First, we will rebuild the cities, – teachers of the Kharkov School of Architecture about the move and the new mission
On the night of February 24, Russia launched a large-scale invasion with a cynical shelling of military and civilian targets. Many cities in different parts of Ukraine came under fire from Grads. People were forced to run away not just as whole families, but as groups and companies. The war also forced the Kharkiv School of Architecture to leave its native city.
About the peculiarities of the curriculum, moving to Lviv and plans for the restoration of Kharkov in an interview for the project SVOI on Channel 24< /strong> said Daria Ozhiganova, a teacher at the Kharkov School of Architecture.
Daria Ozhiganova– a native of Sevastopol, located in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Back in 2010, she moved to Kharkiv to study, where she eventually lived until February 24, 2022. Now she is the director of the bachelor's program at the Kharkiv School of Architecture. And for her this is not just a job, but rather a calling.
Interview with the teachers of the Kharkiv School of Architecture: watch the video
Tell us more about Kharkiv School of Architecture.
Kharkiv School of Architecture is a private institution of higher education that teaches architecture proper. Now we have 36 undergraduate and female students in the bachelor's program and 10 more in the master's program. But the master's program is now on pause due to the war.
Honestly, there should be more students, but some students who were supposed to go to the 3rd year , for various reasons, were unable to do so. For example, they did not return to Ukraine or took an academic leave. But we are waiting for them next year.
Our bachelor's program lasts 4 years. I can talk a lot about the program, but I will try to be brief. During the training, students gain experience and master all the skills that can be useful to them in the work of an architect.
The program is divided into 4 blocks of content . If compared with the classical state architectural education, then this is probably something like departments. Among the blocks there are:
- technical block – students work with structures, study structures and engineering;
- humanitarian block – reflect on the social responsibility of the architect and everything connected with it;
- skills block and studio – directly such a “language” of the architect, this is drawing, architectural graphics, photography and everything-everything-everything that they may need in order to convey their ideas and embody them in any form;
- directly architectural designis a synthesis of everything that students learn in other blocks. And this is an opportunity for them to test all the ideas or theories that they study in other disciplines.
Kharkov School of Architecture before the war/Photo by The Village
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The student Vladimir Petryk shared his impressions of studying at the school of architecture.He admitted that he chose architecture because for him it is a symbiosis of different disciplines: mathematics, physics, chemistry, and, of course, art.
Why did you choose this particular school of architecture ?
This is new for Ukraine. With a student-centric and Ukrainian-centric vision of student life, university years and architecture in general.
How did you join?
It was required to prepare a small (and for someone large) portfolio, and pass an introductory interview. The portfolio should contain the developments of a lot of things. You can show everything that interests you. For example, I included my drawings and some sculptures, and maybe small architectural projects.
I think if you present any videos or dances to the admission committee, it is fits too. And the introductory interview was, in fact, about why I chose architecture and want and deserve to study at the Kharkov School of Architecture. That is, this is such a rather informal interview.
Vladimir Petryk about studying at the Kharkiv School of Architecture/Photo of Channel 24
Vladimir himself comes from Ternopil. And when he decided to become an architect and study at the Kharkov School of Architecture, the question of moving became an edge.
Were you ready to move to Kharkov?
The issue of moving to Kharkiv was difficult for me, and it seemed to me very far away, especially compared to Ternopil. Once there was not even a direct train from Ternopil to Kharkiv. But I visited Kharkov literally at the end of January, and this city opened up to me in a new, very different way.
After that, I was already ready to move to Kharkov and enter the Kharkov School of Architecture , but unfortunately due to a full scale war the school was forced to move and you could say I moved with it. Lviv is very close to my hometown, so it was not a challenge for me. But I hope that I will still have the opportunity to live in Kharkov.
“One of the best decisions in life”: how the school managed to evacuate from Kharkiv
Daria Ozhiganova treats her students very carefully. She admitted that just a week before the war, the teaching staff decided to send all students to an online format. This, as it turned out, was a very correct decision.
This is probably one of the best decisions that I personally made in my life. We decided to send our students to the online format and allow them to go to their families in different parts of Ukraine. And it was the right decision, because we were able to leave the city of Kharkiv on the first day of the war as a team and teachers.
Otherwise, perhaps, this would not have been possible, we would have thought about how to evacuate students, especially first-year students, who are still quite young. We feel a great responsibility for them.
Daria Ozhiganova, a teacher at the Kharkiv School of Architecture/Channel 24 Photo
“Already 2 weeks later returned to study”: about the shelter in Lviv
How did a full-scale war start for you?
I remember the morning of February 24 very well, because my husband and I were awakened by explosions. Quite quickly, messages began to appear in our chat with students. The students were frightened, we reassured them, but it was good that they were at least not in Kharkov.
The first weeks, on the one hand, lasted a very long time, but on the other hand, we constantly kept in touch with the team and teachers. And somewhere after 2 weeks we returned to learning in an online format, although we do not really like it. But we didn't have a choice. We should have continued.
And so we worked for several more months, while the teams were drawn to Lviv. We received the space provided by the Lviv Academy of Arts. And there was an opportunity to teach students here, offline. We also set up a workshop so that students can work with models. And probably, somewhere in the summer – in July – first-year students rushed to Lviv to do construction practice.
Kharkov School of Architecture continues to work/Photo 24 channel
By the way, during the full-scale invasion, almost all the teachers of the school of architecture were in Kharkov. Among them was an associate professor and teacher Alexander Kolesnikov. He said that in the first days of the war he did not know whether to leave or not. Then his wife was injured, and he stayed in Kharkov for another 3 weeks.
“Arrivals” were everywhere, our house is nothing, but there was a time when it tottered like an old pirate ship. But I’ll be back, Kharkiv needs my presence,” said Oleksandr Kolesnikov.
Oleksandr Kolesnikov is a teacher and associate professor at the Kharkiv School of Arts/Photo 24 Channel
“We knew we could get help here”: why did the academy move to Lviv
How did you end up in Lviv?
At first we did not know that it would be Lviv, but our rector is from Lvov. And we all intuitively headed for the western part of Ukraine. Lviv, in fact, became such a place where we could come. Here we understood that there was a high probability that we could find shelter in the form in which we now find ourselves. And that we can get help. That's why we chose Lviv.
The Lviv Academy of Arts helped us in many ways, in particular, it provided us with the premises of the former dining room. And the actual kitchen workshop of this dining room, which later, for some time, was used by the academy as an assembly hall. We were offered different options, including this one. We were very grateful to them for this and immediately agreed to such a space. Moreover, for an architectural design studio, this is the best thing you can imagine.
We have an opinion that we should apply to the campus of the Lviv Academy of Arts. In particular, during the construction practice, the students and I did spatial interventions in order to slightly equip and assimilate these courtyards at the Academy. And this, probably, was such a gesture of gratitude to them, or rather one of them. For on studio projects, students will also work with the spaces of the Academy of Arts. I hope it will be useful for them as well.
How do you like Lvov as an architect?
All my experience that I get in any new place, it is mostly spatial. Every day in Kharkiv I walked 800 meters from my house to the subway. It was one spatial experience. In Lviv, in the first weeks after the start of the war, I had to walk 800 meters from the place where I lived to the place where we first worked with the school team. And it was a completely different spatial experience.
And it was completely different in terms of the number of ongoing processes, density, people. And it's very difficult to compare, because these are cities that were designed in different countries, and they had different purposes. But both are very interesting, I think this is a very cool and interesting experience for our students, because they can work in one context and another. Thus, their skills will be varied.
The architecture of Lviv captivates/Photo by Unsplash
“We will return to Kharkiv, this is a must”: about plans after the victory
What are your plans after our victory?
Return to Kharkov. This was what we declared right away. And that was probably the first question I asked our rector when she suggested that I go to Lviv. I asked what our plan of action is next and whether we are returning to Kharkiv.
And yes, we are returning to Kharkiv, this is a must, however, we do not know when. We understand that this is exactly one academic year. But we will see how things develop. I hope that in no more than a year, we will return to Kharkov. But even if more, we will still return. Our school building remained there, and indeed. We remain the Kharkiv School of Architecture.
The teacher of the Kharkiv School of Architecture spoke about her plans after the victory/Photo of Channel 24
And here architecture student Vladimir Petrik said that in the future he would like to create some kind of architectural installations. But that, according to him, time will tell.
Initially, we rebuild cities, then we do what we want, – said he.
We believe that Ukraine will definitely return all the territories stolen by Russia. And after that, the difficult process of recovery will begin. But when it finally ends, we will not recognize our country. A country forged and tempered by revolutions and sprinkled with the blood of the best daughters and sons of Ukraine. A country that the whole world already knows about, speaks about and admires. A country of free, talented, courageous and unconquered people, which will surely rise from the ashes.