Once everything was clear: "My address is not just a house or a street - My address is the Soviet Union". Identity was a collective matter. But times have changed: the individual choice of capitalism has replaced the dictate of the proletariat. Instead of part of a collective everybody in Russia wants to be different, unique, individual and exclusive. For the first time in decades Russian architecture presented the world with a real innovation: the Free Plan. What exists abroad only as local experiments is common practice in Russia: consumers just don't trust anyone else but themselves to decide how they want to live.
The result is a cacaphony. It seems there is no order left, but this is a misconception. You can call it lifestyle, niche market, target group or fashion, but with every choice one defines ones identitiy - conciously or subcosciously - as part of a group that shares the same history, culture, physique, class, income, race, origin, age, city. In comparison with the past possible identities have multiplied beyond recognition, especially during the revolutionary changes of the last decades. In their work, architects and designers solidify these identities. Maybe now is a time to step back and have a look and compare these works with each other, with works form other countries and other periods. We might learn something from that
Bart Goldhoorn, curator