Look who’s talking!

Институт «Стрелка»


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Conference on involving children in museum and architecture projects, organized by the Polytechnic Museum and Strelka Institute in the framework of city educational events of Polytech 2020

Day 1 (3.06)

On Day 1, educators, museum experts, and architects will discuss involvement tendencies and address three major topics: why it is important to promote participation practices, whether children can manage cities, and, most importantly, how to take children’s ideas seriously.

18:00–19:15. Forum Theatre and talk

Forum Theatre and talk “Better Together”

The opening play of the Forum Theatre was created especially for the conference. Viewers will have a chance to put participation into action. Under the watchful eye of director Yulia Sheveleva, they will act as museum workers having a heated discussion about involving children in culture related processes. After that, they will join museum experts, architects, educators, and representatives of the children’s community in a talk on co-design and reasons to involve children in museum and architecture projects.

19:15–20:30. Showcase

Showcase “Designing with Children”

Participation practices have long become an international trend. Russia is no exception and is developing the culture of involvement. For example, the architectural office Druzhba together with teenagers opened Meteor, a space in Moscow’s city center, while Project Group 8 introduced the Children’s Oversight Authority. The topics to be addressed are: how to make children’s ideas come true, why a playground is a choice, and how to channel youth energy into something positive.


  • Architectural office Druzhba and architectural club Koni na Balkone form an interdisciplinary expert community. Bella Filatova argues that involving children in urban design is a two-way street: the city gets a new perspective and a pool of opportunities and children can make their own contribution while stepping outside playgrounds. According to Filatova, children must take part in creating shared spaces.
  • Architectural office Project Group 8 are pioneers in continuously embracing participation practices. Back in 2018 they introduced the first Children’s Oversight Authority in the framework of the Belye Tsvety Boulevard (Kazan) design project. Nadezhda Snegireva will talk about interactions with clients, municipal bodies, and ministries. She will also speak about the challenges of engaging local residents in design.
  • Kruzhok is a non-profit educational project that creates synergies between small and large places. Its co-founder Sergey Nugaev will talk about unleashing the potential of teenagers and helping them tell a story about the place they come from. For example, they can create their hometown’s website or even organize a festival of local culture.
  • Architectural office Chekharda creates, designs, and constructs unique playgrounds for children using logs, ricks, and ropes. Its founder Maria Pomelova will share her vision on whether children should make their own decisions and tell us why a stick and a rock are far better for children than a plastic toy house.

The talk will be moderated by Natalia Makovetskaya, Head of Engagement at Strelka KB, who helped residents of 40 cities make their neighborhoods sustainable ahead of the 2018 World Cup and involved them in creating development strategies for areas including Svobodny, Kaliningrad, and the Ivanovsky Region.

20:30–21:30. Lecture

Lecture of Amsterdam Bicycle Mayor “Can Children Run Cities?”

In summer 2018, Amsterdam appointed eight-year-old Lotta Crok to the position of the first ever Junior Bicycle Mayor. According to her senior colleague Katelijne Boerma, they work in synergy and “it’s important that adult professionals help children to implement ideas that would be good for the city and the whole country. In her lecture, Katelijne will talk about the scope of responsibilities of the Junior Bicycle Mayor and share her opinion on joining efforts with kids.

Day 2 (4.06)

Day 2 will center on effective tools for co-design. This will include a talk with teenagers about what an ideal museum should look like, a community talk with museum experts from Russia, and a showcase by the Danish architectural office All about A.

18:00–19:30. Talk

Talk “Teenagers Change Museums”

How does teenage input change museums? What changes do teenagers themselves want to see? Small groups of participants will try to answer these questions and present their joint vision of an ideal museum for their age group. The results will underpin the concept for cooperation with teenagers that the Polytechnic Museum will implement. The best ideas will be further built upon and adopted with the help of their creators.

19:30–20:30. Showcase

Showcase “Children’s Input in Museums: Six Design Principles”

The Danish architectural office All about A engages children in design and uses their ideas for future architecture and design solutions. In March 2017, the Polytechnic Museum held a workshop that developed six design principles of a child-friendly museum. Julie Dufour and Charlotte Carstensen of All about A will share their expertise on working with junior audiences, while children who took part in the workshop will talk about their architecture projects.


  • Julie Dufour is an architect at All about A who has many years of experience in talks on the subject of children and architecture, as well as educational programs.
  • Charlotte Carstensen is a designer at All about A who is experienced in teaching the design process to children and young people in Denmark as well as abroad.

20:30–22:00. Community talk “Participatory Society”

Community talk “Participatory Society”

This talk will bring together experts from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, International Memorial, and the project “My Museum of the Present.” All of them are looking to cooperate with children. Among the discussion points are: how to expand the society of cultural institutions, how to build communication with children and teenagers, and how to discuss sensitive issues with them, including political repression and social inequality. The speakers will outline key principles of participatory projects involving children.

The event is organized by the Polytechnic Museum and Strelka Institute in the framework of city educational events of Polytech 2020 with the support of the Embassy of Denmark in Moscow, the Polish Cultural Center in Moscow, the Danish Ministry of Culture, Danish Arts Foundation, and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Russia.
For accreditation contact pr@strelka.com.