Master in Prototyping Future Cities


Program Description

The programme focuses on the issues of urban planning and management using new city models and technologies. It is led by international and Russian scholars and experts who are forming the current agenda for smart city development in Russia and worldwide. The key principle of the programme is learning by doing. The programme takes place in a laboratory-type environment where students try new technology, prepare prototypes, investigate and analyse the city through data, and develop projects that come as a relevant response to complex problems that affect modern cities.

The programme invites architects, designers, engineers, economists, entrepreneurs and graduates interested in the management of cities and technologies. The skills acquired during the programme provide the graduates with a variety of career opportunities in large technological companies, city administrations or their own innovative businesses.

About the programme


The aim is to render the students capable of developing projects related with the Urban Habitat, in all the layers of the City Anatomy, including in the city's physical structure (environment, infrastructure and urbanism), urban services and informational fixes, the social relationships and governance of information technologies in all the phases of analysis, project and management of the city.

Prototype Project Methodology

The strategy is that the students learn to develop prototype projects applicable in any aspect that relates to the city, starting with their capacity to analyse data, to integrate appropriate technology and design proposals that will change the current reality, which also includes the proposal of an economic model that is managed accordingly.

Project = Analysis + Technology+ Design + Fabrication + Implementation


The programme takes place in the FAB LAB laboratory where the students work in a very close and hands-on relationship with technology. In the end, the student have the skills developed by the various areas of study that he has undertaken, thus able to tackle any kind of project. To achieve this, the students have to work both individually, in order to further develop their own skills, but also in collaborative group projects, either remotely or physically, with other universities or cities in which the Master in Prototyping Future Cities is active.

For Whom?

The Master in Prototyping Future Cities programme is directed to:

  • Professionals from different fields related with the city and urbanity, interested in amplifying their technical and project-based knowledge spectrum, with the aim of learning about more advanced technologies and tools that can be applied on city scale projects;
  • City managers, interested in understanding the full potential of information technology in order to optimize the efficiency of their cities or implementing new principles that affect a cities performance;
  • Private sector workers in the field of developing, maintaining and/or managing a city and its urban services, interested in integrating information technology in the process of their work;

Experts in the field of information technology, who are interested in developing new application implementable at an urban scale.

The master programme «Prototyping Future Cities» aims to train its students in the following:

  • The capacity to understand and evaluate the functions of a city from the starting points of data and rational information.
  • The capacity to create physical prototypes of whichever technology with the starting point of digital fabrication and its various components and implementations.
  • The ability to analyze and evaluate the economical and social environment of a city and manipulate that in a positive manner.
  • The capacity to develop urban projects of transformation through physical designs and/or international platform.
  • The ability to work in teams of international and multi-disciplinary members.


Applications are welcomed from any graduate or young professional holding a degree in:

  • Design, architecture or urban planning,
  • Engineering,
  • Economics,
  • Data analysis,
  • Sociology.

The programme is oriented at young professionals with interdisciplinary and international professional experience. Applicants with no specific work experience will be evaluated on the basis of their motivation and analytical skills. We, therefore, invite you to give considerable thought to your motivation letter. Recommendation letters will also be considered during the admission procedure. Finally, English proficiency is an important criterion for success in MA Prototyping Future Cities.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

Consistently ranked as one of Russia’s top three universities, the Higher School of Economics (HSE University) sets itself apart by its internationally-minded, research-driven approach to higher educa ... Read More

Consistently ranked as one of Russia’s top three universities, the Higher School of Economics (HSE University) sets itself apart by its internationally-minded, research-driven approach to higher education. Based in the vibrant center of Moscow, with campuses in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Perm, HSE offers outstanding academics at all levels and includes more than 25 English-taught Master’s programmes and 8 English-taught Bachelor's degree programmes. Read less
Moscow , Nizhny Novgorod , Saint Petersburg + 2 More Less