Editorial material

  • Elena Grigoryeva

    The topic of the current issue is one of the most complicated and contentious issues of our uneasy time. The emergence of a new class called precariats has been identified just recently: this new term was introduced by G. Stending from Great Britain seven years ago. He called the new class currently emerging and bearing a huge devastating potential “precariat” (similar to “proletariat”, from Latin precarium – unreliable, unstable).
    The tangle of problems united by the term “precariat” includes economics, robotics, sociology and demography. It embraces the problem of migrants flooding rich countries, as well as an ominous question: where to place people who no longer have an...

  • Elena Grigoryeva

    The Festival “Zodchestvo of Eastern Siberia” was founded at the turn of the millennium. The first Festival was held in 2001 at Irkutsk Sibexpocenter and caused a massive outcry among the architectural community in Siberia and throughout the country. Later the Festival “Zodchestvo of Eastern Siberia” became one of the most important annual architectural events in Russia. The first participants of the Festival were the architects from Eastern
    Siberia (such cities as Irkutsk, Angarsk, Bratsk, Chita and Krasnoyarsk, republics of Buryatia, Tyva, Khakassia, as well as Ust-Ordynsky and Aginsky national districts of Buryatia). Since 2007 architects from Western Siberia (Omsk and Barnaul)...

  • Elena Grigoryeva

    The Ministry of Economic Development has recently introduced two documents concerning Russia’s prospects – the Strategy of space development of Russia and the Complex plan of modernization of the transport infrastructure. The principal idea of the documents is to concentrate the inhabitants in a small number of agglomerations with the population of each exceeding three million.
    The documents immediately evoked a strong and mostly negative response among professional communities. The prospects for Siberia and Far East look especially ominous. In this case, what will the Irkutsk region with the population of 2,404,195 (which is still decreasing) look like? What are the inhabitants of...

  • Elena Grigoryeva

    The uncertainty of geopolitical processes plunge small towns deep into precarity with ambiguous prospects. Will the financial injection into the project “Urban environment in small towns and historic settlements” made by the Federal Ministry of Construction be helpful? At least it won’t hurt. Already the collaboration between citizens and municipalities during the work on the concepts gave impulse to development. We bring to your attention three projects by “Rozhdestvenka” architectural bureau, participants of the competition. The problems of Ostashkov are comprehensible. Suzdal, however, can be hardly categorized as precarious at first sight; the prospects of this diamond of the...

  • Konstantin Lidin

    The word “precariat” is derived from the Latin “precarium” (unreliable, unstable). Creative professions have always been insecure, and in the era of the precariat they finally lose all social guarantees. As it is said, anyone can hurt an artist’s feelings.
    On the other hand, sociologists affirm that the role of the creative class keeps on growing, and the presence of creative professionals is a “growth hormone” necessary for development of cities.
    How will these contradictory trends influence the development of the architectural profession? Many historians and theoreticians of architecture are rather pessimistic about it and speak about the degeneration, the death of the...

News items

Short articles

  • The author provides an interpretation of the garden installation in one of the parks in the USA devoted to migrants from Mexico. She characterizes their style of life and their place in the social structure.

  • “The Image of the City” by Kevin Lynch gave rise to the environmental approach, which expressed demographic values. In the environmental approach, architecture of a separate structure merged with the city, losing its aristocraticism and transcendental isolation. The word “lynching” is used in wordplay and means a democratic trial of the aristocratic architecture. The environmental approach results in the death of architecture.


  • The article presents the history of formation and development of Barnaul as a mining city from its foundation to the end of the 19th century. It features the establishment and the evolution of copper-smelting and silver-smelting industries as city-forming factors. The article characterizes the activities of mineralogists, merchants, engineers and architects starting from the 17th century. The biographical details of the most famous people are given. The peculiarities of the city’s culture are featured.

  • The notion of the precariat as a social group living in highly uncertain conditions became very popular due to the book by Guy Standing. His description of the precariat is coloured with negative tints of anger, fear and disgust. Nassim Taleb with his theory of “black swans” expresses an opposite and additional point of view. The article draws a parallel between the current processes of precariatization and the social structure of polices in the times of late
    Antiquity and Hellenism. The article proves that precariatization of the creative class, including architects, produces new challenges and new opportunities for development of the profession.

  • The article is focused on the problem of interrelations between the historical and the geographical rootedness of architecture on the one hand, and, on the other hand, its currently growing unrootedness. The author’s reflections on the roots of architecture and how it is breaking away from those roots evolve into a relevant metadiscourse about the rooted and the unrooted in culture.

  • The article speaks about the necessity of comprehension of the socio-cultural consequences of the fourth industrial revolution, the total robotization and the expansion of artificial intellectual systems and networks. It underlines the progressing displacement of humans from the economics, the consistent dehumanization of the society, mass technological unemployment and emergence of the numerous class of “needless people”. The author forecasts the impact of these processes on the transformation of the economic structure, the reformatting of the social problems, as well as the spatial environment and the functions of the cities. He comes to the conclusion that the “needless people”...

  • Throughout the 20th century, citizens have been losing the idea of Home as a constant in life. Depersonalized “housing estates” with a standard set of things are a common lot. But even rich citizens, who have an opportunity to build a house outside the city or to buy a big apartment, get a surrogate instead of a home. Boxlike houses are not harmless. They transform a human to fit themselves, while forming the generations where the “box man” will dominate.

  • The article gives a comprehensive review of the three contemporary town-planning problems: the formation of the settlement framework in the Russian Federation; the cohesion of all parts of the territory of the RF; organization of the living environment. The present-day situation in town planning is analyzed. The author is concerned about this situation and proposes the reasoned strategies for its solution.

  • The article reviews theoretical principles of researching the development strategy for Russia, underlines the significance of the system approach in the theoretical analysis and features the uniqueness of the Russian space. It compares the formation of the Russian social space, its constants and variables with similar processes in European and Non-European countries. The article analyzes the notion of strategy, its characteristics and how it differs from policy. It consistently describes the Russian social space – the space of the country, the space of the regions, the space of life as the levels of social organization of the country. It underlines the importance of the communication...

  • The project is focused on revitalization of the cultural resource of the central part of Ostashkov. It is proposed to make a detailed analysis of the information concerning mapping and traffic situation. The authors offer a brief development of five pilot sites, which will become the future zones of growth, investment into the reconstruction of the center and adaptation to new relevant functions.

  • The author features the evolution of the functions of the central boulevard in Ostashkov. He points out the inadmissibility of the marginalized environment in the center of the city. The author proposes the measures for quality changes in the given urban territory with zoning and capitalization.

  • The concentration of the worldwide economic, financial and political activities in a few international metropolitan areas seems to continue. Cities that manage to be part of these networks experience generally an economic growth. But cities that fall out of these connections struggle to stay attractive for investments, jobs and people. This applies especially to medium and small size cities without a particular historic, economic or natural environment, that let them stand out. But also inside international metropolitan areas the advantages of being part of the worldwide network are not distributed equally. The metropolitan centre becomes more attractive and at the same time...

  • For the last five thousand years, the significance of architecture has been constantly decreasing. From the ancient cult, architecture first turned into art, then into a stepdaughter and a servant of the power. The contemporary structures express no common cultural mythology of life and the world. They have no proper effect of reference to sociology or philosophy. Hypothetically, it is possible to return to architecture its fundamental functions erased by the centuries-long verbal culture.

  • Konstantin Lidin, Elena Bulgakova

    The current stage of development of the world economy is characterized as the “experience economy”. The new economic structure has a high demand for irrational forms of labour that cannot be algorithmized. To overcome the tendencies towards transformation of architecture into the sphere of precariat, it is necessary to drastically change the methods and the ideology of architectural education. The article provides the data of the survey carried out among the students of Moscow Information and Technological University – Moscow Architecture and Construction Institute. The study has shown an extremely high dependence of students on present-day trends, which contradicts their individual...

  • Georgi Stanishev

    The main feature of precariats is their unstable status that gives no guarantees of a secure future. However, the uneasy feeling of instability and insecurity of life can be caused not only by social reasons. The Japanese archipelago is a place where natural disasters occur most frequently in the world. It is a country where natural forces at any moment can remind how we the people are dependent on their mighty caprices. In such conditions, the precariat region’s unique culture has developed. The next fragment of the book by Georgi Stanishev presents an interview with one of the founders of Japanese Metabolism, Fumihiko Maki. The master reflects about the post-war Japanese generation,...

  • Frank van der Hoeven

    The Dutch embraced in the 1920s the idea that they could improve society by forcing antisocial families in so-called housing schools. Slums were cleared under the pre-text of urban renewal, and vulnerable families were put under supervision in special projects that became known as “Woonschool”. This government interference into the lives of citizens resulted after WWII into the deportation of two thousand people from the larger Dutch cities to remote provinces to be trained in becoming decent citizens, starting with the forced removal of victims of the German bombardment of Rotterdam. Shifting opinions on what deviant social behaviour is and what the role of the government should be in...


  • The authors feature the historical and cultural background of the reconstruction project for shopping arcade in Suzdal. The article analyzes the disadvantages of the present-day status of Suzdal as one of the centers of the Goldan Ring. It describes the principles, the plan and the approach to the reconstruction, as well as the possibility to return the money from tourism to the city budget.

  • Victor Malafeev, Valentina Kazakova, Konstantin Lidin