HSE Graduate School of Urbanism is launching the first international contest for students and young professionals ‘Cities for a flying world’.

The aim of the competition is to promote discussion and research in order to generate insights and visions about the city to come, and to contribute to the development of flying technologies that will transform our environment in future.  The contest will take place from 29 May to 7 November 2017 and it is a part of the new master’s programme of the Graduate School of Urbanism ‘City and Technology: Prototyping Future Cities’. The results of the contest would be announced on 7 November 2017.

The competition is open to architects, engineers, planners, designers and experts from any discipline who want to contribute to progress in making the world more habitable by developing ideas that could change the way we design, build and live in cities.


The competition programme challenges participants to design a project related to the future of cities when flying technologies are widespread. Humanity is trying to achieve new heights and transform the air into the new ground. Even though people already know how to fly, how will the world change when flying devices are everywhere? Who would be new pedestrians in a city of self-driving vehicles and how will social life be changed? What will happen when a window of a house becomes a door to your flying car? There are a lot of scenarios presented in books and the movies about future of cities, but a future like this is coming soon.

Participants will be free to decide on the subject, scale and location of the project. Proposals could answer (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • What will cities look like when citizens have flying vehicles?
  • How will buildings change if the roof or the window becomes a new entrance? Can buildings be built from top down?
  • What will public transport using flying technology be like?
  • How will deliveries by drone affect city communications?
  • How will life be improved in poor neighbourhoods by drone technology?
  • Will zeppelins be used in aerial leisure or logistics?
  • What will the flying cars of the future look like?
  • How could new modes of vertical transportation impact the development of cities?
  • Could there be aerial zeppelin communities and how will they be organised?

Participants can develop a project for a new city, new building, new device, new social platform or a mix of all of the above. We are looking for the best proposals with ideas for the world to come (in the not too distant future), where flying technologies will change the way we work, live and play in the city.


Participant proposals should consist of the following;

1) A brief description in English (max 350 words) outlining the key concepts of the proposal.

2) Graphic materials: site plans, floor plans, elevations, cross-sections, perspective drawings, photographs of physical or digital models, axonometric drawings of any scale, artistic sketches and collages. The graphic materials should be presented in the form of DIN A-3 panels in PDF format (minimum 1, maximum 3, each not exceeding 5 MB).

3) Video (optional): a 3-minute (maximum) video that presents the key concepts of the proposal. Participants are free to choose the style of the video: text, images, animation, etc. The video should be submitted in the form of a link to a YouTube channel containing the video. Any subtitles should be in English.




1st Prize: RUR 180,000 (equivalent to EUR 3,000*) 

2nd Prize: RUR 120,000 (equivalent to EUR 2,000*)

3rd Prize: RUR 60,000 (equivalent to EUR 1,000*) 

* The award is a collaboration between GSU and private sponsors. Euro value is subject to the exchange rate on the day of payment of the award. First prize consists of RUR 60,000 paid by GSU and RUR 120,000 paid by private sponsors, second prize consists of RUR 45,000 paid by GSU and RUR 75,000 paid by private sponsors, third prize consists of RUR 30,000 paid by GSU and RUR 30,000 paid by private sponsors.
01_GSU HSE (1)
02_Shukhov lab (1)
03_Master (1)


00_Miquel Adria
Miquel Adrià
Mexico, Professor of Architecture,
13_Silvia Brandi
Silvia Brandi
Director of Marketing, Communications and External Relations, IAAC MAA Senior Faculty
09_Ali Basbous
Ali Basbous
Founder and Director of Building by Associative Data
07_Xavier de Kestellier
Xavier de Kestellier
Head of Design Technology and Innovation ‘Hassell Studio’
01_Vicente Guallart
Vicente Guallart
Director of a Shukhov Lab, Former Chief Architect of Barcelona 2001-2015
12_Ben Hewett
Ben Hewett
Deputy NSW Government Architect, Adjunct Professor of Architecture UTS
08_Daniel Ibanez
Daniel Ibanez
Architect, Harvard GSD, Urban Theory Lab
09_Matthias Kohler
Matthias Kohler
Zurich, Professor of Architecture and Digital Fabrication ETH
05_Sergey Kuznetsov
Sergey Kuznetsov
Chief Architect of Moscow
06_Greg Lynn
Greg Lynn
Architect, Head of ‘Greg Lynn FORM office’, Co-founder of ‘Piaggio Fast Forward’, Professor of Architecture
10_Yang Lei
Yang Lei
Beijing, Industrial designer
05_Winy Maas
Winy Maas
Architect, Co-founder MVRDV, Led professor at ‘The Why Factory’
12_Joachim Mitchell
Mitchell Joachim
New York, Architect, Terreform ONE
00_Alexey Novikov
Alexey Novikov
Dean of HSE Graduate school of urbanism, CEO Habidatum
14_Cathy Runciman
Cathy Ruciman
Media expert, Co-founder ‘Atlas of the future‘
04_Mr Pong Lixao
Peng Lixiao
Chief Editor UED magazine
11_Matteo Robiglio
Matteo Robiglio
Architect, Professor Politecnico di Torino
02_Jon Tugores
Jon Tugores
Jon Tugores + Architects, photographer and Vueling pilot


Contact info:

Coordinator – Rodion Eremeev
Email –

Location: 20 Myasnitskaya str, Moscow, Russia