5 projects from Russia envisioning the Future of Architecture
author: Nikolay Stulov, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology
author: Anton Kalgaev, Strelka Institute
author: Mikheil Mikadze, London Metropolitan University
author: Viktoria Khokhlova, Technical University of Munich
published: March 18, 2019, recorded: February 2019, views: 0
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1. ARCTIC PRESENT: THE CASE OF TERIBERKA
This project by Viktoria Khokhlova looks at the future of northern urbanism as a decentralized network of nomadic coastline settlements. It envisions coastal settlements along the Barents Sea and White Sea as territories that function autonomously, taking advantage of weather and the natural environment and profiting from it when possible, as part of a “New Blue Economy.” The project pays special attention to Russia’s Kola Peninsula, with Khokhlova believing that it has considerable potential to exist autonomously by using renewable wind energy, which would see a parakites system harness the energy in the Arctic and the town of Teriberka in particular.
2. XUXULA: INFORMALITY AS A METHOD
This project by XOPA, an architecture firm founded in 2015 and based in Moscow, examines the phenomenon of “xuxula,” small and modest shelters scattered throughout Tbilisi. The firm believes that such structures are integral to the history of the Georgian capital, as they reflect the economic, social, and political context of the post-Soviet city and the demand for a holistic and humane approach to urban design. The project will be part of the upcoming 2018 Tbilisi Architecture Biennale.
3. THE VIRTUAL RUSSIAN PAVILION
This project by the independent group 🦁🦄(:lion:&:unicorn:) is aimed at bypassing the opacity of Russia’s participation at the Venice Biennale of Architecture by providing a platform for regular exhibitions in the mediums of virtual and augmented reality. The concept is aimed at going against the institutional conventions often faced by architectural thought, instead favoring a “free, independent, and open bureaucracy that will liberate architecture from institutional bondage.”
4. PLUGGED IN AUTONOMY
This project by Nikolay Stulov is based on his own personal experience of living and working in Beijing from February to August 2018. Through his observations of China’s economic boom, which is resulting in economical, political, social, and ecological change, he was able to ponder the future of the country and come up with a possible way to stop an “ecological holocaust” by looking at new ways of developing architecture. That solution was a multi-use complex, designed for living and working, which can be plugged into the city's existing ecosystem.
5. THE PART
This project by Archifellows focuses on the “software” approach to developing architecture. That approach includes human centricity, algorithms, and data analyses, which are used to research and create methods before any construction occurs. Although the concepts of big data and big data analyses are not new, Archifellows recognizes that most developers in Russia are still not familiar with those areas, instead choosing to make technical briefs based on marketing research. That method does not work, according to the firm, as those kinds of briefs led to only 30 percent of new construction being sold in Moscow in 2016. Instead, architecture needs to be built carefully and focus on human needs. Through this project, the firm aims to create a win-win platform for developers and future apartment buyers.
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