Students’ Projects: Urban Culture

10.04.2012, 16:13
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As promised, we are starting to post descriptions of the students’ projects. The first 6 students belong to the Urban Culture research theme studio. Here’s what they said about their projects.  

Alena Zaytseva:

«I am trying to analyze different forms of urban activities in the city and trace how small initiatives can influence greater change in the surrounding environment. These small processes initiated by people can in turn have an impact on cultural politics and policymakers in the city, thereby encouraging collaboration between the government and communities».


Marina Antsiperova and Mikhail Kozlov:

«We are investigating the destiny of Stalin’s monumentality in architecture, with a focus on the seven sister skyscrapers. Using R. Barthes’ concept of mythology (clouds of meanings in culture), we analyzed how people’s perception of Stalin’s architecture has changed over time. As part of the Urban Culture group, we are trying to figure out what the place of the Soviet utopia is in the modern context».


Tatyana Polyakova:

«I’m investigating how former industrial spaces may be rethought and subsequently reused. If used creatively, former factory buildings may contribute to improvement of the social atmosphere of a district, diversification of people’s cultural life, preservation of historical buildings, and creation of new jobs.

I’m planning to develop the concept of a social and cultural center for one of Moscow’s industrial spaces. This is the final goal of my project. I’ll try to design a concept of a place where people would be able to communicate and share ideas and where it would be possible to implement both social and commercial projects.

The photo shows the example of the restructuring of Berlin’s Radialsystem».


Marina Laba:

«During the last three months, I have been studying worldwide methods of city branding and analyzing how Moscow is seen from the outside — by tourists, expats, compilers of international rankings. The questions like «Where is the place of the resident in the scheme of place branding?» and «Does Moscow need a brand for an «external observer» at all?» kept bothering me. Eventually, I concluded that in order to build a brand, it is necessary to first address a more complex issue of the city identity. The next phase of my work is to understand how this identity can be formulated through working with residents on a district level». 


Ekaterina Varionchik: 

«Moscow’s Metro has become a culturally valuable architectural monument that is struggling with its transportation function. The city authorities have a specific cultural policy on dealing with central stations; meanwhile, the periphery stations stay uncovered by this policy. In this sense, my research is an attempt to show and suggest how they can be used and how they can become part of Moscow’s public space».