Design Ecosystem in Kazan

 { 🇷🇺 } – Kazan: Russia’s 5th Biggest City is On The Rise

Kazan’s Qol-Şärif mosque. Photo by Nikita Zaitsev.

Kazan isn’t exactly the first city that comes to mind when one thinks of Russia. But the capital of Tatarstan, a republic within the Russian Federation, is undergoing a transformation in recent years.

This has attracted all kinds of people to the city, including creatives, and the particular mix of Slavic and Turkic cultures that is found in Kazan has given rise to an ideal environment for new ideas to appear.

Kazan: Where Tatar and Slavic Cultures Meet

Kazan is the meeting place of Russian culture on one side, and Tatar culture on the other side. While Tatars are a Turkic people and their religion is traditionally Islam, Russians are Slavic and adhere to Orthodox Christianity; nevertheless, these two nations have been living peacefully together in the same territory and there are hardly any problems between them. The same can be said not only about Tatarstan but other territories and ethnic republics which are part of Russia, such as Mordovia, Chuvashia and Bashkortostan, just to name a few.

The coming together of peoples with different cultures, languages and religions often results in the creation of something new, and if the last years are any indication, then we should expect big things from the 8th biggest Russian city.

The State of Design in Kazan

Kazan, a city that was virtually unknown up until recently, is now starting to make itself known, even in new circles. As a testimony to that, the capital of Tatarstan and its surrounding area recently hosted events dedicated to art, design or architecture, such as The Second Russian Architecture Biennale for Young Architects.

The Kazan Kremlin. Photo by Nour Tayeh.

Kazan also started attracting creatives looking for an alternative to major cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg, cities that already have an established scene of their own.

Kazan’s location – on the eastern bank of the mighty Volga River, some 800 km east of Moscow – also makes it an attractive place to move to for those people coming from surrounding areas of Russia, as well as countries that lie closer to Kazan than to other major Russian, as it’s the case of Kazakhstan.

Studying Design in Kazan

While Kazan certainly does not offer the same choices as other big cities in Russia, getting an education in design (or other creative fields) is still possible. Such opportunity is offered by the Department of Design and National Arts of the Kazan Federal University, where both undergraduate, vocational and master’s programmes are offered.

Currently, KFU is the only institution for higher education where one can enrol in a study course catered specifically for design, though it is safe to assume that more would follow in the coming years.

Working Remotely in Kazan

It is possible to work remotely in Kazan, as both laptop-friendly cafés and co-working spaces are found in the city. For the latter category, places to keep in consideration if you happen to find yourself in the capital of Tatarstan are Shtab, on Tatarstan Street, fun(c), on Ostrovskogo Street, and Telegraf Space, on Pushkin Street. If, on the other hand, you are the kind of person to prefer a cozy laptop-friendly café, then check out Kofein, on Bauman Street, virtually the only laptop-friendly café available in Kazan.

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Gianmarco Caprio / Content & Community Manager @ Phase

Content creator, editor and community manager at Phase.