Moscow Nights: Spectacular CondensersMaria Fedorchenko and Tatiana von Preussen
The unit continues to explore design ‘infrastructures’ that act as transfers between urban systems while aligning programme and form. Playing on collisions between commerce and culture, we will tap into the whirlpools of leisure and entertainment behind flagrant Moscow transformations to define hybrid typologies.
The city’s ingeniously extravagant nightlife inspires unconventional hotspots: lavish bashes ignite behind solemn facades, exclusive shows bypass sumptuous Palaces of Culture, and clandestine havens proliferate beside decadent nightclubs. Learning from paradoxical conjunctions of static and dynamic, contained and distributed, exposed and concealed, we will exaggerate scenarios of densification and intensification. Focusing on performance, we will seek variations on the urban club as the ultimate ‘social condenser’ – a mixer and an accelerator for a 24-hour city.
Favouring pragmatic diagnostics, opportunistic sampling and progressive transplants, we will inject sterile hosts with vital elements. Hybrids of offices and stage-sets, stations and studios, museums and runways will be resolved as synthetic ‘infrastructures’. These diagrammatic frameworks and spatial scaffolds will link expanded networks, fields and ecologies with compressed conduits, mats and megastructures. Translating diagrams into forms, we will move from prototypes and infrastructural models to ‘decorated’ programmes and theatrical atmospheres.
Multiplying the functional and the fantastic, extreme conceptual and graphic ‘provocations’ will respond to critical utopias by visionaries from Ginzburg and Chernikhov, to Price and Archizoom, to Koolhaas and Tschumi. Final ‘work/fun palaces’, ‘plug-in theatres’ and ‘no-stop function-mixers’ will manage volatile spaces and events for maximum visual impact. Catalogues, manuals and plates will mediate between city and architecture, analysis and projection, operation and appearance. For multiplied effects, portfolios will contain urban transcripts and hybrid drawings, composite maps and visual scenarios, diagrammatic matrices and intricate images.
Maria Fedorchenko studied at UCLA, Princeton University and MARKHI. Having practised in Russia, Greece and the US (including Michael Graves & Associates), she co-directs Fedorchenko Studio and runs an urban consultancy. Focusing on diagrammatic tools and polyvalent design systems, her research and design has been published and exhibited internationally. Teaching at UC Berkeley, UCLA and CCA since 2003, she has been involved in HTS, Housing & Urbanism and the Visiting School at the AA.
Tatiana von Preussen was educated at Cambridge University and Columbia University. She has practised in London and New York where she worked for James Corner Field Operations. She has taught design studio and advanced representation at Columbia University. Previously a partner of the research group Gleamlab, she is currently a director of vPPR Architects.