If the founders of a new face recognition app get their way, anonymity in public could soon be a thing of the past. FindFace, launched two months ago and currently taking Russia by storm, allows users to photograph people in a crowd and work out their identities, with 70% reliability.
It works by comparing photographs to profile pictures on Vkontakte, a social network popular in Russia and the former Soviet Union, with more than 200 million accounts. — the Guardian
"In future, the designers imagine a world where people walking past you on the street could find your social network profile by sneaking a photograph of you, and shops, advertisers and the police could pick your face out of crowds and track you down via social networks."For related content:France...
The already rapid expansion of the Moscow metro may be picking up steam, if a flurry of announcements in recent days is to be believed.
A brand-new portion of the Butovskaya metro line, which will link the southernmost stations of the orange and gray Lines, may be open to the public by the end of this week, Deputy Mayor Marat Khusnullin said Friday, RIA Novosti reported. — the Moscow Times
"The new line will include three stations — Ulitsa Starokachalovskaya, with a transfer to the gray line station Bulvar Dmitria Donskogo, Lesoparkovaya and Bitsevsky Park, which connects to the orange line station Novoyasenevskaya."Moscow is in the midst of a major infrastructure-overhaul, with...
From 1917 to 1991 in the former Russian Empire, and from 1945 to 1989 in the countries it dominated after the war, there was no real private ownership. No landowners, no developers, no “placemakers” - in half of Europe. Did this mean public space was done differently, and are attitudes to it different in those countries? [...] observed more closely, public space here is every bit as complex as it is elsewhere in Europe. — theguardian.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Owen Hatherley on a Stalinist city's efforts to "de-communize"The New East is where western starchitect dreams come true (or turn into nightmares)Michael Kimmelman on Public Squares
This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. On April 26, 1986, technicians conducting a test inadvertently caused reactor number four to explode...
Reuters reports that a huge recently-completed enclosure called the New Safe Confinement—the world's largest land-based moving structure—will be “pulled slowly over the site later this year to create a steel-clad casement to block radiation and allow the remains of the reactor to be dismantled safely.” — The Atlantic
Although it sounds like an early aughts indie band name, the New Safe Confinement structure over Chernobyl's reactor number four is finally complete, constructed at an estimated cost of €1.5 billion. Meanwhile, neighboring city and officially uninhabitable Pripyat has become a hauntingly...
The largest remaining statue of Lenin in Ukraine was removed from its pedestal in Zaporizhia last week, the latest victim of the Ukrainian ban on Soviet symbols. But how do you go about “de-communising” an almost entirely Stalinist city? — calvertjournal.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Owen Hatherley on Kiev's struggle with its Soviet architectural heritageOwen Hatherley on the mass housing history of Moscow’s suburbsMoscow skaters reclaiming hidden spaces on top of Soviet-era buildings
The Shukhov Tower, a 1920s broadcast transmission tower in Moscow that is a landmark of modernist structural engineering, has been placed on the 2016 World Monuments Fund Watch list of endangered global cultural heritage sites.
Activists in Moscow organized two days of events over the weekend to observe the tower’s 94th birthday [...]
At a Kremlin meeting last December, Mr. Putin praised activists for rallying to save cultural heritage sites and dressed down officials for not doing enough. — nytimes.com
The Shukhov Tower, also known as Shabolovka Tower, previously in the Archinect news:Russia's Shukhov Tower is saved following a 91% smartphone vote in favor of keeping itMoscow Puts Iconic Shukhov Tower on Protected Landmark ListArchitects Try to Save a Tower in Moscow
In China each year, the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival features both buildings and sculptures constructed entirely of ice and snow, which are augmented with nighttime illumination. Here are a few highlights from this year's festival:China doesn't have a lockdown on spectacular ice and snow...
The rise of international architecture competitions has given western architects an opportunity to make their mark on eastern Europe and Central Asia [...]
Regardless of record-high fees, some of their projects are being cancelled half-way through or take a good decade to build. But the ones that are brought to life often become some of the most recognised works of its authors. For starchitects the miles between eastern Europe and Central Asia is the place where dreams and ambitions come true. — calvertjournal.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Azerbaijan counts human cost of architectureZaha's Baku win ignites protests over forced eviction and suspicions over worker's rights and human traffickingWho’s Winning the Architecture Arms Race?In Kazakhstan, a Shimmering Skyline on the Steppe
More than a century has passed since explorers raced to plant their flags at the bottom of the world, and for decades to come this continent is supposed to be protected as a scientific preserve, shielded from intrusions like military activities and mining.
But an array of countries are rushing to assert greater influence here, with an eye not just toward the day those protective treaties expire, but also for the strategic and commercial opportunities that exist right now. — New York Times
Water, oil, krill: Antarctica isn't just an ice-locked science station any longer, but a giant potential resource center hotly pursued by several strategic-thinking nations. Is the pursuit of scientific inquiry being stripped away in favor of the extraction of raw materials? Um, it would appear...
Pedestrian crossings made up of fragments of famous works of avant-garde art have appeared in a residential area in the Russian city of Khimki, located just northwest of Moscow.
Fragments of the work of Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich and Vasily Kandinsky feature on five pedestrian crossings in the “Gorod Naberezhniy” complex, chosen for their frequent use. Together with the zebra stripes, there are signs which provide information about the artwork and artist. — calvertjournal.com
Related in the Archinect news:New photo book documents the beautifully outlandish architecture of Soviet bus stopsHumanizing street design with 'shared space'Follow the yellow wooden road into Rotterdam's new Luchtsingel pedestrian park
Developers have released design plans for the housing element of the Moscow ZiL industrial zone redevelopment.
According to RBK Realty magazine, nine architecture firms from Russia, the USA and the Netherlands will be working on housing in the redevelopment of the former automobile factory, located in the south of Moscow. [...]
The building presented by Dutch agency Neutelings Riedijk Architecten consists of 10 towers, each with a golden glass and steel facade. — calvertjournal.com
While the grand ZiL redevelopment scheme includes various buildings assigned to architectural firms including Asymptote Architecture, bureau Speech and Sergey Skuratov Architects, it's Dutch studio Neutelings Riedijk Architecten's exuberant, soviet-chic, and certified blingy towers that caught...
In western Europe, the bus stop is the most humble of building types, a meanly utilitarian structure that adds little or nothing to the roadside. But in the old Soviet empire, from the shores of the Black Sea to the Kazakh steppe, the norm is “wild going on savage”, as Jonathan Meades writes in a beautiful new photobook featuring 159 bus stops, each illuminating “the Soviet empire’s taste for the utterly fantastical”. — theguardian.com
Find more of these beauties photographed by Christopher Herwig for the new book Soviet Bus Stops over at The Guardian.Related stories on Archinect:Community Bus Stops Transform BrazilWorld Class Architects Design Bus Stops in AustriaHigh Tech Bus Stop in Paris by Patrick Jouin
Moscow's landscape is filled with Soviet-era buildings, many of them shuttered after the privatisation programme of the Nineties. Built for the people's benefit, they are now shut away off from public access, patrolled by security guards, most of whom never dream of exploring the upper floors.
But it is the roof of the Moscow pavilion that brings us here. Because of its concave shape the roof looks like a giant skate ramp. My friends and I want to see if it can perform like one too. — calvertjournal.com
Head over to Calvert Journal for many more stunning photos by Pasha Volkov.In other daring-Russian-kids news on Archinect:Skywalking - hacking architecture in RussiaHong Kong, from the perspective of crazy, fearless Russian kids
Wood fell out of fashion as a building material in the Soviet Union in favour of concrete. Now, architects across the new east are returning to wood for its many qualities including cost-effectiveness and sustainability. [...]
“Urban wooden architecture is something completely different. It is for the people, without any kind of pretensions for the long-term. It has no direct economic benefit, but it promotes unity and healthy communication.” — calvertjournal.com
The topic of wood in the Archinect news:Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Wood" Pinterest BoardRise of the wooden skyscrapers: "Where all you need is a giant allen key to put it together."Bali’s fascinating bamboo architectureWooden textiles & low-poly landscapes
The ideals of Novye Cheryomushki may have died, but its methods and techniques remain — having managed to make some people very wealthy. Moscow suburbia is not so much the remnants of a great experiment, perhaps, but suburbia like any other suburbia — a place of dreams and boredom, great ideas being implemented and then slowly crushed. — calvertjournal.com
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