Contextual practice

9/03 Progress Tutorial

LONDON SQUARE MILE.   As a subtitle to the Unit 4 project

On progress tutorial I addressed my concerns regarding the unit 4 project and the concept problems I faced. I was lost between my research and all the analysis of dystopian future and didn’t really understand what kind or the final outcome I see with mu project ,and worries because we had to have already started design development and I was stuck on research and concept planing.

With such an open topic as “futuristic dystopia”  it was had to develop a strong vision for the final or sketch model our come.Another problem i faced is the question whether I’m designing  an urban city plan or working on a building plan or reconstruction.

After progress tutorial I had a clear understanding and I would say step by step plan for the project. Slightly changing concept from dystopian futuristic city to more adaptable to reality (jk) concept. I was recommended to look at FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste) group that worked on interesting project exploring city thresholds  and communities, as well as work of Venturi Robert and his company VSB.

Other intriguing ideas I was advised to look in to was the art of retailing and mainly vending machines, the way it’s controlled and organised in Japan (being used to fill in thresholds and or being hidden in them).

But I’m thinking of approaching a bit different concept that we discussed and the most interesting in my opinion, the “LONDON Square mile “ as a subtitle to my project and based around Old St to Bank St. a ... km long road that acts as a gate to the marathon. Design idea was to use the thresholds that occur on our was on the sides and make them into an information sharing spots that tourist or just propel who go for a walk would enter. Those moderated threshold will either give out self care or mental health advised , educate about the city or environment, or analyse the mental/physical health state of the visitor (using light or temperature not sure yet to be developed...) and give out advise or maybe even medicin or light healing sessions. Such spots will be all around (add pic of the London square miles map) main meeting points and will hopefully be treated as not only  entertainment but also health and must visit locations .

Identifying location :

Old st roundabout (threshold or gathering) a round to Bank st

Thinking about materials:

As a suggestion I was advised to explore colour changing based on temperature materials.


Old Street history

Old Street was recorded as Ealdestrate in about 1200, and le Oldestrete in 1373. As befits its name there are some suggestions that the road is of ancient origin. It lies on the route of an old Roman or possibly pre-Roman track connecting Silchester and Clochester, skirting round the walls of Londinium, today the areas known as the City of London.

At the east end of Old Street there is a notable deviation of the line of the street as it joins the old Roman Road north to York. This deviation is visible on old maps but unexplained, and is today fronted by Shoreditch Town Hall and the former Shoreditch Magistrates Court (now a hotel). Together with St Leonard’s, Shoreditch at the east end of Old Street, this was the civic hub of the former Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch.

Old Street and the surrounding areas of Hoxton Square and Great Eastern Street host a thriving night life. The street and its adjacent areas have attracted IT and tech companies, both established and start-ups, and Old Street Roundabout, located at the junction with City road, has been dubbed Silicon Roundabout. Old st station is located under the roundabout. With the increase in passenger numbers using the station, in 2014 Transport of London announced that it was to offer pop-art retail space there as part of a drive to increase its revenue.

Within the past few years Old Street has become favoured for notable graffiti artists such as Banksy and Jef Aerosol. Banksy has featured several pieces on "Shoreditch Bridge.

Reference taken from:


Black mirror

Every episode of black mirror is a separate film with out mutual characters or common scenario, and they where filmed by different directors. This approach helps to show the main problem that Black Mirror is dedicated to what is relationship between humans and technology. We live in an informative world ,symbol of what are gadgets from iPod to monitor , we look at them more that we look around. That’s where the name comes from black mirror is a turned of screen where we all can see what we most desire. Author and main write Charlie Broker compare modern technology to a drug, and the shops portraits the side affects aftercare constant consumption.

Because the are no sides that technology didn’t affect ,the cycle of topics show talks about is quite wide. Starting from micro implants to control and or look after you loved once’s, and pain and danger virtual reality can bring , and uploading memory to a computer as a form of transhumanism and the wars of future with them politics. As an example “I’ll be back” - is a story not only about the ability’s androids have and the nature of human being but its a great illustration of a saying “fear you wishes- they become real”. And with that all episodes are united with painful though of addiction to technology and each ending of episodes is uniq and unpredictable.

The reason that show is so intriguing is that author takes existing technology and pushes it to surreal form. We can hardly call the future portrayed in the show optimistic. Does it mean creators of Black Mirror are so against technology? No. The problem is not in technology but in people. Human race was always hungry for some action, scandal, parade. Was reaching for pleasure and loved to look through a keyhole, and ant government aimed to control. Technology is able to give to people what they most desire including the most darkest wishes. To stalk someone special services knew how to even without micro chips and first reality shows where gladiator fights.

I want to integrate that problem in to my project and come with solution or at least temperate treat for that. Since architecture is what we all always come in contact besides technology it has a chance with to contribute to the positive side.


During the studio time the whole class was divided into different groups based on how similar our topics are. I was grouped with people with similar ideas and who also sheared my interest towards dystopian reality. The group exercise was very helpful, I gain some helpful feedback regarding my research and theme. I was advised to narrow my spectrum of research because for now it sounded very opened and it wasn’t clear what I was among in a long term for this project, so now I’m working on summarising my theme and forming a more strong opinion towards dystopia and future in architecture, trying to get my focus away from other ideas as Artificial Intelligence and technologies what is not the main focus closer to  Rem Koolhaas ideologue. 


The first day after the research week was very helpful in terms of understanding what tutors where expecting from us. I unfortunately didn’t complete the task expected from us on research week but I was quite motivated to do a lot of work on Monday, and I had a chance to finish the first draft for the Unit 4.

My main ideas where to communicate the issue of streets being coved in advertisement and buildings being overshadowed by large screens promotions what ever is in the interest of being sold, the theme would be called “Commercial city” . Another theme I had in my mind was “ Adapting to the reality “ where as research i would explore the way original ideas in architecture where adapted in the real world as an example could be Le Corbusier theory of smartly utilised space and the way his methods where truly spoiled in post soviet Russia. I’m interested in the way other ideas where brought to life or where not, for example Archigram in early 60’s. 

Because I don’t have the luxury of time and both themes are very opened and interest me. I would unite them into one and research dystopian and utopian films and books that always where my favourite when it can for entertainment, i already have a bit of knowledge in that field and I would love to have a conversation discussing reality of G. Orwell and Ray Bradbury.




It’s possible to spend hours identifying all the common elements of 1984 by George Orwell and 415 Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury, their dystopian worlds , decadence, gloomy atmosphere, severity of the soul , crisis of inequality, conflict with the system and loneliness.

Main element that interests me are the details with which each author talks about the system , city’s and the universe they create and frightening similarities with the world we live today.

If we start analysing Orwell’s world its incredible to think how painstaking his universe is. His world scaring us with how realistic it seems, how reasonable each element is. The ministers that hold undeniable power over every one , subordination of the nation, police of dreams and thoughts, cabinet 101, and all-seeing eye of the Big Brother.

When it comes to 451* Fahrenheit  I can’t say the same. But few element as burning of the book , robotic/mechanic dog with spider like legs and the most terrifying “shells” television wall and” relatives/siblings” which personally terrified me the most.  The constant idea of being watched and lack of privacy strongly resembles with the “overprotective’ cities as London where security cameras infect street corners and all the public ares.

When it comes to an every day rituals books emphasises on the minimalistic way of living owning only essentials. The book focuses on the total destruction of any literature or biblical like stories and changing the main ideas and thinking of classical novels, which can be compared to the religion and death of God.

I was very interested in the description of the society , city and living though compared to Orwell it lacks details.

In both books society braked under their pressure of harsh and conservative regime, though Orwell’s reality is filed with technology that now we all own and back when the book was written it seemed like far way future.

I am aiming to project how cities are going to look in future and see how we can escape the ‘television wall’ which now I would compare to the gadgets we all carry in our pockets. Show and live stream all our movement not only to our relatives and friend but to the whole world, as if in a way we put our live’s under the watch of the “ Big Brother” so called internet? or government?


My research takes me on another level of understanding the future of the cities and the way imagined future can be actually applied. The conversation I started with my self is debating, one on the sustainable future where all is equal and controlled to the way no wars could be started kind of like Bradbury future told but then comes all the controlled minds and lack of personalisation and voice, the idea that its impossible to make every one equal because we are we all born being different and we all have different physical and intolerance abilities. And on other side is the dystopian reality where people fight got their voice and their freedom so much than in the end its being lost in anarchy and lawlessness. I’m interested how and what role will architecture play in both those realities, where architecture becomes a weapon to brainwash masses and where it compliments life’s.