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Russia’s cities and urban areas have grown and become quite modern since the end of World War II. For some time now, they have used applications of architecture’s modern movement which have had a major effect on the country’s development and for urban expansions. The new generation of professional architects is moving forward to make even more changes that will benefit habitants.
Pressure being placed on the modern movement has caused a higher level of focus on urbanization and a great deal more attention on increased development vs any other issues.
Housing has become the major concern within the urban development plan which has led to massive construction of residential complexes while promoting the values of Communism in every aspect of the building process.
No matter what the Modern Movement’s intentions were for recreational spaces that would complement new housing, their over-zealousness for living spaces caused public spaces to be placed on the political back burner.
This has caused poor designing of public spaces, causing a negative effect that is not inspiring to the people who are living in these communities.
After so many decades of Soviet Modernism, the same old model is still being used by the architects and planners who are behind the development of Russia’s cities. This can be a problem because there is a need for support from both the state and private investors. Constantly relying on the Modern Movement as the foundation for design and construction has caused a division within urban development. Over-emphasis on spaces for automobiles has forced the needs of human inhabitants to the side.
The upside, the new generation of professionals understand all too well that Soviet architecture is not the right solution for today’s Russia. They are actively looking for new approaches, moving away from rationalists, schematic model to something that realizes that cities are living organisms that will grow on their own.
This new generation of architects is looking for new ideas for developing cities as a support for the complexities of human lives and their needs. This, in turn, takes time to analyze and the ability to comprehend the spacial challenges that come with it.
They are looking to promote a changeable structure design that has the ability to foster diversity and spontaneity which in turn will arouse the human aspect of Russian cities.
To ensure that future generations of professionals support and continue making changes, Strelka Institute, along with support from DOMRF and the Russian government, has created the ARCHITECTS RF Program in order to tap into the personal and professional potential of its participants. Its goal is to develop their softer skills while providing them with the tools that are necessary to create new urban spaces and plans for Russia’s future cities.
There are so many wonderful opportunities that have come about during times of change, this is the perfect time for the young up-and-coming architects of Russia.
The ARCHITECTS RF Program has chosen 100 Russian architects that are willing to take on and confront the challenges that lay ahead. These professional architects are under the age of 40 and are working to bring about interesting projects that will change the mindset of their fellow professionals as well as the mindset of their compatriots by offering them a cutting edge for contemporary life.
One of the major players leading the movement for change is Strelka KB. This organization has spent the last 5 years pushing authorities, architects, and academics to see Russia’s cities as integrated systems.
They are also demonstrating that urbanization should embrace the needs of the people who drive it:
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