of Architecture (KhSA) opens its doors to the general public and invites everyone to join our conversations about the present day and the future of architecture in Ukraine. This year’s public program focuses on the architecture of cooperation and explores the new role of the architect as a mediator of social processes unfolding in space.

Since the first weeks of destruction caused by russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, the media has been flooded with images of the cities of the future and ambitious reconstruction projects. Kharkiv, a city in Eastern Ukraine which is being daily destroyed by shelling, has become an object of a variety of architectural visions of the city’s future, spanning from the Saltivka district to the historic city center. To a large extent, these projects have been therapeutic for all of us: for architects they have become a pill against powerlessness and for local residents they have provided hope for coming back and healing the trauma. Such practices have taken place in every town that has undergone destruction. The virtual diversity of urban-planning and architectural ideas has a very tempting advantage: everyone can invent their own city or choose the vision they like and hope that it would be implemented. But after the war, we will still be living in a common space, which will be one for all and which must accept everyone. The time is coming when we need to return to reality and start asking ourselves which specific visions of the future and the present we will bring to life and how we will shape them. And that we should do together.

 

To achieve this, architects must learn to cooperate with the city residents and city residents must get an understanding of what architectural and urban planning expertise exists for.

The public program develops the School’s main vector: education. By opening our doors to a wider audience, we as architects want to learn to cooperate with the inhabitants of the spaces we create and to shape our living spaces together.

We want to deterge architecture of the arrogant attitude to everyday life and to outline new rules of interacting with society in all its various manifestations.

This program is an opportunity to find out together how to change and improve our shared living space. We invite everyone who is interested in this topic, regardless of their level or field of expertise, to join the conversation.

How to read a city and its needs?

Unpretentious urbanism. What are architects and urban planners ignorant of in the life of a city? How does professional education shape knowledge about the city? What does chaotic development and other informal transformations of the urban environment mean?

Architectural expertise

When should architects listen to the public opinion and when can they say “no”? When should architects stop and let go? Why are these constraints arbitrary yet crucial?

Ethics and aesthetics

Categories of taste and kitsch. How to talk about beauty in the 21st century? Professional discourse vs. education: has the professional community really abandoned the concept of beauty? How do we perceive architecture: visual images vs. inhabiting space? Architecture of the media age.

 

Culture of architectural competitions

What types of projects require tenders? Competition organization issues, jury selection and criteria. Public discussions of the results. What are the opportunities and threats of this practice?

Participation and stakeholders

Methods of cooperation. Actors in the urban space: the state, the client, the community, and the experts. Challenges of this approach in the Ukrainian context.

Please find the list of the coming events and all the detailed information in our digest:

 

https://kharkiv.school/digest/