Studio Another Place

26.03.2013, 14:34
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David Erixon, Program Director of Strelka Institute, Director of Another Place Studio

Our studio follows a quite defined process of four distinct phases (from December to June). First phase is a Discovery phase where we do a systematic analysis of our domain. In this phase we try to use as many research disciplines as possible to understand what is already known within our area. This year it’s more or less reflected in the kind of researchers we have in our studios (architects vs non architects). This phase resulted in a factbook of our domain comprising various and wide topics such as systems of power, systems of crime, systems of health and disease, systems of infrastructure and transport, etc. Second phase which we are currently in is the Hypothesis phase. This is when we look at the new and emerging patterns that are coming out of the first phase and where we are uncovering potential of change and transformation. This will be presented at the mid term review. Following those phases we then have a Eureka phase (which results in an integrated design proposal of sorts), ending with Demonstration (which is more a manifestation of the proposal, could be a proof of concept or a prototype, pilot, etc).

From this perspective the concept or the goal of the studio hasn’t changed. But yet, everything has changed as we are starting to fill our studio with facts, meaning and a better understanding of the whole problem of fixed and emerging patterns of co-habitation. What’s next is to fill it with more innovation and creativity.

People are at the same time both similar and different from last year. Our fellows are still young, hungry, fun and curious. There is still an urgency to fight the status quo, to look for what’s better. It’s still too early to tell, but I hope that the fellows will be able to make some radical suggestions on how we can better cope with tomorrow’s challenges with the urban, semi-urban and rural becoming more intertwined, physically as well as meta physically. Personally I want to see some great creativity in risk taking that can inspire us to re-think the way we are currently approaching urban problem solving.

Studio selection

Filip Mayer, 25, Stockholm, architect

For me, the reason to join this studio was the combination of the topic and the tutors. Nastya, David and Kuba all possess unique qualities that complement each other, making them a very efficient and conceptually advanced team. Being able to tap into their knowledge was a central thing for me. And the topic, Another Place (New forms of cohabitation), sounded great since I’m interested in investigating the living conditions of marginalized populations, their modes of being and places of cohabitation.

Margarita Googe, 21, Perm, marketing

This year, unlike other studios, Another Place is interacting with a genuine physical space, moreover, it’s a limited space. Currently our research is focused on the study of the situation in Moscow and the Moscow region.

Artem Kalashyan, 29, Moscow, art curator

I’ve been running to yet another place whole my life, so it might be a good idea to create one.

Personal interest

Filip Mayer, 25, Stockholm, architect

For me it’s the border condition of another place. It’s always in juxtaposition to our place, and the transition place to another place. Conditions that emerge fascinate me.

Varvara Degtiarenko, 23, Moscow, art historian

I was excited about the opportunity to work with an enormously dynamic range of material: the possibility of deciphering the changes between the old and new, between nostalgic idealism, future aspirations and functionality, as well as finding patterns and defining the nature of “another place”.

Margarita Googe, 21, Perm, marketing

Based on my previous experience, I understood that I could only work on things that truly captivate me and give me the opportunity always to be on a so-called “adventure”. I like the fact that, in order to study a particular topic, we have to go beyond it and turn back, not only to the situation here and now, but also in time. For instance, as part of my research, I had to go back to prehistoric times to observe how mankind’s attitude to nature has changed.

Working process

Margarita Googe, 21, Perm, marketing

In December, each of us chose a particular area of study as a part of individual research: we composed research plan by ourselves, searched for the required experts and collected all information that was possible to find on the relevant topic. Last week we presented the material we had compiled: everyone developed a specific “story” with a classical beginning, exposition, plot and narrative. The point we are approaching now is, basically, a climax – currently we are working on the project hypothesis – the most important period, I would say, in our educational process. After that we will jump to another stage – falling action that will lead us to our final product at the end of the year. And speaking about the latest news from are our studio: this week we intend to organize a small field-trip. We are going to Moscow’s “dacha belt” to study the dacha revolution.

Filip Mayer, 25, Stockholm, architect

We have a common direction and work individually inside this direction. Basically, we agreed upon a couple of trajectories, rules etc. in the beginning of studio start. Then we pursued our ideas and data collecting armed with these tools.

Varvara Degtiarenko, 23, Moscow, art historian

Our roles in the studio are divided into thematic regions (nature, culture, society, government, etc.) around the idea of “another place” in the context of the system of the city and the city’s periphery. All of us have been meeting with experts to consult about our projects, but the most part of the work is done individually. We are currently discussing the patterns we see emerging between our topics.

Final project

Filip Mayer, 25, Stockholm, architect

At this point it’s hard to tell, but it will involve some sort of a disease and probably a part of my body, as well.

Artem Kalashyan, 29, Moscow, art curator

Only God knows what our final project will be. I hope it’ll be just good.