The two-year interdisciplinary Master programme is a project of the Graduate School of Urbanism at the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Programme will take place in the Shukhov Lab for Prototyping Future Cities located in the centre of Moscow.


Prototyping Future Cities in the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism in Moscow

If there is place with a tradition with Prototyping Future Cities, this is Moscow. It’s a City where many technological innovations have been produced during XX century and where many innovations related with social housing and green spaces happened. Now, the Higher School of Economics is launching a new Master program ‘Prototyping Future Cities’ to educate the leaders for the construction of urban environments. The program is open to architects, engineers, economists, geographers, programmers, media experts and anyone involved in the transformation of cities. The program is directed by Vicente Guallart, former chief architect of Barcelona, and will have international and local professionals as professors.

Prototype project methodology

Students will learn how to develop prototype projects applicable at any urban aspect, starting with their capacity to analyze data, to integrate appropriate technology and to design proposals that will change the current reality. The prototype projects will also include the proposal of an economical model that is managed appropriately.

Project = Analysis + Technology + Design + Fabrication + Implementation


The program takes place in the Shukhov Lab for prototyping future cities which is the one of the FAB LAB network laboratories. Students will work in a very closely with technology, preparing prototypes, investigating and analyzing the city through data, while developing projects that come as a relevant response to the particular problems that affect the city. In the end, the students will have the skills developed by the various areas of study. Thus the graduates will be able to tackle any kind of project. To achieve this, the students will have to work both individually, in order to further develop their own skills, but also in collaborative group projects, either remotely or physically, with other universities or cities in which the Master program ‘City and Technologies: Prototyping Future Cities’ is active.

Project prototyping in Shukhov Lab for prototyping future cities

For whom?

The Master program ‘City and Technologies: Prototyping Future Cities’ is directed to:
Professionals from different fields related with the city and urbanity, interested in amplifying their technical and project based knowledge spectrum, with the aim of learning about more advanced technologies and tools that can be applied on city scale projects;
City managers, interested in understanding the full potential of information technology in order to optimize the efficiency of their cities or implementing new principles that affect a city's performance;
Private sector workers in the field of developing, maintaining and/or managing a city and its urban services, interested in integrating information technology in the process of their work;
Experts in the field of technology and urban development interested in the performance of a city with the end goal of developing new application implementable at an urban scale.


The programme is focused on issues related to the impact of digital technologies on cities and how design and innovation can be used to redefine urban environments.

The programme features the following:

● Multidisciplinary approach involving research of different urban layers

● Access to a unique innovative laboratory full of technological resources for developing prototypes, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC mills, etc.

● Access to a worldwide network of laboratories where urban innovations are developed

● In-depth interaction with professionals and scholars promoting a highly practical and radical approach to urban innovation

● Opportunity to work closely with tutors on a daily basis

● Opportunity to develop real projects with companies and cities worldwide

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The educational process is based on the “learning by doing” method.

You will have full-time access to the Shukhov Lab for Prototyping Future Cities, allowing you to transform your ideas into prototypes. The programme goes beyond the traditional methods of education in classes or workshops. It provides an immersive experience in a digital laboratory with access to all of the means of production required to test your projects in real urban scenarios.

Students will be exposed to a multidisciplinary education programme that integrates Urban Studies, Social Sciences and Digital Fabrication. It is intended to create a new type of professional that can develop any kind of project in order to lead urban transformation.

The programme’s approach combines the scientific method, practical knowledge and social experience in order to provide the skills necessary for developing innovative projects that can contribute to the development of a human-centred future for cities.


National Research University - Higher School of Economics

Consistently ranked as one of Russia’s top universities, the Higher School of Economics is a leader in Russian education and one of the preeminent economics and social sciences universities in eastern Europe and Eurasia. Having rapidly grown into a well-renowned research university over two decades, HSE sets itself apart with its international presence and cooperation.

HSE faculty, researchers, and students represent over 50 countries, and are dedicated to maintaining the highest academic standards.

Students will have all of the privileges and advantages of studying at HSE, including access to dormitories, library, discounts and all HSE facilities.

HSE Graduate School of Urbanism

The HSE Graduate School of Urbanism is an independent learning and research division of the Higher School of Economics. Founded in 2011, the School takes a multidisciplinary approach towards studying and planning modern cities, using the excellent foundation that one of Russia’s top universities has formed in the humanities and socioeconomics. The School’s mission is to create a centre in Russia for learning and research in urban studies and urban planning.

Shukhov Lab

The programme will primarily take place in Shukhov Lab, located in the heart of Moscow, only 10 minutes walk from the Kremlin.

The laboratory, named after the famous Russian engineer who worked in the building for more than 20 years, is equipped with a comprehensive range of technology allowing the fabrication of any kind of electronic or physical device or prototype for testing in the city.


The programme is open to architects, designers, engineers, economists, entrepreneurs and graduates from any discipline related to urban sciences. We are looking for students interested in city management and related technologies. The skills acquired during the Master programme will provide graduates with a wide variety of career opportunities, including in large technological or design companies, city administrations or their own innovative businesses.



The programme is directed by Vicente Guallart, former Chief Architect of Barcelona, co-founder of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and founder of Guallart
Architects, and a leading global figure in relation to projects and theories for new forms of urbanity in the Digital Age.


The programme is implemented with the support of a wide network of experts in different related fields, based in New York, Boston, Barcelona and Amsterdam. Their participation in the Master programme allows the development of academic and research exchanges.


The programme faculty includes young professionals, both researchers and practitioners, from leading urban planning and architectural companies in Moscow (Skolkovo, the Museum of Moscow, the Graduate School of Urbanism, KB Strelka, the Genplan Institute of Moscow, Urbica design buro, among others). They lead seminars, projects and workshops in the Shukhov Lab.

Master Lectures

The programme will feature lectures, discussions and workshops with global leaders in relation to the projecting, theory and management of cities, including leading architects, businessmen and politicians, who will share their experience in urban transformation throughout the world.

Guest Professors

Vicente Guallart | Barcelona

Vicente Guallart | Barcelona

Founder & Principal | Guallart Architects
Founder | Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
Founder | IAAC Fab Lab Barcelona
Director | IAAC Project for the Self-sufficient City
Chief Architect Barcelona City Council (2011-15)

Alexei Novikov | Moscow

Alexei Novikov | Moscow

The President of Habidatum, 2014—present
Managing Director at Thomson Reuters, Russia & CIS, 2012—2014
Managing Director, Office Head at Standard & Poor’s, Russia & CIS, 2001—2012

Mitchell Joachim | New York

Mitchell Joachim | New York

Terraform | New York University
Fab Tree Hab | MIT Car
Urbaneering Brooklyn: City of the Future
Green Brain: Smart Park for a New City
New York 2106: Self-Sufficient City
Jetpack Packing and Blimp Bumper Bus

Xavier De Kestelier | London

Xavier De Kestelier | London

BArch and MSc in Architectural Engineering
Partner, Specialist Modelling Group
Hassell Studio

Rogier Van Der Heide | Amsterdam

Rogier Van Der Heide | Amsterdam

Lighting designer
Arup Global
VP Philips
Projects with Foster + Partners, Renzo Piano, Ben van Berkel, Rem Koolhaas

Sergei Kuznetsov | Moscow

Sergei Kuznetsov | Moscow

Chief Architect of Moscow
managing partner of the architectural association “SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov” in Moscow
co-founder of the architectural magazine speech
Honorary Professor of Moscow Architectural Institute (MARCHI)

See Tutors

Nadya Khort

Nadya Khort

Master in Urban Planning: Graduate School of Urbanisme, National Research University – Higher School of Economics
Bachelor in Cultural Studies: School of Cultural Studies, National Research University – Higher School of Economics
Coordinator, Laboratory for Experimental Urban Design GSU

Sofia Gavrilova

Sofia Gavrilova

Phd student in Oxford, School of Gegoraphy and the Environment
Phd in Cartography: Moscow State University
Masters in Photography: Rodchenko Art School of Photography and Media
Studies Co-founder of “Department of Research Arts” Project
Leading researcher in the NGO “Memorial – Russia” (project “Topography of terror”)

Ivan Mitrofanov

Ivan Mitrofanov

Fab Academy, FabLab Barcelona
Intern: Green FabLab Barcelona
MISiS faculty, electronics & coding tutor at FabLab Moscow
Digital Fabrication master at FabLab Moscow

Andrey Karmatsky

Andrey Karmatsky

Ural State railway university “Information systems on railway transport”
Urbica Design, CEO

Andrey Yelbaev

Andrey Yelbaev

MA in Architecture and Digital Media, University of Westminster
Bachelor of Architecture, Novosibirsk State Academy of Architecture and Fine Art

Egor Kotov

Egor Kotov

Master degree in urban and rural planning from University of Aberdeen
A diploma in world economy from the Higher School of Economics
Data analyst and research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Data Analysis of the Graduate School of Urbanism HSE University Russia

Elena Mitrofanova

Elena Mitrofanova

Master in Advanced Architecture, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
Architect – Designer, Moscow Architectural Institute
Architect at Hyphen-Labs

Alexandr Ostrogorsky

Alexandr Ostrogorsky

RSUH, History of Art Faculty
Moscow Architecture School MARCH, teacher

Paulina Smykovskaya

Paulina Smykovskaya

Legal counsel specialising in data protection and IT law
LLM, Queen Mary University of London
Regulatory Compliance, University of Cape Town
International Law Diploma, Belarusian State University

Andrei Ptitsyn

Andrei Ptitsyn

PhD, assistant professor at Moscow State University, SUNY Canton (USA), University of Pittsburgh (USA), Xing Wei College (China)
Graduate of Fulbright Faculty Development program
Deputy Director of Synesis

see Project Tutors

Alexander Tedeschi | New York

Alexander Tedeschi | New York

GIS Specialist at Habidatum
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Harvard University
St. Lawrence University

Daniel Ibañez | Boston

Daniel Ibañez | Boston

MArch, MAA, MDesS
Architecture / Urbanism / Territorial Organization
Doctor of Design Candidate, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Mar Santamaria-Varas | Barcelona

Mar Santamaria-Varas | Barcelona

School of Architecture of Barcelona
associate professor of Urban Design and Planning at ETSAB-UPC

See Master Lectures



UN STUDIO | Amsterdam



Research trip

In the summer of 2018 a 15-day workshop trip will be held with the Trans-Siberian. The route, between Moscow and Vladivostok, will allow a one time life experience, where students will work intensely aboard a train and visiting various places across Russia. The aim will be to develop a project for a new city in the Far East, near Vladivostok, which is one of the most unpopulated regions of the world but at the same time has a greater potential for growth. The project will develop technical, cultural, historical and economic aspects, and will put into value the strategic logistics position of the Far East also linked to climate change (and the opening of the North Pole route), economic development in Asia, and natural resources. The trip will be carried out in partnership with various institutions and with students from all over the world.


Moscow is a city with a great architectural and technological tradition. Architects, engineers and artists from Russia have produced some of the most radical proposals and innovations in relation to housing, architecture, urbanism and urban infrastructure. The Russian capital is a focal point for urbanism in Russia and the former CIS, and a world player in this sphere. It is home to the Moscow Urban Forum, an annual event uniting leading experts in urbanism from all over the globe. Currently Moscow is establishing a new urban agenda and is implementing world-class projects such as the Moscow river regeneration, regeneration of the ZIL industrial area, Zaryadye Park and many others.

Russia has a great tradition in a wide range of technological spheres. It is the country that made the first satellite and sent the first human being into space. And this tradition is still alive in Moscow, with the city’s experts making important contributions to physics, mathematics and digital technologies.

The Russian capital has a very vibrant cultural scene, featuring such attractions as the Garage Museum, the Multimedia Art Museum of Moscow, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and many more. The city hosts a wide range of concerts, performances and other cultural events, and is packed with restaurants, museums, theatres, galleries and parks that are active throughout the year.


  • Application Deadline

    14 July, 2018 (for international applicants)

  • Application Deadline

    14 August, 2018 (for applicants from Russia)

  • Programme start

    11 September, 2018

Quick facts

  • Degree

    Master of Spatial Planning and Urban Development, HSE

  • Duration

    2 years Full-time Programme

  • Language of instruction


  • Tutition Fee

    RUB 450,000 per year

  • Admission requirements

    Architecture or Engineering degree, Bachelor or higher degree from other related professions

How to apply

To apply for the ‘Prototyping Future Cities’ Master programme, please fill out and submit the online application form (for applicants from the Russian Federation) or HSE online application form (for international applicants).

To accompany the online application, the following documents should be submitted in English*. All documents must be uploaded in PDF format and include your last name in the filename (for example, Smith_Diploma.pdf).

1. Copy of university diploma in English (degree certificate). Please submit the full academic transcript along with the diploma/certificate. If you have not yet received your Bachelor’s diploma, please include an official copy of your most recent academic transcript.
2. Two letters of recommendation.
3. Resume / CV
4. Motivation Letter
5. Exam results confirming English language proficiency. You can provide any of the internationally acknowledged certificates indicated in the Admission Requirements available via the link below.
6. Scan of international passport (in English)

The detailed Admission Requirements are available for download via the following link:
Admission Requirements

After submission of your application you will be contacted by a programme manager in order to set up an interview via videoconferencing (Skype or other).

Should you have any questions regarding the application process, please feel free to contact master programme coordinator Nadia Khort at


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