I don’t know why, but after all the times I’ve been to Russia, I still find it amusing how in that country the names of international brands are spelled in Cyrillic.. It’s just a little surreal, I think. Check out a few examples below.

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McDonalds

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McDonald’s menu in Russian, containing only two originally Russian words: “двойной” – double, and “картофель” – potato. A great example of the influence globalization exerts on languages.

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Dunkin’ Donuts

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Starbucks Coffee

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Wendy’s

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Just a weird building on Novyj Arbat St. (Новый Арбат)

Fun-fun-fun!

For us – architects – it is important to somehow live out our insanity. Many of the things – in fact, most of the things our profession actually craves to do - are just not possible in the world that is trying to be rational. All the curved, angled, huge, megalomaniac stuff that many of us dream about (and the schools are promoting) is just not going to happen. In our daily practices we need to produce buildings – not boundless spatial play. So, how do live out our insanity?

Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind, Micromegas

Rem Koolhaas

Rem Koolhaas, Zeebrugge Terminal

Zaha Hadid, The Peak Leisure Club

Zaha Hadid, The Peak Leisure Club

Doing architecture, I believe, is a balancing of acting out this insanity and adhering to the needs of rationality. The more insanity we are able to incorporate into our built designs, the happier we are as professionals. Perversely, architecture – the profession of spatial play - is not able to satisfy our craving for molding space. For that we need other media – media allowing for less responsibility. And may-be that is for the better, too. Would we actually want to live in our dreams? I doubt it. Other media help us keep our denial of reality at bay, and cope with our madness. It’s not that architects “can draw, and do sculpture, too”. We have to do that in order to stay sane.

Ivan Sergejev, Utopia

Ivan Sergejev, Utopia

Ivan Sergejev, Rubik City

Ivan Sergejev, Rubik City – a three-dimensional city grid

Ivan Sergejev, Rubik City detail

Ivan Sergejev, Rubik City detail

Ivan Sergejev, The In-between

Ivan Sergejev, The In-between

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My new business cards. Based on a regular grid, with only an absolute minimum of information on them, they allow for a lot of flexibility and creativity, acting as a crossbreed of a business card and a sketch pad. I can draw designs as I go, and only include information I want, tailoring each card to the person I exchange it with. A touch of uniqueness, with trade-off being time.

Instagram

You know, to a large degree, I think design magazines are a form of masturbation.

When I was in school, honestly, I hardly ever went to the library to look at magazines, except when looking for something very specific. I had a lot of ideas of my own, and a hard time realizing them all, so no time to look at whatever whoever else was doing.

Nowadays, though, that I am in “practice”, I catch myself enjoying those magazines more. And you know why? I miss design. I miss it when I could just create whatever for as long as I wanted (or needed to). There was never a shortage of work at OMA, or in school.

But right now, I have to admit: the “practice” – at least the way it works for me currently – is boring. Not because the office I am at is bad – I think it’s one of the best ones on this side of the world – but purely because there isn’t much to do right now.. And so I take my time browsing through design magazines, missing the good olde days, and looking at whatever whoever else is doing..

A sure sign something needs to be changed.

Ivan Sergejev:

This is awesome!

Originally posted on Info We Trust:

“We all have the same 24 hours that Beyoncé has” and its various iterations took the web by storm in late 2013 as the megastar became the figurehead of not only having it all, but being able to somehow do it all too.

How do creatives – composers, painters, writers, scientists, philosophers – find the time to produce their opus? Mason Currey investigated the rigid Daily Rituals that hundreds of creatives practiced in order to carve out time, every day, to work their craft. Some kept to the same disciplined regimen for decades while others locked in patterns only while working on specific works.

Creative Routines Poster

There are enough data to visualize a portion of the hundreds of creative lifestyles. Click the poster to discover:
Gustave Flaubert
Ludwig Van Beethoven
W.A. Mozart
Thomas Mann
Sigmund Freud
Immanuel Kant
Maya Angelou
John Milton
Honore de Balzac
Victor Hugo
Charles Dickens
W.H. Auden
Charles Darwin

View original 216 more words

exploiting-the-blackbox

NEWS: my academic work of the last two years has finally come to its end, concluding in a Master’s Thesis book called “Exposing the Data Center”. Done and done!

Abstract of the thesis is as follows:

“Given the rapid growth in the importance of the Internet, data centers – the buildings that store information on the web – are quickly becoming the most critical infrastructural objects in the world. However, so far they have received very little, if any, architectural attention. This thesis proclaims data centers to be the “churches” of the digital society and proposes a new type of a publicly accessible data center.

The thesis starts with a brief overview of the history of data centers and the Internet in general, leading to a manifesto for making data centers into public facilities with an architecture of their own. After, the paper proposes a roadmap for the possible future development of the building type with suggestions for placing future data centers in urban environments, incorporating public programs as a part of the building program, and optimizing the inside workings of a typical data center. The final part of the work, concentrates on a design for an exemplary new data center, buildable with currently available technologies.

This thesis aims to:
1) change the public perception of the internet as a non-physical thing, and data centers as purely functional infrastructural objects without any deeper cultural significance and
2) propose a new architectural language for the type.”

If this sounds interesting, make sure to get in touch and request a copy of the publication. I believe you can also find it in the Virginia Tech library. Please don’t hesitate to shoot me an e-mail if you want to help me take this work further in the form of lectures, talks, advance research or actual construction.

Cheers,

Ivan

 

P.S. A few snippets from the final “book”:

 

What is the "cloud"?

What is the “cloud”?

 

What we thought was ephemeral, is actually very physical: the rise of silicon materiality

The cloud – that we thought was ephemeral – is actually very physical. It signifies the rise of a “silicon materiality”.

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Data centers, spread out across the city, form a rhizome. They contribute to their surroundings via their unique spatial features, and become public spaces.

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They could be anything.

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A case study of a new-age super-dense data center on Broadway.

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As seen from Lafayette St…

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…and from Broadway.

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In section.

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In plan.

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Exposing the structure within.

For those of you who haven’t seen this yet: The “Box” by The Creator Project.

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