The Paper Architects

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The Princeton Architectural Press published In 2003 the book Brodsky & Utkin: The Complete Works and catch up our attention over the group known as the Paper Architects.

In 1957 Kruschev declared that the socialist realist architecture was an “over-decorated” style and abolished the academy of architecture. In that years, from the 60s to the 80s, modern technology and especially prefabrication, was developed worldwide to satisfy the urgence of mass housing, but especially in Russia it was exploited to produce an aesthetic communist discourse to promote the idea that of any kind of decoration and creative ideas were considered unnecessary and immoral. The group Paper Architects was created in Moscow to protest against all this ideas in a moment where the architectural practice was corrupted by the tedious standardized production, and a barren ideological legacy in the late 1980s.

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We can read in the essay Alternative Identities: Conceptual Transformations in Soviet and Post-Soviet Architecture by Anna Sokolina:

While the generation of the 1960s used architecture to improve reality, the paper architects of the first decade after perestroika withdrew into the beautiful, magic world of paper architecture, opposing official Soviet architecture through their neo-constructivist designs, deconstructive or historicist replicas, and postmodern contextualizations.

The most representative works of this period was the designs made by Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin among others, so here are some of their art-works-designs-architecture-schemes:

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It just remember us about the work of Lebbeus Woods, another great architect that has lots of art-works and always related with his politically vision and provocative ideas of a possible reality. Should we call Lebbeus a “paper architect”?

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Some other wonderful images at but does it float and Lebbeus Woods notebooks.


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