Yevgeny Asse and Lev Rubinshtein

strelka courtyard

How do you create a lively urban environment? How do you teach people in an atomized society to communicate? How do you bring history and figurative thinking to city life? How do you train a new generation of architects? Architect Yevgeny Asse will offer his thoughts on these and other questions in a conversation with author Lev Rubinshtein.

Yevgeny Asse is a minimalist architect, draftsman, photographer, curator, Doctor of Architecture, member of the European Cultural Parliament, and winner of the Golden Ratio and ArkhMoskva awards. After graduating from MARKhI, Ass worked for Mosproekt-1, led a research group at the Institute of Technical Aesthetics, and, in 1994, curated an exhibition on Moscow’s architectural avant-garde at the Art Institute of Chicago. Later that year, he founded the independent Architecture Laboratory group. He founded Asse Architects three years later.

Ass comes from a family of architects, including his parents, wife, and son, a professor at his alma mater who also leads the Experimental Design Workshop. Yevgeny Asse has made his mark on the future of Moscow as the designer and co-designer of many architectural projects, including Zastava Ilycha Square, a business-cultural center including the new Sovremennik theater, the Nashi Khudozhniki galleries on Rublyovka, and the “Renaissance Park” community. He considers Moscow a city of “rare spacial and malleable neurosis” and the best city the world.

Yevgeny Asse on escape routes (quoted by Expert magazine):

“An architect can’t bend the world to his will. Large corporations can. An architecture can’t fix human nature. What an architect can do is plan escape routes for that part of society that’s tired of being manipulated, tired of being told what’s right and wrong. I’m confident that this group includes wealthy people who say, ‘Why do I need to build palaces? I don’t need much. I was born naked, and I’ll die naked.’ For this to happen, we have to work hard.

Lev Rubinshtein is a Russian poet, literary critic, essayist, former correspondent for Itogi, Yezhenedelny Zhurnal, columnist for Stengazet.netand and a longtime bibliographer. He made his first inroads into literature in the 1960s, and within a decade he had developed his own minimalist style. By the mid-1970s, his unique index-card poetry had inspired an entirely new genre. Rubinshtein is one of the founders of the Moscow conceptualist school of poetry. He has participated in many poetry and music festivals, art exhibitions and public performances. His works first appeared in the West at the end of the 1970s, 10 years before they were published in Russia. In 1999, he was awarded the Andrey Bely prize.

“Interview,” a co-production of Strelka and Interview magazine, features interesting people talking about their life and work.