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The Kremlin:

Carlos Medellin

What would happen if the thoughts and longings of the citizen’s begin to be freely expressed? By doing so, enabling everyone to get attracted and become an attraction, breaking the taboos on how to approach strangers and the unknown. What would happen if as citizens you have a reactive surface that is out in the open but under your control? The aim is to use and to explore the city differently, to geographically redefine Moscow by discovering and exposing its geography of desire. The flows of digital data and the possibilities of social interaction have increased, thanks to the opportunities offered by today’s Internet networks. These characterize contemporary dynamics that are creating urban realities. It is a rapid tool that operates in real time and amid a constant flow of information that could empower change and understanding in a faster way. Usually geography and mapping exercises are concentrated on visible facts, but today there is a great amount of digital information generated as we use and/or navigate urban spaces. This information draws a different map, allowing us to see behind barriers. In this research, this digital data is combined with observation so as to obtain the most accurate portrait of the city. This research looks into the situations that drive humans to create and repurpose the city environment so to find a place of its own. After experiencing Moscow as an urban context and a cultural entity, people can think that parallel worlds exists in this city; they are outcomes of various dynamics, one a pretended reality and another happening behind closed doors and lost contact of its inhabitants. The first is supposed to be the idealistic outcome of a specific model; the second one is the outcome of an oppressed society looking to transgress the auto regulated boundaries.


Контроль technique Concentrical Infrastructure



The starting point relies on the interrelatedness of various forms of social, political and cultural hierarchies and exclusions related to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, bodily ability, race, class and geopolitical location. The specific case study is Moscow, Russia, an old urban settlement, that distinguishes because of its particular cultural and its history. Most of its experiences and culture’s expression is controlled, as can be observed in various layers that define the city everyday life. “sorry today is private” “sorry today is not your day”

“The Grid City”

“ The built environment is a cultural artifact. It is shaped by human intention and intervention, a living archeology through which we can extract the priorities and beliefs of the decision-makers in our society. Both the process through which we build and the forms themselves embody cultural values and simply standards of behavior which affect us all” From the corporate towers of the wizards of industry to the Emerald City of the Wizard of Oz, men have crated the built environment in their own self-image.” [1] Leslie Kanes Weisman

“ The city itself became a communicative space and the creation of media. Displacing houses and erecting monumental new buildings were acts of communication, signifying a show of strength. At the same time, they invited citizens to identify with this display of power, and gave rise to a new collective identity.” [2] Monica Rüthers

The downtown is characterized by unique pieces of architecture built thrown down and rebuilt through time since the twelfth century. Most of the particular Russian architecture that has a revolutionary style is located in this central ring. Meanwhile the outer zone became the area to supply the requirements of Soviet policy to provide a mandatory living place to the rapid growing population. Thorough, the result is a monotonous urban landscape with a lack of variety that is deteriorating, because of low matainance. To these urban scapes are associated social behaviors, which are controlled by the traditions and old regulations that today are no longer questioned.

That can easily be heard or understood walking around the city. My experience, as a guest in the city has been marked by the encoded navigation system difficult to be understood at the beginning. Also, it has been noticeable to me that being different from the classical urbanite models is not easy. I remarked the role that women have in this society, as stated by the several human and nongovernmental organization, prostitution is a city problem. I have learned that history and the country evolution have taught that men have to be the responsible and the one in command. Moscow is a city difficult to explore by outsiders, it is auto-regulated by the inhabitants, by the city’s policies, bureaucracy and infrastructure. In the exercise that I propose, there is an attempt to recognize the varied array of citizens. In Moscow’s case, they can also be found in paper, digital data and inside hidden rooms, as there is a deficit of urban space that could offer opportunities for everyone to openly speak. What is looked to be proposed is an open invitation for citizens to easily participate and tell. It could be by means of a design, which has the capacity to illustrate how the meaning of an architectural and urban space can be redefined for a short or long period of time. In it the spectators not only organize themselves to watch but they are involved and engaged. 71



Moscow is a complex urban structure occupied by over 11 million people, it has a varied population of not only Muscovites but people coming from the ex Soviet Union countries and all over the world. Around three million people are immigrants, from those, two million are legal and the rest are without proper documentation. It is a city organized by a road system in rings around the Kremlin, the heart of the city. Some are high-speed freeways that cut possible pedestrian flow dividing the city.

“ The visual strategies in Stalin’s time aimed at creating the illusion of perfect communism through the means of social realism. The art of socialism realism provided the illusion of a monolithic space that ignored the less-than-perfect zones between the perfect spots. It guided the perception of the public. People were supposed to learn to blend out imperfect surroundings and create an ideal synthetic space out of islands of perfection.” [3] Monica Rüthers 72

The soviet project had the idea that esthetics (monolithic architecture that ignored individualities) will show how powerful the government was and society would be controlled. The city, be it downtown or microrayons, had to be monumental, both in its architecture and in its pomposity, in it, people fill oppressed by this majestic landscape; one that does not invite them to identify with it. It also creates a sensation of going nowhere, both socially as architecturally. Neither the urban proposals will hear the citizen nor will the people be able to create their own.

Tабу Landscape Taboo “ Thomas More writes of an island society of perfect organization, a place (topos) that is good (eu) and non-existent (ou): eu-topos, ou-topos, utopia. The physicality of an island, individual and contained, has remained key to utopian thinking ever since. Written in a feudal society in which religious and political non-conformity would eventually cost him his life, More’s proposal for religious, gender and political tolerance was very radical. It is perhaps because of More’s context that Utopia was written, as an expression of dissatisfaction with the present and a means of projecting a possible future: the utopian projection is a symptom of anxiety with the present.” [4] Becca Voelcke



“We cannot abandon our own impulses, without our thoughts we cease to be truly humans” [6] Daniella Gandolfo Russian culture tends to demonstrate the opposite of this statement. It can be said that lodged at the heart of the rule-obsessed Muscovite social construction there is a basic rule of avoidance, a prohibition of contact, functioning like a pivot between the ideas of race, class, sex or gender and the mass of feelings that underpin all relations defined by difference. Moscow, like any city, has taboos. Yet, not only the traditional taboos; here human and social interactions cannot easily take place. Overall in Moscow, the body and its necessities are considered taboos. The sacredness of beings and things is treated by having been set apart from the ordinary, into the profane life; in Russia traditional precepts are what differentiate us from one another. The separation of the sacred and the profane is the basis that, among other things, defines the various limits and prohibitions by which Muscovites live in society. Through negation, taboo associate natural phenomena such as sex with the reality of our animal bodies, a truth that has to be expelled into a closed realm, one that should be impossible to penetrate. This emotion defines the boundaries of parallel cities – reduced fragmented and disconnected islands amongst the gigantic Moscow city. Sacred and profane cannot

LOOK People have been trained to not have any contact and to close themselves to everyone and everything. Even in spaces that pushes together people, they automatically repel themselves...

NO CONTACT BODY EXPRESSION “ The gap between architecture and what people make of it, seeing its occupants no longer simply as passive consumers or victims but also as vital actors contributing a multiplicity of new images and models of occupation. Most optimistically this architecture positions embody new social and cultural formations. Yet it must also be stated that any facile rehabilitation of the “ordinary” readily becomes problematic. There is, of course, no “common man” just as there is no universal “other”. Despite Lefebvre’s and de Certeau’s recognition of the polymorphous fluidity of the everyday, populist tenets frequently homogenize and subsume stratifications of power, such as class, gender and race, in the fray of contemporary architectural practice and polemics. The ordinary becomes a rationalization for market forces and passive consumption; “common sense” becomes a means to avoid the rigors of ideological critique.” [5] Mary McLeod 73

Шоу Limits Show To physically enforce the moral and social controls that are precepts of the traditional regime, Moscow uses several urban layers. Although it is an English expression it began in Kiev and Moscow, and lately it has been exported to other European countries, Russian face-control bouncers have even traveled to Spain, France and Italy, to apply their knowledge and work at private parties. “I’m sorry, there needs to be a pretty picture inside, you understand.” says Pasha “Face Control.” Such are the often brutal vagaries of Moscow’s face control, which is both humiliating and exhilarating. Money, looks and attitude are all weighed and ranked in a few seconds, defining whether you belong in the club that night, or not. It is a method that looks to keep the city as glamorous, exclusive and looking expensive as possible. It is said to be necessary because Russia is filled with “people who have just made their first million and think they deserve to be in the club, that they should get everything they want.” [7]

Face Control

“Public places” in the city with any LOOK requirement to access “The rituals held on some of the islands in their turn constituted spaces of power. The choreographic order of the bodies of sportsmen, soldiers and leaders on top of the mausoleum on Red Square was repeated over and over. Like the picture of the new urban spaces in photographs and paintings, the festivities were in the picture, a double heterotopia. On weekdays between holiday festivities, other spaces were created. [9]” Monica Rüthers

This, of course, is a problem. “But in fact they’re just a bunch of miners and day laborers,” Pasha “Face Control” says. “They don’t have respect or culture.” [8]


There is even a special face control system for cars; a thick-necked man in a black vest lets only the most expensive, late-model Ferraris and Bentleys up to the place where a bouncer guards the entrance to the club itself.

Photos thanks to Strelka Bar, Moscow 2012

The rejection, when it comes (which is more often than not), is frequently wrapped in an almost paternal sense of charity: it’s for your own benefit; you wouldn’t like it in here anyway. It puts a price on a woman’s attractiveness, and how much money a man can spend in the club. The face becomes the indicator of the level of wealth, power, social standing and overall desirability. After a while, all these snap judgments of a person can weigh on the soul. If inside the club there is one big perfect celebration, what is there for the ones left outside?


This urban dynamic can be considered a vicious circle. Each time someone is accepted into a specific environment it is taken as a proof of how much more he or she is worth, compared to the ones left outside. It becomes a conquest of the best places, so as to be considered more important or greater than the rest of society. Meanwhile, those left outside spend what they do not have to get into an upgraded social position. In Moscow, life works as a beauty pageant, where you only want to be the selected one. 74

Cекс Geography Sex

Moscow is a city where at first sight, it is appearances that open and close the doors of opportunity. In this context, body language that tells something about you is objectified; sexual orientation or explicit sexual behaviors fall into that category, pushing it to happen behind closed doors. This gives to the minorities, such as the gay community, a possibility to express, meet and satisfy their needs. This space, traditionally, has been given by the Internet and has pushed non-virtual space to surge.

5.3 million 6.2 million


male female

The sexual desires of men meet its requirements in architecture such as brothels or clubs and currently find new outlets via the Internet. Meanwhile, women find fewer possibilities either to express or to satisfy themselves. This is contradictory, considering that in this city women are the majority of the population. Yet they still a minority group that has not found a voice in contemporary urban structures.

Physical Portals

Woman to Woman Woman to Man Man to Man Man to Woman


Virtual Portals


Profile content


One of the many streight, male oriented, clubs in Moscow. Jus the entrance is an exmple of how visful and accepted are this gender of clubs




and stuff: Body art

Body hair:


I have a piearcing(s) I have tattoo(s) I shave everywhere! Legs Chest I don't shave down there Hands Naturally hairless Down below Back Tons

Sideburns 5-o'clock shadow Mustache Facial hair: Clean-shaven Beard All smooth


Eye Colour


A lot A few No

Homosexual site



Full Beard Goatee Moustache Designer stubble No Beard Average Very hairy Little Shaved Smooth Light Brown White Grey Blonde Red Brown Black

time: with my What I do

Eye color

Punk Long Average Short Shaved Other Blue Green Grey Brown Stocky Belly Muscular Athletic Average

Weight Height Birthday

Weight: Height:


Body Hair

A lot A few No

Hair color

Body type

Other Hazel blue Green Grey Brown

conditions Living Kids:

Dyed Bald Shaved White Grey Blonde Red Brown Black


Big and Beautiful A few extra pounds Muscular Athletic Average Slim

Weight, kg Height, cm Appearance Homosexual site


Alcohol: About me Hometown Current City Date of birth Gender

Heterosexual site


Drugs: Female Male


Heterosexual site

Legally married Just separated Dating a man Living with a guy Marriage of convinience Dating different people Dating a woman Meeting people Divorced from straight marriage Married to a woman Dating a man and a woman Engaged Looking


music: favourite My

I work and study I study I'm just a lazy bum I work

Open Taken status Relationship Single

I have kids living separately I live with my kids I want to have kids later I won’t have any I don’t have any Socially I’m quitting No Yes Rarely


Interests Going out Communication Planning Tidiness Night life

Socially Never Ofthen Occasionally


Socially and rare Never I’m a party animal! Homosexual site




Married Open realtionship I have a partner I am single Yes Socially No Homosexual site



Yes, please! With company No and I don’t like drinkers No


Chain smoker - oxygen is overrated Yes Social No and I don’t like smokers No Empty nest Already have Someday No, never Alone With partner Dormitory With roomate With Parents


Heterosexual site



Widowed Single Separated Open Married In a relationship Engaged Domestic partnership Divorced Dating Complicated Civil Union

cuisine: favourite My


No pets No but I like pets Yes I have pets No I don’t want No I don’t have No but I want No but I like Yes I have

Hometown Current City


Heterosexual site

massage salon

looking for Date:

Yoga Deep see diving Skating Swimming Combat sports Skiing, snowbording Biking Fitness Serfing Rollerblading Soccer Running


prefer it: How I

I'm a vegetarian Thai Italian I eat anything French Korean Japanese My mothers Chinese Brazilian Russian

Food & Drink Books Hobbies Games Profession Travel Sports Beauty Fashion & Shows Movies & TV Music


beliefs: Religious


Buddhist Jewish Muslim Christian God is there There is no God

Social Life


Religion Profession



Homosexual site


preferences Sexual

Indian Arab Mixed Black Mediterranean Latin Asian Caucasian Homosexual site




I don’t do this kind of things! Bottom - versatile Top - versatile Versatile Bottom Passive Top Active No Yes



S and M

Feminine In the middle Manly man Fucking

Income Profession

Nobody knows about me! Close friends

Faroese Basque Esperanto Estonian Danish Welsh Creole Czech Catalan Bosnian

Travel Sports Music Favorite Food

Ukrainian Portuguese Chinese French Dutch Hebrew I can speak: Spanish Russian Italian Japanese German English



Mixed race Middle eastern Asian Black Hispanic Caucasian

Position: site: Company Company: Industry:

sponsor?: Can I

Sometimes No Yes

orientation: Co-workers about your I can't hide it, I'm GAY! Who knows

Parents/relatives I'm open about it

Indonesian Afrikaans Chinese Russian Portuguese Italiam French German Spanish English Advanced degree College / University Trade / Technical School only Heterosexual site

Transsexual FtM Transsexual MTF Straight Orientation: Bi Gay Linked in Twitter Facebook Occupation Graduate school College / University High school Interests


manners: Your

Feminine In the middle Masculine/Butch

QGyus Heterosexual site

Homosexual site

Safer sex

generally Sexually I am




in bed: Anal sex What I like

Oral sex - to give Massage Sex-toys Cum Domination Exhibitionism Rimming Masturbation Kissing

Yes WS Only No No Passive Active / Passive Active


Yes Soft SM only No

It seems that the greater the population the smaller its territory. Does Moscow have an uneven geography of desire ?

Uneven Geography

Role games Bondage Group sex Oral sex - to receive Petting Golden showers Fisting Submission Wrestling

Uncut Cut

Safe sex:

Radio Classical Hip-hop, R&B Metal Dance music Pop I listen to anything Rock Electronic Depends on my mood

Latex/Rubber Uniforms Tattoos Dressing up Leather Jeans Smells Swing dates Socks Piercing Underwear No

for sponsor: Yes I'm looking Desires

No Top only More Top Versatile More bottom Bottom only

Muscled Defined Large

Woman to Woman

Athletic to be: your body Slim I would like Thick built Average Skinny Older than me About my age be: your age to Younger than me I would like Doesn’t matter

Never Needs discussion always

Building a family 3-way One-night stand Roommate Relationship Group sex

Top only More Top Versatile More bottom Bottom only


here for: Travel companion I'm looking

Friendship Love Regular sex partner Gym/sports buddy E-mail/Chat

Lesbian bisexual Orientation Open-minded Straight

transgender bisexual gay Homosexual site


Heterosexual site



Bisexual Gay / Lesbian Stright Heterosexual site

for: searching I'm

Transsexual Gay group Transvestite Bi couple (M+F) Gay couple Bi group Man


looking for Chat:

looking for Friends:

looking for Sex: Too horny cum pig

sex, GRRR

looking for Relationship:

Me gustaría encontrar un hombre de verdad

looking for Sex: Cute bottom for muscular top...

looking for Date: SPICE IT UP! PUMP IT UP!

looking for Relationship:

looking for Relationship:

looking for Date:

Let's drink champagne!

looking for Chat Ищу интересных и добрых людей looking for Chat:

looking for Date:

Love, Peace and Bubblegum!!!

looking for Date: Some one to teach me I've just come to Moscow. I do not know Russian language.

I want to meet with a guy, 26-35

Homosexual site

Search radius

Worker Sneakers & Socks Uniform Skins & Punks Skater Drag Techno & Raver Lycra Underwear Sportsgear Jeans Formal dress Boots Rubber Leather Planer Continent Country Region City

Relationship Networking

ages users between Looking for Looking for

Looking for

Relationship Friends Sex date


Homosexual site

Friends Dates Chat

Looking for


Heterosexual site


Heterosexual site

Woman to Man Man to Man Man to Woman

Wants to share a bottle of wine with somebody, 24-50

American football ,sport, dances, intercourse.....

looking for Friends:

looking for Sex:

sex, smile, jazz!!! :)

looking for Date:

looking for Sex: sex sex sex, )))))))))))))))))))))))

looking for Relationship:

looking for Sex:

looking for Sex:

Hot RUSSIAN guy from MOSCOW! Real fucking without complexes!

looking for Relationship:

Lady. Do not hesitate to contact me. :) I want to meet with a guy, 26-35

looking for Sex:

gay sex shop

male strip club

looking for Relationship: looking for Friends:

The road of excess leads to the Palace of wisdom. In this profile you don't find some kind of sportiness or muscles, but maybe you can find another treasures.

The road of excess leads to the Palace of wisdom.well-built russian guy, looking 4 fun.

looking for Friends: looking for Friend:

looking for Relationship:

looking for Friends: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

looking for Chat: .

I am looking for new friends, interesting people if possible!

looking for Friend: .

Devil wouldn't recognize you...

looking for Date:

Will be in moscow till middel of april! Give a note!

looking for Sex: looking for Sex:

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) )))))))))))))

cool guy from moscow ) i am photographer ) Я добряк =)


looking for Chat:

looking for Relationship:

looking for Date: Hello! I'm an interesting guy. I would be glad to get acquainted with interesting people.

So give it to me like I want it

not possible to discribe in a few words ..........

looking for Friends:






gay cruising

gay sauna 6


sex shops




What the people is looking for:

strip club

bars gay 9

Urban geography usually is defined by the overlap of various layers; biological, infrastructural, anthropological, economic and, in this case, it seems that sexuality defines a new layer. Perhaps Moscow is the case study that proves this. It is through the observation of its daily life that this sexually defined geography has been found. Although Moscow seems to have a tough, difficult-to-penetrate skin, it seems that there can be public spaces to break down these traditions.


Perhaps the root of this social unbalance can be said to come from poor entertainment infrastructure and the lack of education, particularly sexual education. Today in Russian schools it is almost non-existent, and this results in a great number of young women’s pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. After all, an Orthodox society and religion tends to consider sexual expressions offensive and inadequate. Classically, libidinous heterosexual behavior should stay private and not be manifested. Sexual expression is tamed and recommended to occur in closed space rather than out in the open; it displeases the given order and questions the limits. This situation can be possible in a controlling and segregating society. Muscovites walk through the city led by the hand by ghosts. Their fears and prejudices tell them which routes to take, which zones of the city to visit, and which ones to avoid.


Rubber Military Formal Trendy Skin Leather My attire: Suite and Tie Alternative Punk Drag Sports Kit Casual

“The man-made environments which surrounds us reinforce conventional patriarchal definitions of women’s role in society and spatially imprint those sexist messages on our daughters and sons. they have conditioned us to an environmental myopia which limits our self-concepts... which limits our visions and choices of ways of living and working... which limits us by not providing the environments to support our autonomy or by barring our access to them. It is time to open our eyes and see the political nature of this environmental oppression!.” [11] Leslie Kanes Weisman

“On weekdays between holiday festivities, other spaces were created. Prostitution, idling and nightlife showed different arrangements of people, objects and actions.” [10] Monica Rüthers

What, where and how are expresed on the city ?

Homosexual Heterosexual site site

Physics Cultural Living conditions Sexual preferences Sexual desires

name: sex: location: age: interests:

ISOLATED The only Lesbian oriented Club. Its architecture is a reponse to the forbiddenness of its gender.

Is the sexual infrastructure maleoriented and are women simply another piece of this infrastructure ?

description of the dating services information profile . offline/online status . interaction among users . location



A prostitute can be fined in Russia, and organizing prostitution is punishable by jail. Therefore, underground services become more and more attractive, as a wealthy business and a living option, albeit with poor conditions for those women working in it. If, instead of being a closed service, if it was an open, settled and organized urban activity, the market would loosen its power and women would have more options and get better treatment.

Moscow’s population by gender


Is the sexual infrastructure male-oriented, and are women simply another piece of it? Women have been considered a sexual object for a long time in this orthodox male society. Women play a supporting role to male infrastructure. The female figure becomes a male accessory used to easily access some places, to fit into a particular desired look and to express financial wealth. Therefore an important market of women is set in place to satisfy these male longings. Today, Moscow has a well-organized, strong black market in women that fulfill Russian demand and open the frontiers, as it is becoming a global business.

46.3% 53.7%


looking for Date: hi:) Just looking for some friends....

A sexual geography at the service of the men Even men having a “forbidden” sexual orientation have a place to express their desires No matter sexual orientation, women have no place on this geography

“ First there are the utopias. Utopias are sites with no real place. They are sites that have a general relation of direct or inverted analogy with the real space of Society. They present society itself in a perfected form, or else society turned upside down, but in any case these utopias are fundamentally unreal spaces ” [12] Michael Foucault


“ Foucault writes of the heterotopia’s feature of juxtaposing several non-compatible spaces, using the planned garden as an example of how diverse landscapes can be brought together in an attempted order, their wild natures forced into neighborliness. Libraries and museums can be viewed in the same light, the times and voices of their contents becoming folded into one and contained in their structures. Like the cemetery then, the archive cannibalises time.” [13] Becca Voelcke “ Heterotopias are often places of transition, the heteroptopia being a site of exchange between utopia and dystopia. Foucault talks of the crisis heterotopia, a space or instance of shift.” [14] Becca Voelcke

“ In Of Other Spaces, Foucault goes on to discuss the heterotopia, a form of utopia that has been enacted: an attempted, constructed space. Through production, the utopia has become real (reflecting both its society’s hopes and unwanted defects that enter the projection) yet remains unreal exactly because it has been undermined by the interference of reality, society, and practicality. In this way, the utopia is both absolutely real and absolutely unreal, rather like a mirror. It is a heterotopia. We see ourselves in it both as we aspire to be and as we are in reality.” [15] Becca Voelcke “ Foucault gives his most complete discussion of heterotopia in his essay “ Des Espaces autres” In this essay Foucault distinguishes heterotopias from imaginary spaces -utopias- and from everyday landscapes. He proposes that certain unusual or out-of-the-ordinary places - the museum, the prison, the hospital, the cemetery, the theatre, the church, the carnival, the vacation village, the barracks, the brothel, the place of sexual interaction, the colony - provide our most acute perceptions of the social order. These perceptions might drive either from a quality of disorder and multiplicity, as in the brothel, or from a kind of compensation, a laboratory-like perfection, as the colony, which exposes the messy, ill-constructed nature of everyday reality.” [16] Mary McLeod “ Foucault suggests that these heterotipic environments, by breaking with the banality of the everyday existence and by granting us insight into our condition, are both privileged and politically charged. He asserts that they suspend, neutralized or invert the set of relationships that are designated.” [17] Mary McLeod

“ The philosopher calls for a society with many heterotopias, not only as a space with several places of/for the affirmation of difference, but also as a means of escape from authoritarianism and repression, stating metaphorically that if we take the ship as the utmost heterotopia, a society without ships is inherently a repressive one, in a clear reference to Stalinism.” [18]

Becca Voelcke

“ Another position linking space and power: the notion of “everyday life” developed by French philosopher Henri Lefebvre from the 1930s through 1970s and by cultural theorist Michel de Certeau shortly thereafter. A peculiar synthesis of Surrealist and Marxists notions, Lefebvre concept of every day life might be best understood as a series of paradoxes. While the object of philosophy, it is inherently non-philosophical; while conveying an image of stability and immutability, it is transitory and uncertain. While unbearable in its monotony and routine, it is festive and playful. It is at once “sustenance, clothing, furniture, homes, neighborhoods, environment” - material life - but with a “dramatic attitude” and “lyrical tone”. In short, everyday life is real life, the here and now, no abstract true. De Certeau, in his book The Practice of Everyday Life (L’Invention du quotidien,1980) gives a notion of everyday life a somewhat more particularist, Less Marxist cast, stressing the localized and transitory qualities of the daly existence ” [19] Mary McLeod

” Jane Jacobs is concerned with freedom and safety for children, elderly people and those most vulnerable to attack. She grans public meaning to domestic life -one that refuses a segregation of the sexes as well as functions... An interest in blurring, categories, in diversity, in understanding and enjoying a genuinely heterotopic milieu. Her depiction of the city as a “self-regulating system” overlooks the positive potential of human agency and cultural transformation, and despite her acute analyses of many aspects of daly life.” [20] Mary McLeod


Пара Cities In this metropolis, there are meeting places hidden behind a common façade that do not awake any suspicions. But in these places various activities happen, ranging from sexual intercourses to social gatherings. They can be saunas, cruising spots, massage salons, sex shops, strip clubs, video booths, motels, gay bars, swingers’ bars or private parties by invitation only. They are built spaces where their users feel themselves safe in a community where they can openly and securely express what they want. These can be called “parallel cities” and are enclosed by an aura of mystery, of fear of the unknown, of fetishism and untrustworthiness. Yet they keep alive the lust and anxieties of those who are looking to escape or come up for air. Some of these meeting places originate from a particular group that meets and transforms; others result from a virtual necessity that requires a “real” place to happen in. The translation from the virtual to the real can create space. There are also tools that geo-locate the interest in question. It is not an architectural space that is defined but the individual or the body-specific that begins to redefine the city. This applies not only to the virtual but also to public encounters that do not own a specific space, but gather and for a moment transform the urban landscape to satisfy their needs. Such energy has to be released, as in a natural environment steam finds a way to be let off. In the urban realm, parallel cities offer this option. In the city, several complex layers of social discourse and urban experiences meet. At the end, it results in a congested situation; in Moscow it is dimmed. The parallel cities are an opportunity where those catalogued as outsiders can freely express themselves. They have to be understood as any person not belonging to a particular group or party, someone that is unconnected or unacquainted with civic matters or codes of behavior. They are considered parasites that seem to be unbalancing the established social infrastructure set in place for others. This society requires that even if it is a beneficing entity, any that does not follow the presets must be classified. Contemporary cities could be open public civic spaces, not just a passive, uniform or simply financial machine. It should not be an agglomeration, but an intellectual park, that mixes all these qualities, an array of chaos and freedom. Today, Moscow’s society seems to be changing and parallel cities are a reflection of this transformation. “Urban form is hard and persistent, yet capable of accommodating change over time. The city, like a vital ecological system, encompasses both the unyielding mineral strata and the dynamic, fluid interactions of life itself.” [21] Stan Allen After observing the urban Muscovite reality, there are some exercises that could be used to break down barriers and empower transition and transformation in the city. These are acknowledging the reality that was observed and that is set in place. 78


[[par-uh-sahyt] noun A parasite is an organism that attached to or within a single host organism in a relationship that is in essence parasitic; however, it ultimately sterilises or kills, and sometimes consumes, the host. [22]


[par-uh-lel, -luhl] adjective, noun, verb 1. extending in the same direction, equidistant at all

never converging or diverging. points, and

2. Geometry lying in the same plane but

never meeting

no matter how far extended.[23]

The Shearing:

Пара Sights Flirting, one of the human expressions of desire, has been slowly replaced by the sneak peak into someone’s web profile. So why not combine these forms of interaction?

The EyeContact:


With the concept of eye contact, the Add work easily. The information, the desire, is shared through a positioning sensor which detects when two pairs of glasses are in the correct positions. It works like a GPS, which receive information only if the lenses are a facing each other, with some degrees of freedom. The contact most remain more than 6 seconds, giving the user the opportunity to choose who you want to see what he is looking for. This interaction usually does not happen more than 6 seconds if you don’t feel any interest for the other person.

Parasight is based on the idea of eye contact as a means of relating to others. The user can decide with whom he/she makes eye contact, and who can read what he/she is thinking of. It is a mobile media interface that allows people to know not only the moods but also the desires of others, by making eye contact from behind dark glasses. Parasight will look and yet can be used as any other glasses. When wearing them, making eye contact with other users, it will give each wearer access to the previously uploaded or “looking for” statuses. The glasses make it easier to approach strangers and getting the user one step closer to having his or her longings fulfilled. This is hard to achieve in Moscow. Everyday life is a rich world that gives energy to the city. In it a great variety of encounters take place: social, cultural and economic. These dynamics involve the people living in the city – Muscovites and foreigners, women and men, gay and heterosexual. These differences do not matter; it is necessary to have everyone involved to maintain urban life. It guarantees the uniqueness and possible new city projects that will take society to another level. In Moscow, the city is currently organized into separate islands that do not relate to each other, which look after only for their own wealth and do not care about each other. Therefore, to explore and take advantage of these rich and extreme situations, I propose to create a system – “Parasight.”

The Platform: The glasses work with a platform that allows you to upload from your computer or mobile phone the mood or desire you have, what I am Looking For. It can be changed as often as necessary. This message upgrade works by connecting the device and the computer or mobile by bluetooth.

+ 6 seconds strategy

I look away


They look away




The Para-Sight Add is composed of five elements:

The platform only allows you to choose: First, a color that is related to the mood of the message, working as an urban code. This color is defined by the group in which the desire belongs, defined by the groups that were found in the online profiles analysis. Finally there is a space to write what you are looking for, the text must not be longer than 100 characters. The users has complete freedom to write whatever they want in the search for that stranger that can help to achieve the desire.

Looking For: ______________________ ______________________ Physics Cultural Living conditions Sexual preferences Sexual desires

It brings together the sacred and the profane, it breaks the taboos and dilutes the imaginary boundaries. Parasight aims to unveil various parallel cities, resulting from social segregation, which can meet in the same urban context. By identifying them, the idea is to improve the possibilities to meet, share and explore with others. This ends in the discovery of a different city and the creation of spaces for the unexpected encounter. Therefore it can empower a possible transformation in the Russian society by encouraging meeting activities, matching people to shared needs, and enabling an open infrastructure in everyday life. Parasight works as a vessel of emotions and desires, an attractor of human contact, showing a whole landscape of diversity and possibilities. The dream is to see a contemporary city in which outsiders can have a place.

Looking For: _____________ _____________

A special screen A positioning sensor.

Physics Cultural Living conditions Sexual preferences Sexual desires

A bulb An encoder A mini - Bluetooth device

Parasight aims to open your eyes, to the opportunities that usually pass by. This is more common that it is thought in a large city like Moscow, where expression must happen as quietly as possible. This shows the extreme measures that have to be taken in response to the severe social conditions. The body and individuals have to be directly affected to empower a change. The banality of the landscape, the few possibilities to express individuality or to find a place in it, forces design to go beyond personal boundaries, to transgress the social realm and renew the city’s reality. 79


Пара Statics

STATIC “ Facades were an important subject in representative publications. However, analysis disrupts this logic. The complete living space must be explored, including not only the surface facades, but also the throughways to the courtyards and the real sides of buildings. All of them constituted spaces of everyday life by day as well as by night, on festive days as well as normal workdays. Buildings, which formed a unified block, show a sharp separation between outer and inner usage.” [24] Monica Rüthers


Facades are the thin lines that safely protect the inner privacy offered by architecture and the judgments of the outer open city. What would happen if it became a surface where the inhabitants could write their dreams, desires and thoughts? As another means to bring together parallel cities and the everyday landscape, there can be is a second system. It is a screen added to the traditional facades that can be controlled by the inhabitant. If Parasight affected directly the citizens, Parastatics wants to transform the already built urban scenery. It is a projection device that facilitates the use of what before could not be used, the facade, because they did not have a tool to do it. It is changeable as mood swings; each day a new story could be projected. At the end, each one becomes both owners of their private interior and of a little piece of the open outside. Moscow could become an open book that tells the thoughts and shows the particularities of its citizens. Built by the powerful few and following dull laws, Moscow’s urban landscape is an addition of monotonous façades now constructed mechanically; in it life is constrained by those rectilinear and rough combinations. The dreamed-of city is one in which, just like in natural environments, each being constructs a stage for living through their transit, changing it, adapting it, rebelling against it, in order to make it their own. With every routine and every action that leaves a mark on the urban structures – such as litter, stickers on a traffic sign, dents in a sidewalk or instant graffiti – the physical space and its rigid skeleton are coated with a tenuous, varnish that gains depth and complexity with time and traffic. The planned city resists and succumbs, as it becomes sensitized and humanized in spite of its severity. Rather than a rigid structure that has to be fought against, Moscow could be a reactive and adaptive surface, open to everyone to be used as needed. The contours of the constructed city could be enveloped by new layers, which transform them into more approachable structures. Through these layers the urban landscape would begin to reflect its users and provide a setting for the symbiotic process of identification and recognition. This is the longed-for connection that needs to be built in Moscow, between the environment and its inhabitants. The various people-space relationships that take place in parallel cities challenge the emotionless of the daily interactions between infrastructures and the surroundings. The personally transformed building invites countless, fragmented and unpredictable actions. It creates a site for holistic human experiences that goes beyond engaging the senses. The line dividing the private from the public sphere is bent, as people begin to expose their life through displaying or adding personal belongings or reshaping the exterior wall of their homes or offices. As individualities are being expressed, the daily pedestrian can taste, wonder and imagine the interior world of the unknown inhabitant.

“ Operation of making out boundaries, consisting in narrative contacts and compilations of stories, are composed of fragments drawn from earlier stories and fitted together in markeshift fashion ( bricolés ). In this sense, they shed light on the formation of myths, since they also. have the function of founding and articulating spaces. Preserved in the court records, they constitute an immense travel literature, thet is, a literature concerned with actions organizing more or less extensive social cultural areas. But this represents only a tiny part of the oral narration that interminably labors to compose spaces, to verify, collate and dispace their frontiers.” [25] Michel de Certeau



Today Russia is living changing times; it is transforming its political and economical model. Yet its cities seem to be in another time and its society appears to be looking for something different. It is a culture marked by an enduring tradition. The old controlling system proposed by the Soviet project has been redefined or modernized so to maintain domination over the citizens. It is a segregated culture disconnected between the inhabitants themselves and the built scenario. Muscovites are now the owners of their homes, they have incomes that reflect their work and they have options. They are, little by little, taking control over the settled, the monolithic scenario where they have to live but do not identify with it. Over the last year the city has seen how some (almost imperceptible) changes are happening in facades, how front yards or open space are being personalized. Also rallies and manifestations are taking over the streets, something that before was unthinkable. Some of these changes are having an effect in the individuals; daily life has become a conquest of social standards. Now persons are being valorized at first glance, because of their looks and this is what define where he belongs or where someone can be. The general divisions or discrimination has driven inhabitants to find and repurpose the space behind doors. What I call parallel cities, built spaces where its users feel themselves in community where they can openly and securely express what they want, be them places or times. They keep alive the lust and anxieties of those that are looking to escape, to take a social breath from the isolating muscovite rings. As a student, guests and young person in Moscow, I have observed that under the classical visible urban layers there are some hidden situations that have found a mean to exist in the Internet and social media. This is something I perceived here but is a world while reality. I have proved that sexuality redefines human and social geography. I have concluded that sex longings and personal desires are strong forces that can empower urban renewal ant transgress traditional societies. I am now convinced that connecting this virtual opportunities with the urban built realities can bring together portals able to reshape behaviors and spaces. Therefore I proposed TRANSITIONAL SURFACES, which express the possibilities that commonly pass by and are left behind. The idea then is to bring together the parallel cities and open the eye to opportunities to transform the built environment. The proposal affects both the individuals and the city architecture, one by means of a personal accessory, a pair of glasses and the other is a projector attached to the facades. Both allow seeing behind barriers, to hear, to understand, to relate, with the thoughts of other and to commit to what is believed. Gives control to change and express but also the responsibility for the “others” that comes within. It is an active engagement between the closed ideas and the society, which places a transition surface over the contemporary city that sees into the coming urban future. I am sure this has to be constructed by the citizens on the everyday life, by braking those taboos, looking for that urban renovation.


1. Kanes Weisman, Leslie, “Women’s environmental rights: a manifesto” Gender, Space and Architecture. Routledge, New York 2000. 2. Rüthers, Monica , “The Moscow Gorky street on late Stalinism” Late Stalinisr Russia, Society between reconstruction and reinvention. Routledge, New York 2006. 3. Rüthers, Monica , “The Moscow Gorky street on late Stalinism” Late Stalinisr Russia, Society between reconstruction and reinvention. Routledge, New York 2006. 4. Voelcke, Becca , “Heterotopia”, Anything. (accessed May 29, 2012). 5. McLeod, Mary, “Everyday and ‘other’ spaces” Gender, Space and Architecture. Routledge, New York 2000. 6. Gandolfo, Daniella, The City at Its Limits: Taboo, Transgression, and Urban Renewal in Lima. University Of Chicago Press, Chicago 2009. 7. Yaffa, Joshua, Barbarians at the Gate. The New York Times, September 25th 2009. anted=all. ( accessed February 15, 2012). 8. Yaffa, Joshua, “Barbarians at the Gate”. The New York Times, September 25th 2009. anted=all. ( accessed February 15, 2012). 9. Rüthers, Monica , “The Moscow Gorky street on late Stalinism” Late Stalinisr Russia, Society between reconstruction and reinvention. Routledge, New York 2006. 10. Rüthers, Monica , “The Moscow Gorky street on late Stalinism” Late Stalinisr Russia, Society between reconstruction and reinvention. Routledge, New York 2006. 11. Kanes Weisman, Leslie, “Women’s environmental rights: a manifesto” Gender, Space and Architecture. Routledge, New York 2000. 12. Foucault, Michael, “Of Other Spaces (1967), Heterotopias” Foucault Info. tml. accessed June 4, 2012). 13. Voelcke, Becca , “Heterotopia”, Anything. (accessed May 29, 2012). 14. Voelcke, Becca , “Heterotopia”, Anything. (accessed May 29, 2012). 15. Voelcke, Becca , “Heterotopia”, Anything. (accessed May 29, 2012). 16. McLeod, Mary, “Everyday and ‘other’ spaces” Gender, Space and Architecture. Routledge, New York 2000. 17. McLeod, Mary, “Everyday and ‘other’ spaces” Gender, Space and Architecture. Routledge, New York 2000. 18. Voelcke, Becca , “Heterotopia”, Anything. (accessed May 29, 2012). 19. McLeod, Mary, “Everyday and ‘other’ spaces” Gender, Space and Architecture. Routledge, New York 2000. 20. McLeod, Mary, “Everyday and ‘other’ spaces” Gender, Space and Architecture. Routledge, New York 2000. 21. Allen, Stan, Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain. Lars Muller Publishers, New York 2011. 22., LLC. (accessed February 10th) 23., LLC. (accessed February 10th) 24. Rüthers, Monica , “The Moscow Gorky street on late Stalinism” Late Stalinisr Russia, Society between reconstruction and reinvention. Routledge, New York 2006. 25. De Certeau, Michel , “Spatial Stories” The Practice of Everyday Life. University of California Press, New York 1988. BIBLIOGRAPHY Gandolfo, Daniella, The City at Its Limits: Taboo, Transgression, and Urban Renewal in Lima. University Of Chicago Press, Chicago 2009. Rendell, Jane, Gender, Space and Architecture. Routledge, New York 2000. De Certeau, Michel , The Practice of Everyday Life. University of California Press, New York 1988. Allen, Stan, Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain. Lars Muller Publishers, New York 2011. De Cauter, Lieven, Heterotopia and the City: Public Space in a Postcivil Society. Routledge , 2008 Carroll, Lewis, Alice Adventures in Wonderland. Dover Publications, 1993 Colomina, Beatriz, Sexuality and Space. Pinceton Architectural Press, 1992 Rüthers, Monica , Late Stalinisr Russia, Society between reconstruction and reinvention. Routledge, New York 2006. Koolhaas, Rem, Delirious New York. The Monacellin Press, 1978 Ellin, Nan, Architecture of Fear. Princeton Architectural Press, 1997 Betsky, Aaron, Queer Space: Architecture and Same Sex Desire. Morrow, 1997 Betsky, Aaron, Building Sex: Men, Women, Architecture and the Construction of Sexuality. Morrow, 1995 Burnham, Ed. Scott, Droog Event 2: Urban Play. Droog, 2008 Lefraivre, Liane, Groud Up City Play: As a Design Tool.. 010 Publishers, 2007. PICTURE CREDITS Page 1 Page 2 tream/ Page 3 =825:moscow-bans-gay-pride-for-100-years&catid=2:world&Itemid=3 Page 7 Page 9

Carlos Medellin. Paracities. Breaking Taboos for an Urban Renewal  
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