For several months, Strelka students worked in five design and research studios, studying the main aspects of the urban “routine”: housing, offices, cars, communications and shops. The results obtained by the curators and students were presented at an exhibition in the courtyard of the Strelka Institute, in a pavilion designed by the architectural bureau MEL Space. This small house made of chipboard, reminiscent in its structure of an accordion, is divided into three blocks, each of which is dedicated to a specific topic. The entrance block - "Moscow is out of statistics" - is filled with infographics. Basically, the largest - "Itogi" - contains a chest of drawers with 37 drawers: each contains an object illustrating one of the student's projects. The last block, the final one, was given to describe the structure of the educational program, which included all aspects of student life, its “everyday life”. There is also a stand with the "Almanac" collected during the training period.
At the opening of the exhibition, Program Director of the Strelka Institute Anastasia Smirnova explained the reasons for choosing the topic “Everyday” for the completed training course: “Four years ago we were a kind of startup, so it was necessary to declare ourselves, to identify the scope of our interests. The first five themes proposed by Rem Koolhaas, then the mastermind of the educational program, were quite ambitious. To be honest, it is almost impossible to consider these topics within the framework of one studio, since the study of each of them requires a whole research institute. But in the first few years we learned something, realized that we needed to change, change the focus of our activities. Thus, the boring and everyday became the subject of close attention. We agree with the opinion of the excellent French historian and anthropologist, “philosopher of everyday life” Michel de Certeau that tactical things, small actions, imperceptible mutations can speak about the future much more than the study (search) of strategies."
This year, Strelka students were engaged in the everyday life of Moscow, delving into the details of the life of the townspeople: where they live, work, what they drive, what products they consume. As a result of this work, 37 projects were presented on organizing and “formatting” everyday life. Among them there are both group and individual projects, completely different in scale, but equal in importance, since any of the "routines" can serve as a symptom of future tectonic shifts.
We asked some of the students to tell us more about their projects.
Yuriis Kostirko (Latvia), Asen Chumov (Latvia), Georgy Aygunyan (Russia)
"79 ideas for the office"
“Going through a large number of different options dedicated to the transformation of offices, we realized that we were unable to focus on one of the existing problems. This is how the theme “79 ideas for offices” was born, which includes not only proposals for transforming workspaces (for example: archive office), furniture, but also large architectural concepts for office buildings. Up to the point that we have come up with a new profession - a motivator, his responsibility is to ensure a positive social climate within the company. We have a “lemur room” where the employee can relax. But we not only came up with, but also illuminated the existing long-term little-known ideas (there are only five of them): tables at which it is comfortable to sleep, gymchair, etc."
“In Moscow, there are about 1.5 m2 of retail space for each person. These numbers cannot be compared with the megalopolises of all of Europe, but for some reason there is a widespread opinion that there are still not enough stores. The problem is not quantity, but quality.The modern market offers an “unlimited” choice of goods and services, but there is a certain percentage of Russians who cannot afford them due to lack of financial resources. The living wage in Moscow is 11 thousand rubles a month, this amount is calculated on the basis that 50% of this amount is the minimum consumer basket. In my research I wanted to state that almost 2,000,000 Muscovites (10-15%) do not live, but survive. Perhaps there is affordable food in our market, but it can hardly be called high-quality. The minimum basket products lack certain vitamins and minerals. Nutrition is very important as it affects all aspects of human development. You are what you eat."
Giulio Margheri (Italy) and Ruhl van Herpt (Netherlands)
"The future of the Moscow Ring Road"
Ruhl van Herpt:
“The theme of our project was the Moscow Ring Road. By the end of the 20th century, the Moscow Ring Road had become a kind of border separating the city and "not a city". After the collapse of the USSR, active construction of new formations along the Moscow Ring Road began - such as gas stations, car dealerships, huge shopping malls, offices, etc. Large-scale development of the Moscow region began. Heavy traffic is the reason for constant traffic jams: it takes 172 minutes to drive a full circle; without traffic jams, it takes 82 minutes. The number of structures on the Moscow Ring Road is three times higher than on similar roads in Paris, Washington or Beijing, and if we also count small buildings such as car services and gas stations, then 14 times, from which we can conclude that this is really a “shopping street for machines ".
Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that the Moscow Ring Road is not a high-speed highway and will never become one. When Moscow swallows it up, it will become a city boulevard, connected to other transport networks such as the metro and suburban railways. According to our calculations, its throughput will increase 5-6 times."
Archi.ru has already written in detail about the Mashiny studio earlier).
Nicholas Moore (USA)
“My project is dedicated to Moscow courtyards. The yard is a space that is not stuck between houses, but somewhere between the USSR and the post-Soviet space. And the issue of privatizing courtyards is similar to feudalism, as it turns out that, despite the fact that most of the land belongs to the city, in some places it has been privatized by developers or a group of citizens. And such an incredible combination of forms of land ownership affects development projects, improvement and maintenance of courtyards. As a result, the courtyard space is often improvised, and in some places it resembles a defensive structure due to the abundance of fences that turn Moscow's quarters into a closed territory with limited access. It is more "general" than public. On the other hand, the architectural idea works great here even without the help of a professional, and you can play on this. Without interfering with the existing principles of territory development with my own design, I proposed to look at the courtyard in a new way, not as a series of fragmented pieces of urban space, but as a single system, so that one part of it is entirely given over for parking, the other is a forest, on the third - a giant playground, etc. Many people may think that something very absurd can turn out from such experiments. On the other hand, it’s all too easy to say that it’s funny and ridiculous because it’s not like Switzerland. But Switzerland looks like Switzerland and Moscow looks like Moscow. And it would be wrong to say that there is no genius of place in this space. There is, and another one."
*** I would like to note the integrity of everything seen - starting with the newspaper "Everyday", the main graphic product presented to visitors. After all, what could be more familiar than a newspaper? The format is undoubtedly not accidental, and it pleasantly surprises with its simplicity: earlier the final works were published in the format of a book, which does not in any way refer to the topic of the academic year.But most importantly, the proprietary approach to design and research has been analyzed and presented in a “timetable” format that also emphasizes the theme of “everyday life”.