In March 2022, we evacuated the Kharkiv School to Lviv, Ukraine. This city was chosen for several reasons. At present, in the time of war, Lviv is one of the safest cities in Ukraine. The School intends to continue in-person education as soon as possible, which supports our decision to relocate. Another important factor was the support rendered to us by various platforms and institutions in Lviv.
The Lviv National Academy of Arts has become our major partner. The Academy has generously proposed to host our School and provided it with premises to continue the training process. This opportunity has allowed us to recommence our academic work in a mixed in-person/online format, and to gather most of the School team and faculty in Lviv. We have already started the 2022–2023 enrolment campaign for the Bachelor’s degree programme here, in Lviv.
The first School open days were conducted in May, with much interest being showed by young people and their parents. The pool of our enrollees has broadened geographically and now, besides Eastern Ukraine, it also includes students from the central and western regions. The public events we conduct in Lviv attract vast audiences and this gives us strength and motivation to start from scratch in a new city, becoming part of the city’s stakeholders and involved in its discussions.
Sharing the Academy of Arts’ campus is an opportunity to develop cooperation with a state-run higher educational establishment, whose new team puts into practice the values of freedom, creativity and responsibility. Thus, the Lviv Academy and the Kharkiv School share a common system of values, rooted in an awareness of the importance of high-quality education and innovative, up-to-date approaches to socially-focused training. Joint projects and exchanges of experience will strengthen both our institutions.
For KhSA, the Academy’s campus will become a hub for training and research. As part of their autumn semester Studio course, our second-year students will work with the Academy’s library, conceptualising it as a place of inter-sectional experience, an exchange of knowledge and informal training. Our students’ workshop on barrier-free environments will be based on research into the accessibility of campus spaces. Students will identify challenging cases and design relevant project proposals. A joint traineeship in construction for the first-year students of the KhSA and the Academy will focus on these campus public spaces. It will conclude with research into spaces that are to be customised for the students and the local residents.
For a year, the Academy of Arts has become our host. KhSA is currently refurbishing the premises to meet the needs of the staff, students and its educational programmes. We are preparing studio spaces, modelling and the carpentry workshops, and have relocated the library from Kharkiv, which is now rapidly expanding with support from international publishers and individual researchers. We are working hard before the academic year commences in Lviv to ensure that the spaces we are using generate comfortable and supportive learning environments.