St.Petersburg: Two Schools and Meaning
The topic of the core course “City as a Text” this year was the meaningfulness of life in a city. “Moscow may be livable, but life in Leningrad is worthwhile”, said Alexander Bashlachev 37 years ago.
This is the sentiment of many people from St. Petersburg today, too, but what lies behind it? The question of what makes life in St. Petersburg meaningful was behind all field research of SAS 1st year students, no matter what they focused on – architecture, art, or economy.
Another peculiarity of the “City as a Text” this year was our partnership with Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University. GSOM campus near Peterhof hosted two days of the course, with GSOM professors teaching economics and urban studies and SAS senior student co-moderating filed research with GSOM students. GSOM provided SAS students with the economic box of tools – target audience and location analysis, SWOT analysis, etc., while SAS students demonstrated to the experts in city management what it means to ask complex philosophical questions.
Perhaps the deep interdisciplinary analysis is only possible through the collaborations of two schools as different as SAS and GSOM. In order to determine the pathways of this collaboration, SAS will be visited in May by the GSOM team headed by GSOM director, vice-president of Bank VTB Olga Dergunova.
Alexander Bashlachev grew up in Cherepovets and studied in Ekaterinburg. As one of his songs goes, “Love is a train, Sverdlovsk-Leningrad, and return”. The life of St. Petersburg dwellers is meaningful, but this meaning is implicit. It requires people from the provinces to explicate it.