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One of today’s challenges, sustainable development, is acquiring a planetary scale in the Arctic dimension. Along with economic advantages, intensive industrial development in the Arctic has entailed large scale changes in the environment disrupting lifestyles and indigenous economies and the emergence of a new, often conflicting subculture of labour migrants. For Russia, the issue of sustainable development in this region is acute as never before: the Arctic and all of the country along with it as a major northern state is entering an era of industrial development, tempestuous economic and infrastructural growth, and new climatic conditions. In the context of international aspirations to identify ideas in the area of conservation of local ecosystems and creation of favorable conditions for human life and well-being, the Russian North presents a perfect site for testing daring and, at the same time, ethically and ecologically appropriate solutions to spatial development, creation of optimal life support systems, and conservation and activation of indigenous cultures. It is obvious that these objectives are of an integrative transdisciplinary character and, consequently, the key to their successful achievement is a synthesis of humanitarian, environmental and artistic modes of thinking based on design (technical esthetics) methods.

The research team of the Arctic Design project proposes its contribution to the solution of the issue of sustainable development in the Arctic/North and, in particular, problems of strategic transition from conquering the northern frontiers to onboarding life in the North. The project is aimed at systematizing and reconsidering the practices and methodologies in the area of design for extreme northern environments and at developing a prognostic model for the Arctic Design knowledge framework in the context of a new paradigm emerging in the development of the northern territories in Russia.

The core of this project is the School of Northern Design with its years of research and design expertise, which emerged within the Department of Industrial Design at the Ural State University of Architecture and Art (USUAA) in the early 1980s. Now this wealth of expertise has been given an outlet in the format that is very new for designers, a basic research study, thanks to support from the Russian Science Foundation (grant № 17-78-20047, 2017-2020).


Team Leader

Svetlana G. Kravchuk

PhD. (Art Studies), Head of the Innovation and Creativity Lab within the Research Unit of USUAA

Team Members

Nikolai P. Garin

PhD. (Art Studies), Professor at the Industrial Design Department of USUAA, the founder and master-mind of the School of Northern Design

Nikita V. Klyusov

Master of Design, expert in digital graphics / 3D-visualizations, supplementary education instructor in the areas of laser, additive and milling technologies, and electronics

Nikolai A. Korgin

DSc. (Engineering), Associate Professor, Principal Researcher at the V.A. Trapeznikov Institute of Control Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences

Sofiya M. Prokopova

Master’s degree student, Industrial Design Department, Junior Research Associate at the Innovative Creativity Lab within USUAA’s Research Unit

Alexandra V. Rayeva

Master of Design, Junior Research Associate at the Innovative Creativity Lab within USUAA’s Research Unit

Anton V. Rayev

Master’s degree student, Industrial Design Department, USUAA

Former participants

Ilya V. Abramov

Darya S. Akimenko

Maria A. Gostyaeva

Julia S. Kon’kova

Denis A. Kukanov

Irina V. Myasnikova

Alexandra S. Trofimenko

Students and interns

Natalya Dedevich

Darya Zhukovskaya

Sofya Medvedeva

Maria Pokatayeva

Irina Surina

Alena Timoshenko

Marina Fionova

Ekaterina Formina

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