The New Normal

The New Normal

How do technology and ecological challenges forge future cities?




Edited by Benjamin H. Bratton, Nicolay Boyadjiev and Nick Axel

1st edition

, 2020

Text in Englisch


548 pages, 470 color and 146 b/w illustrations

20 x 27 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-220-0

In cooperation with Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, Moscow


The New Normal (2017-2019) was a post-graduate program and Speculative Urbanism think-tank within Moscow’s renowned Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture, and Design. Directed by distinguished American social theorist Benjamin H. Bratton, the The New Normal conducted a collaborative research to investigate the impact of planetary-scale computation on the future of cities both in Russia and around the world.

The New Normal book, edited by Benjamin H. Bratton, Nicolay Boyadjiev, and Nick Axel, features twenty-two interlinked projects that were part of the research. Published alongside are seventeen lavishly illustrated contributions by international researchers and designers that outline the wider scope of The New Normal program's output, held together by concise thematic texts contributed by Benjamin H. Bratton. Contributors include many of the most influential contemporary designers, philosophers, architects, and artists, such as Yuk Hui, Liam Young, Anastassia Smirnova, Lydia Kallipoliti, Lev Manovich, Julieta Aranda, Trevor Paglen, Metahaven, Keller Easterling, Robert Gerard Pietrusko, Molly Wright Steenson, Ben Cerveny, Rival Strategy, Geoff Manaugh, Stephanie Sherman, and Patricia Reed. The fields of research include Speculative Megastructures, Human AI Interaction Design, Protocols and Programs, Synthetic Cinema, Alt-Geographies, Platform Econometrics, and Recursive Simulation.

This highly topical volume, the only comprehensive survey of research and work produced by The New Normal program, will appeal to all readers interested in the future of cities and urban design.


Benjamin H. Bratton is a professor and Director of the Center for Design and Geopolitics at University of California, San Diego, and Director of The New Normal program at Strelka Institute of Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. He also teaches as a Professor at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland.

Nicolay Boyadjiev is an architect and design strategist, and a design and education tutor at Strelka Institute in Moscow.

Nick Axel is an editor, architect, educator, and theorist, and head of the Architecture Department at Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academy.

Autoren & Herausgeber

«Nach Publikationen, die dieses ambitionierte Curriculum und Wirken lediglich fragmentarisch abbildeten, ist The New Normal endlich ein umfassendes Kompendium von Ansätzen, Semesterprojekten und Selbstreflexionen. Entsprechende Essays – bei derartigem Umfang und Detailgrad ist Ausdauer gefragt – saugen die Lesenden in Projekte, die die komplexen, transformativen Beziehungen von Bio-, Gesellschafts- und Maschinenakteur*innen radikal de- und rekonstruieren.» Lennart Franz, form