Sunday 13 August 2017 -
16:00 to 17:00
Moscow School of Architecture, Artplay

A public panel discussion ‘Art as Labour’ was held at Moscow School of Architecture (‘MARCH’) at Artplay at 16.00 on 13 August 2017. National and international experts across the architecture and design industries talked on how art can create and sustain communities in a rapidly-changing global context.

The discussion followed the ‘Art as Labour’ international summer school programme in partnership with the Global Practice Unit and Nikola-Lenivets Art Park, supported by the British Council. The programme invited students to rethink the relationship between architecture and labour and develop their own architectural projects with support from international tutors.


  • Kate Goodwin, Head of Architecture and Drue Heinz Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK)
  • Professor Robert Mull, Head of the Global Practice Unit and Head of Architecture at the University of Brighton (UK)
  • Professor Ana Betancour, Head of Department at Umeå School of Architecture (Sweden)
  • Niall Hobhouse, art collector and writer on architectural and curatorial issues (UK)
  • Nikolay Polissky, land-artist and founder of Nikola-Lenivets Art Park (Russia)
  • Thomas Randell-Page, Head of the Building Works Unit (UK).

The discussion was chaired by architect Xenia Adjoubei, Head of International Programmes at MARCH (Russia).


The discussion explored the relationship between art, architecture and labour in a contemporary, global context. The panel looked at how Russian artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Nikolai Polissky, Alexander Brodsky and their international contemporaries address these themes in their work. The panel also discussed key findings from the ‘Art as Labour’ international summer school programme.

As the result students from around the world designed and built the structure “Sliced White”, which will be the home for education in Nikola-Lenivets. It will host programmes in architecture, art and curation as well as forestry, sustainability and cooking. Sliced White was reviewed by Kate Goodwin, Head of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts:

"Nikolay Polissky’s breath-taking and beguiling works and the magical context and culture of Nikola-Lenivets provides a space to question and imagine anew. A place that inspires immersion in making, creating and experiencing, as the students so clearly demonstrated."

This panel discussion was part of the British Council’s Future Culture programme.