Calendar of Events
After Utopia: Tracing Parallel Histories of (Post)Industrial Landscapes in Russia and US
AIA CES: 1.5 LU
When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM TUESDAY, MARCH 21
Where: At The Center
Scattered throughout a stretch of 10,089km along the Trans-Siberian Railway, the survey of Russia’s major industrial cities begins with the vision of an American architect Albert Kahn, the “Architect of Detroit,” and his associates in the American construction industry. The ideals of welfare capitalism that shaped many of the America’s legacy cities became the backbone of the Soviet’s first industrial city, Nizhny Novgorod, and was rapidly replicated and expanded eastward under Stalin’s Five-Year Plans (1928 – 1937).
Intimately woven into the history of gulags and concentration camp labors, the building of the Soviet Sotsgorod (“Socialist City”) celebrates the country’s mighty industrial past but has also become a reminder of its failed political ideology. Some cities have been successful in their revitalization efforts, but many have failed to adapt to the changes of deindustrialization and globalization. Drawing a parallel between Russia’s post-Soviet socialist cities and America’s legacy cities, this survey seeks to understand the modern ruins of industrial cities as tools to reflect on the complex past and as guides in conceptualizing a path forward that embraces environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
Jieun Yang, Principal, Habitat Workshop; 2015 LeBrun Grant Recipient
Image Caption: Mashzavod Manufacturing Plant, Chita, Russia