Master in City & Technology 2020/21 – Term II
Seminar Name: Platform Urbanism
Total Hours: 24 hours
Faculty: Nicolay Boyadjiev


A 5-day seminar and intensive speculative design charrette introducing”platform urbanism” (the city at the intersection of architectural, software and institutional design) by combining design theory and recent case studies pertaining to critical current threads ranging from data-municipalism, digital spatial products, “citizen-user privacy” protocols and the strategic leverage of existing / as-of-yet-non-existing-but-urgently-needed composite platforms at the urban scale.

Over the course of the week, we will explore, distort, refine and repurpose as needed old and new concepts such as “sensing”, “modeling”, “spatial infrastructure”, “surveillance”, “design agency” and many more. In light of ongoing events, our goal is also to conceptualize and gather insights from the recent “planetary-wide experiment in comparative governance” that we all experienced in real-time during the many 2020 lockdowns, and prototype / play-out possible & preferable trajectories for the concepts above as a practical an open design challenge within the urban realm. The workshop is inspired by methodology and research loosely drawn from “GoogleUrbanism” (2016), as well the recently concluded/published education project “The New Normal”, the ongoing “The Terraforming” speculative design-research think tank, and the “Revenge of the Real” special project at the Strelka Institute.

Rooted in the specific context of Barcelona, students will expand the traditional “ site” and “scope” in urban design and produce conceptual, architectural and narrative models to reflect the possible and preferable shifts of urban agency and practice necessary at this critical juncture.


Nicolay Boyadjiev is an architect and strategic designer currently working between Montreal (CA) and Moscow (RU). He is currently Faculty / Program Design & Education tutor at Strelka Institute, where he co-leads and runs “The Terraforming” postgraduate interdisciplinary design-research think-tank, working at the intersection of planetary urbanism, governance, and design theory. He is also a co-author and editor of the forthcoming “The New Normal” (2020): a comprehensive record of the projects, process and insights developed during the 2017-19 design-research program at Strelka, in which the team set to explore and prototype new models for urban design practice combining software, cinema, strategy, and planning. Prior to joining Strelka, he worked as a designer at internationally renowned studios ranging from boutique experimental consultancies to larger architecture firms.