On May 28-31, 2023, Nizhny Novgorod hosted an event at the intersection of architecture, graphic design, development and neural network generation entitled SINTEZ.SPACE
Today immersive (interactive) technologies are increasingly influencing many areas of life and existing professions, including architecture and urban design. The labor market requires new specialists who can work at the intersection of architecture and digital services and have an understanding of the principles of phygital objects (phygital - physical and digital) and phygital environments.

However, some universities that educate architects have so far ignored disciplines that teach new digital technologies. Creative coding, game engines, adaptive layout, open source software, principles of digital storytelling and project presentation - all of these areas remain a challenge and outside the scope of existing educational programs.

Architects and urban designers continue to be educated according to 20-30 years old
patterns. The limit of achievements in this sense is the inclusion of such disciplines as BIM (Building Information Model - object-oriented model of a building object) and parametric modeling. But these are tools that, although they are widely used in the field of design, appeared about 20 years ago. Architectural education, which, in our humble opinion, should primarily meet the challenges of modern times, lags far behind the progress in this area.

This is what motivated us to gather large platform in Nizhny Novgorod dedicated to the issues of incorporating digital technology training into the educational process. Master classes, lectures and presentations of experts in architecture, design, digital production, software developers, neural networks, and representatives of major educational platforms were held as part of the event.

  • 100 people
    participated in workshops
    and lectures
  • 13 teams
    from 10 Russian cities
  • 9 solutions
    from the field of open source neural networks
  • 14 lectures and discussions
    in the field of architecture, design, digital development and neural networks
  • 4 sites
    in the very center of Nizhny
  • 3 days
    filled with educational
29 / May / NNGASU

The first day of the event opened with the workshop "Neuro fairy tales".

As part of the workshop, teams had to create their own comic book about the future of Nizhny Novgorod. The workshop was curated by Zhanna Dikaya (research architect, "Meganom" Bureau), Tatyana Alisova (creative director of the ComMission festival) and Andrey Kiselev
(head of the experimental design studio ION RANEPA).
To implement their ideas, the participants used different neural networks, which were supposed to help them both in creating the art story and dialogs of the characters, and in creating illustrations for the comics itself.

The workshop ran for two days, and on the last day of the event, finalists and winners were chosen.

The workshop participants also listened to lectures from experts of SINTEZ.SPACE studio Alexei Rudenko and Gleb Limonov - lecturers
and leading illustrators of the studio.

Below we share the results that the workshop participants came to.
Speakers: Andrey Kiselev, Zhanna Dikaya, Tatiana Alisova, Natalia Starova, Alexey Rudenko, Gleb Limonov
Rivers of kinship: the power that carries us together
ChatGPT / Yandex Balaboba / playground
A story about two sister rivers, about the strength of spirit and formation and development of a major city. Once two rivers - the Volga and the Oka - were separated, but one day their kinship helped them to reunite again and form a wonderful city - Nizhny Novgorod. And what happened next...?

Volkova Tatiana, Borisova Anastasia, Katraeva Nina, Leiman Elizaveta, Shipkova Ekaterina, Smirnova Polina, Silantieva Tatiana
Sweet salvation
kandinsky 2.0 / ChatGPT / Yandex Balaboba
A spaceship got caught in a stream of space debris,
and was badly damaged. His team had to land on an unfamiliar planet, on which reigned hordes of mutants, and survive there by hiding in the dungeons. A mysterious red button found by the crew in the catacombs was the key to salvation and turned all the mutants into candies.

Anna Gavrilova, Alexander Gromov, Olga Dmitrieva, Irina Kareva, Alina Kudryashova, Snezhana Kutasova, Valeria Marakhtanova, Alexander Polyagin
Legend of the Dragon
ChatGPT / Midjourney telegram bot /DreamStudio / Kandinsky 2.1 / Stable Diffusion
Between the rivers Oka and Volga lived a Dragon, and he guarded a magical golden spring. One day people decided to direct the power of the Oka River at the Dragon to drive him from his place. The dragon became enraged, soared upwards, turned into stone and fell to the ground to cover the magic spring forever. His body turned into mountains on which people built Nizhny Novgorod. To this day, the light of the spring illuminates the horizon with sunsets.

Lyubov Kanakhistova, Marina Stepanova, Nikita Lednev
ChatGPT / Midjourney telegram bot / Kandinsky 2.1
From the very day Nizhny Novgorod was founded, its spirit, the Deer, watched over its inhabitants. On his mighty horns he carried light and darkness, changing the day into night and every evening giving people stunning sunsets and sunrises in the morning. But over time, people began to forget how to live in harmony. They stopped appreciating simple things and began to gradually destroy their city and themselves. And one day, the spirit of the city left them.

Diana Pak
Cosmic Legacy
Kandinsky 2.1 / Ru-Dalle / Dream studio / ChatGpt
Our comics is about the power of art, the importance of education, protection of heritage and interdisciplinary development of the city, about how historical heritage and new technologies are entwined, complementing each other and creating a new cultural ecosystem.

The team:
Anna Novikova, Ekaterina Shchepotina, Sofia Lebedeva, Anna Burlakova, Ksenia Ivanova
Kandinsky 2.1 / ChatGpt
Not catching the sunset in Nizhny Novgorod due to the overcast weather, we went for a walk to the bars on Rozhdestvenskaya Street. There we heard a story of a bartender who told us about the Gromozek monument in the courtyard of his house. This story inspired us to create a tale of a town where there were no sunsets, and how a chance encounter brought one of the town's main landmarks home.

The team:
Denis Zakharov, Ksenia Popova, Ksenia Gerasimova, Alexei Karlov, Ekaterina Denisova, Alisa Butenko, Anastasia Zaitseva
A dream at the factory
art breader / photoshop
A short story about why you should take care of the environment and health of the inhabitants of your city.

Sysoeva Arina, Laitaruk Anna, Gurova Elena, Oskina Natalia, Filippov Andrey
The story of the Nizhny's rescue
kandinsky 2.0 / СhatGPT
One day Nizhny Novgorod, the city of parks and temples, was seized by machines and people left the city. The spirit of the city
in the form of an old man is grieved by this event. And suddenly the city's symbol - a red deer - comes to the aid of the city in the form of a superhero. Together friends save the city, create its new modern architecture and garden it.

Valeria Mastyukova, Yulia Dawe, Mikhail Plaksin
Metamorphoses of Nizhny Novgorod
kandinsky 2.1 / ShatGP/ Yandex Balaboba
Nizhny Novgorod is a city where a chaos of architectural styles reigns. A team of superhero architects, led by Archi-Master, decides to transform the city by creating a Museum of Architectural Wonders. But in the course of their work, an evil spirit takes over one of the buildings and tries to interfere with the team in every possible way. The superhero architects use all their powers, skills and technology to destroy the evil spirit and make the city beautiful and harmonious. The Museum of Architectural Wonders becomes the new attraction of the city.

Strugovets Elena, Bondarenko Anton, Rodionov Alexander, Kapatun Ekaterina, Besedin Denis, Nemirovskaya Sofya
Kulibin: the unity of man and nature
Fusionbrain / ChatGpt
A force has appeared in the taiga, destroying everything in its path. Scientists of the "Kulibin" brotherhood gathered to find a way to calm it and protect nature. Using new farming methods and environmentally friendly technologies, they began to restore vegetation and water resources. Blue cerbers, sent by Mother Nature, helped the people in their efforts. Mankind realized that caring for nature was caring for their future and they needed to unite to preserve the planet.

Velemchuk Victoria, Ivanova Daria, Taktarova Daria, Krasina Anna, Maleva Maria, Kozlova Alla
May 30 / TSECH space
The second day featured an intense lecture program with the participation of the heads of RANEPA ION Design School, HSE Art and Design School and Nizhny Novgorod State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

The program also included lectures by architects, designers, developers of domestic neural networks, representatives of digital industries and media artists. The main goal was to introduce the audience to the specifics of working at the intersection of technology, architecture and design.
During the opening ceremony, guests were welcomed by Igor Ishchenko, CEO of the Nizhny Novgorod Region Development Corporation, Daria Shorina, Advisor to the Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, Dmitry Shchegolev, Rector of the Nizhny Novgorod State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and Alexander Paramonov, Rector of the Nizhny Novgorod branch of RANEPA.

Igor Ishchenko, Dmitry Shchegolev, Alexander Paramonov, Daria Shorina, Andrey Kuznetsov, Mark Karnadut, Philip Konokhov, Alina Chereyskaya, Denis Pimankin, Yulia Zhidkova, Ekaterina Gurova, Tatiana Alisova, Natalia Logutova, Ivan Svirin.
The main events of the second day were lectures on the intersection of architecture, design and technology. The existing bachelor's and master's degree programs do not always provide the full range of knowledge and skills that cross-disciplinary specialists should possess today, the need for which arises now and will increase in the coming years.
in the coming years.

Andrey Kiselev, curator of the SINTEZ.SPACE project, spoke about the principles and approaches underlying cross-disciplinary educational programs, which are currently being developed and taught at the School of Design of ION RANEPA. He also spoke about how and why architects should utilize neural networks, the importance of open source software, augmented and virtual reality, metaspaces and what perspectives are open to cross-disciplinary specialists today and what will be available tomorrow.

Mark Kornadut, head of production at PlastFormers, spoke about the possibilities of digital production of large-scale interior and environmental objects, about the skills
and competencies that specialists preparing to prove themselves in this field should possess.

Andrey Kuznetsov, executive director of data research at Sber AI, gave a presentation of national developments in the field of neural networks, showed how Kandinsky 2.1 and GigaChat networks work, told architects and designers how not to be afraid and start working with technologies today.

Alina Chereyskaya, architect and partner of SA Lab, talked about real cases in which the bureau is already implementing neural networks, code
and generative approaches to the formation of both real and virtual environments.

Philip Konokhov, Machine Learning Engineer at Hoodies, showed advanced developments in the field of building 3D models based on two-dimensional images and described the prospects, in which the technology will develop. He also described how it can help architects in their daily work and research.

Denis Pimankin, co-founder of SOTA+, spoke about the basic principles important for understanding the fundamentals of neural networks themselves, the internal logic of retrieving images from text queries and how this applies in practical terms. Also
about developments in the field of vector neural network generation and how it can change the application of the technology in design.

Yulia Zhidkova, creative producer of Radugadesign multimedia company, spoke about examples of phygital-objects as important elements of the urban environment and what new means of expression appear by blending real and virtual layers of design.

How objects at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds are born and where they are used.

The day ended with a discussion between the leadership of RANEPA ION Design School and HSE Design School on the topic of education of the future, principles and approaches in building educational programs that take into account advanced research in the field of architecture, design and technology. The discussion was attended by Ekaterina Gurova, Dean of the Faculty of Design and Media Communications of ION RANEPA, Tatiana Alisova, Head of the Department of Design of the Faculty of Design and Media Communications of ION RANEPA, Natalia Logutova, Deputy Head of HSE Art and Design School, Head of the Design Laboratory at HSE, Ivan Svirin, Deputy Head of the Design Laboratory at HSE. The discussion was moderated by Andrey Kiselev, head of the experimental design laboratory ION RANEPA and curator of SINTEZ.SPACE project.

May 31 / May / House of the Architect

On the third day, before the award ceremony, lectures were held by Maria Veerpalu, an expert on architectural graphics (TG-channel "Collage-Staffage"), Konstantin Antipin, an architectural historian, author of TG-channel "Architectural excesses".
Also a panel discussion involving Andrei Kiselev, head of the experimental design laboratory ION RANEPA, Oleg Goncharov, Alexander Funtov and Alexander Israeliev (Center for Creative Development at HSE) took place.

The next event dedicated to neural network design will be held in Moscow in early July.

You will find all the details in our TG-channel.

Maria Veerpalu, Konstantin Antipin, Oleg Goncharov, Alexander Funtov, Alexander Israeliev, Andrey Kiselev, Tatiana Alisova, Zhanna Dikaya

The event was organized by teachers and students of RANEPA ION Design School.

Project authors: Andrey Kiselev, Sergey Shestopalov, Ekaterina Terekhova, Sofia Pakhareva.

Student team: Alexandrina Portseva, Sofia Medvedeva, Polina Timofeeva, Sonya Starshova, Valeria Mitina, Anna Matvienko, Margarita Monaco, Inna Baroeva.

With the assistance of: Anastasia Lazareva, Dmitry Proskurnin, Alexey Rudenko, Gleb Limonov, Alina Dyusyaeva, Nikita Kalinin, Tatiana Alisova, Vladimir Kuzmin.

We would like to express our special gratitude to the management of the Nizhny Novgorod Region Development Corporation, SEZ "Kulibin", the administration of RANEPA ION Design School, HSE Art and Design School, the administration of Nizhny Novgorod State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, House of the Architect, Tseh Space and DreamLaser Company for their help in organizing the event. And also to all participants of workshops, presentations and lectures within the framework of the event.