The Art of Thinking and Loving
The year 2020 changed the lives of perhaps every human being. People across the globe had to face a whole new reality. It has been particularly difficult and unusual for students and educators to switch to distance learning on a massive scale. However, as is well known, any challenges offer new opportunities. This year, there have been many changes at IGUMO and MKIK. Let’s remember what they were like.
The ability to think and the capacity to love are two key human qualities. These qualities are important to nurture in people from their earliest years and throughout their lives. Any educational process should be based exactly on them. A person receives his or her first knowledge and perception of love in family, from parents. It is essential, however, for these two closely intertwined key elements to accompany people subsequently: both in school and professional training educational institution.
Love and knowledge are among the few things that can never be taken away from a person under any circumstances.
Professional knowledge must be obtained with interest and love: only then will it be effective. Moreover, the process of learning must be two-way. It is important that students enjoy studying, are attracted to the subject they have chosen, and at the same time that the teachers share their knowledge with a sincere passion.
Such a dialogue based on mutual interest creates a powerful educational environment for effective personal and professional development.
The year 2020 was a milestone for each individual and for society as a whole. Experts from various fields have said that the world will no longer be the same after the pandemic and severe economic and social crises. Indeed, the events that have taken place in such a saturated mode this year have in many ways changed people’s consciousness, attitude towards life, habits, and ways of communication.
Society has made a huge leap in the field of introduction of digital technology into everyday life. For the first time in history, education has moved massively into a hybrid mode that combines live and online communication. However, quality knowledge and sincere love remain the main values of the educational process at IGUMO and MKIK.
During the pandemic, it became absolutely clear that it’s only the love that lives in the hearts of people that is capable of finding solutions to any problems, displacing fear, anxiety, and stress. It’s a feeling that helps to refocus energy not into sadness and anger but into creativity and creation.
As you know, consciousness is defined by the environment. That is why the team of IGUMO and MKIK made a special effort in 2020 to enforce the atmosphere of creativity and productive and meaningful work directed at professional and personal development of students.
One of the biggest and most significant events this year was the launch of the new ‘Eco-project’, which includes a number of initiatives of students and teachers. Thus, an international scientific student conference titled ‘Eco-Friendly Habits: Guarantee of Sustainable Development’ was held. Its participants spoke about options for solving global problems, ecology of the surrounding world, and ecology of consciousness.
The team of IGUMO and MKIK took part in the international environmental marathon titled WORLD PRESS CLUBS ALLIANCE FOR CLIMATE, thus becoming the first and only representative of Russia in this event.
As a part of a special photo project, students showed the value of nature to the surrounding community. Through their creative work, they called on people to preserve peace and to be conscious about consumption.
All of these are just some of the initiatives that have been launched, a few steps on the long road to solving the global environmental problem. As the experience of the projects has shown, the students are sincerely caring about the fate of the planet and are aware of the importance and necessity of systemic work to correct the situation.
The students already have a lot of new ideas that will be implemented in the coming year.
IGUMO significantly expanded the boundaries of international cooperation in 2020. At the end of January, students visited the legendary Bauhaus Dessau School of Design in Germany, where together with the teachers they presented the project named ‘n+1: Habitat Formula’. As a result of the trip, the team managed not only to show the highest quality of the Russian education but also to start the creation of a new international project. Thus, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and IGUMO launched a joint educational intensive for designers and teachers of creative disciplines from Russia.
On the International Day of Peace, students participated in the Peace Hour event organised by the Peace 50 community. The event brought together women leaders from 16 countries.
The participation of young students of IGUMO and MKIK became the true highlight of the global international action.
IGUMO students also gave presentations in English at an international conference held by a partnering Lithuanian university.
It must be said that the topic of intercultural communication has received particular attention this year. For example, students immediately admired the new project called Dive Into English, in which students from all faculties were able to participate weekly in English classes with a native speaker. They had lively discussions with him and discussed the topics most relevant to the modern world.
In addition, the Chinese College of MKIK was established in 2020 on the basis of IGUMO. That primarily reflected the current needs of the modern world. Today, the Chinese economy is considered one of the most powerful and efficient and cooperation with the country is very promising. To better understand and feel the people living in China, to be able to cooperate with them, it is necessary to know not only their language but also their culture.
A number of projects were dedicated to preservation and development of the cultural image of the Izmaylovo District, the place where IGUMO students live and study. For example, an art map with all cultural sites located in the neighbourhood was developed.
Despite the massive transition to the digital space, real life in IGUMO hasn’t stopped. A new exhibition space appeared in the Institute, in which a series of unique exhibitions was held in 2020, including the ones dedicated to architecture of the district. Some of the exhibits during the pandemic were available online. The exhibition of Andrey Akimov titled ‘Fossils’ that was among such projects has gained great popularity.
In the autumn, the preview of the Days of Contemporary Art (DOCA) international festival held annually at IGUMO took place in full compliance with all security measures.
Such a demo-format caused by the pandemic circumstances was tested by the organisers of the event for the first time this year. Nevertheless, the event received a very positive response from both the guests and the participants. Professional artists and students of creative directions of IGUMO and MKIK explored the influence of the technological future on the destiny of mankind under the given theme ‘Not Now Yet’. By their works they ‘prepared’ the audience for the big festival which will take place in spring 2021.
Interesting changes have also taken place in the youth policy of IGUMO. The Student Parliament was established on the basis of the MKIK. It includes 25 active, talented, and enthusiastic students from different faculties.
The Student Parliament is a unique structure that, on the one hand, has enabled students to embody their potential and, on the other hand, has become a platform for generating ideas aimed at developing the educational space. All this is another link in the chain of formation and maintenance of a unique atmosphere at our educational institution filled with positive student energy and creativity.
In summer, students traditionally took part in the organisation of the Patrium Summer School for winners of competitions of the Global Talents web-portal. This year, the event was held online. It seemed that it would be more difficult to attract and retain the attention of the schoolchildren through the screen than in real life. However, thanks to the enthusiasm, love, and involvement of all the participants and organisers of the event, the meeting turned out truly unforgettable.
It’s been a really busy year. But still, the transition to distance learning has become a major challenge for students and teachers. To ensure that all communicators felt comfortable in the new environment, we established a special code of ethics.
Modern world is very unstable. Today, in a pandemic, people are in particular need of support and understanding. In such a difficult time, it’s very important for everyone to find themselves in the right environment and surrounded by the right people focused on creation, not destruction. The IGUMO and MKIK team is committed to ensuring that students feel safe and secure and that the learning process gives them genuine pleasure.
The ability to think and the capacity to love are the qualities that light the life path for every person in any situation. Therefore, on the New Year’s Eve, we wish the students to always keep their heart open and mind clear.
It’s what allows us to remain human and to find solutions even in the most difficult situations. And, of course, we wish you inspiration. Because the joy of creativity is the third secret element that makes it possible to neutralise stress, collect the energy, and fulfil your potential by bringing something new into the world. And nowadays it’s the thing that is not only important for every single one of us but for our whole planet.
Marina Volynkina, Rector of IGUMO and MKIK
Viktoria Yezhova, journalist of the Global Women Media news agency,
Translated by Polina Ledovskaya30.12.2020