Author Archives: Svetlana Demchenko Demchenko

Cake Tuesday


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Inside in-between

I don’t know how to make small enough clips to be able to upload it directly to the blog. So here is a link of a trial video I made of my walk through.

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I take the door to enter the in between


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Getting deeper


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As I was editing the photos of embossed paper I realised they remind me of the slides I made in a beginning of the year for Leonidov. It feels nice to loop back.

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Nothing but the paper itself



The last section of the book will be a walk through paper thin space, and naturally it will not involve anything but paper itself. The first image was done by me, the second one is done by Simon Schubert.

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City in between paper



Working on graphic combination of what is on either side of in between, although after trying they out i’m absolutely sure i’ll be making them 3D rather than having them as prints. Do and learn.

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Everything is better by hand


Rewriting and rethinking my text.

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Working on presentation text, while also revisiting plan and section drawings.

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Let the fun begin



On Friday I managed to laser cut the rest of my book.!!! Currently working on my text and presentation sequence, and when I get tired of writing I look for a good rendering view and play in photoshop. Enjoying the process tremendously!

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Wanted to finish remaining 1/3 of the book, but had never ending problems with laser cutter, will try again tomorrow.



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Since I’ve been dealing with paper thin space i thought that my model would also needs to be paper thin. So here are 79 sections that will be laser cut and bound together to create a book with each page building up a 1:500 model. Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 22.33.30

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MORE stairs


I think I’ll add more stairs because these are just so awesome. stepwells-india-121

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Currently UGLY



This is a SKETCH, once I finalize all the floor plans, I want to assemble this drawing rendering each floor separately as detailed as possible, but right now it’s gray and UGLY.

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Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 20.26.50And the sequence is… from escalator lever to train station, to bridge floor, from there to a corridor, from corridor to lobby from lobby to elevator floor, from elevator floor to airport terminal you have arrived to the in b/w.  note: images above are not arranged in sequence.

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Entry level

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And more…

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Couldn’t upload .jpg files for the longest time, so this is low res screen shot. Sorry.

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Plan of corridor


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Zacharie Gaudrillot-Roy

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“The façade is the first thing we see, it’s the surface of a building. It can be impressive, superficial or safe. Just like during a wandering through a foreign city, I walk through the streets with these questions: what will happen if we stick to that first vision? If the daily life of “The Other” was only a scenery? This series thus offers a vision of an unknown world that would only be a picture, without intimate space, with looks as the only refuge.”

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Back to modeling


Continuing to detail my in between space, with a bit of material testing.


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Escalator journey


The mindless and passive climb up, makes the word climb dissolve into absence.
Atrophy of muscles, followed by atrophy of mind, followed by unrest and only than by hunt for the door out.
To find yourself not exiting but entering once more.
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I was off by 20m

grand-central-st-2 grand central station subway-incline

In-between absolutely has to be the size of Grand Central Station, for one because the celestial ceiling of the main concourse depicts the zodiac. The view is of the Mediterranean winter sky with 2,500 stars, it is painted backwards, maybe because it’s from God’s vantage point, (it’s good to not feel alone in my narcissistic journey). There’s also a small hole near Pisces, where a rocket was hung in 1957. That Redstone rocket was meant to boost American morale after the Soviets launched Sputnik.

Today the station filters 75000 commuters daily, however it is also one of the most visited building in NYC. A generic non-destination place was converted into a distention by acquiring an identity/brand through the hand of the architect. Today I want to take the door to finally arrive.

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Off/on topic


In between is at times a tough space,
deprived of optimism and full of longing,
for brighter future behind the next door.

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In between city

citysplit01-01It looks greenish… didn’t look that way in indesign.

This is a first drawing from a series of 4 drawings of different scale that I want to do, where a section of ‘in-between’ occupies space in the drawing, however in the context of it’s environment remains only paper thin.


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Just a Facade

Million 2009 Jerusalem – Former Hilton Hotel, in the independece Park, ending point of the Jerusalem’s Gay Pride. The ocre stone block is reduced to a slim facade holded by a metallic structure inspired in the rooftops of the Million Dollar Hotel in Los Angeles.

This is an image by Victor Enrich, I’m contemplating on how to further intertwine facade and ‘in between’.  city-portraits-by-victor-enrich-121

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The last frontier – architects mind



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Folding options







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Dimensions of things

Working on my plan, don’t like how it looks so far, but these are my elements all with correct dimensions. Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 14.33.34

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Between of in between

door section

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For Liz or just because it’s pretty

This is real place, amazing!!! DSC

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Beneath white facade

That’s what I feel , an outside and an inside and me in the middle, perhaps that’s what I’m, the thing that divides the world in two, on the one side outside, on the other the inside, that can be as thin as foil, I’m neither one side nor the other, I’m in the middle, I have two surfaces and no thickness.

– Samuel Beckett
The Unnamable


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The severing of high and low, soul and body and inside and outside articulates itself in a fold. The fold is thus the actualization of the difference between ‘the intimate folds that the soul encloses on the upper level’ and ‘the creases that matter brings to life always on the outside, on the lower level’.multiple layers-01


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World in a Room

How can I fit my world in between two lines? This is one way of doing it, a small room transforms to be a whole world.

Kevin Williams Virtual Vertigo

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Frozen bubbles of methane trapped beneath Alberta’s Lake Abraham, beautiful but dangerous if popped. Methane gas is formed under water when organic material is digested by underwater bacteria. The gas moves up to escape the water, but gets frozen in upper levels of ice strata.


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Interstitial zone

Flat image + Flat image = two flat images, or = 3D image, or 3D image with a spot light on it 20140203-180037.jpg







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Before I cubed it


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Draft drawing

Posting a draft since the final is taking ages as I fight another cold, since when did I become so sickly? The drawing is assembly of 4 cube facades which would be removed one by one from a model. The drawing is of a space that lives in between external facade and internal walls of brand house. Together they assemble my space that is both real and cognitive, but most importantly free for interpretation and experimentation as opposed to brand house that boxed its architects in.


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From the book of the courtier

(because masquerading carries with it a certain license and liberty, and this, among other things, enables the courtier to choose the role at which he feels himself best, to bring out its most important elements with diligence and elegance, which showing a certain nonchalance with regard to what is not essential. All of this greatly enhances the attractiveness of what he is doing, as when a youth dresses up as an old man yet wears loose attire so as to be able to show his agility; or when a knight dresses up as a country shepherd, but rides a beautiful horse and wears a handsome and appropriate costume. For the spectators assume they are seeing what they are meant to imagine, and then when shown far more than what is promised by the costume being worn they are highly amused and delighted.)

Castigliine Federico Fregoso

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Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger was a popular TV series from 1949 to 1957, the main character Lone Ranger was played my Clayton Moore. In the series every villain that Lone Ranger would encounter would make him take of the mask, but he would always prevail before that could happen. After TV series ended Clayton continued to wear his Long Ranger costume including the mask, Moore often was quoted as saying he had “fallen in love with the Lone Ranger character”, he adhered to Lone Ranger Creed making himself in all aspects indistinguishable from his character.

In 1979, the owner of the Ranger character, Jack Wrather, obtained a court order prohibiting Moore from making future appearances as The Lone Ranger. Wrather anticipated making a new film version of the story, and did not want the value of the character being undercut by Moore’s appearances. Also, Wrather did not want to encourage the belief that the 65-year-old Moore would be playing the role in the new picture. Eventually a law suit was filed against Moore, and the judge patiently explained to Moore that he is not allowed to use the brand of The Lone Ranger, Moore on the other hand was arguing that he is not a brand, he is The Lone Ranger. The discussion would go back and forth until the judge ordered him to take off the mask… a request that Lone Ranger has heard so many times in his life.

The mask came off and The Lone Ranger man was never seen again.



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Brand House

The brand house uses facade to advertise architectural brands, while co-branding for the brand house itself. At the moment there are 5 brands (Gehry Partners, OMA, ZHA, Richard Meier, Libeskind) however the crane is there to suggest the process is ongoing.


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Photoshop in process

Got my comp back today, had a hard drive failure so it was replaced over the weekend.


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And this just happened


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Architect – Facade = Architecture

We build facades to separate us from what offends us.
We build facades to project into the world who we are.
We build facades to surround ourself with only those things for which we feel admiration or affection.
We build facades to manipulate the external world and to leave intact our view of things.
We build facades to apply surgery to our surrounding, rather than to ourself.
We build facades to hide behind them.
We build facades to let some in and to keep most out.
We build facades to lie.

[no title] 1967 by Andy Warhol 1928-1987


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Removing facade

Childhood characters Transformed by artist Jason Freeny.





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One instance of alignment, and infinite possibilities of misalignment





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Cube family


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The perfect alignment.

The first image is a moment in rotation where columns alight and an image can be see, flattening/uniting the building into one message (or at least that was the thought behind it) The image is etched on the columns and unfortunately gets lost, trial and error :(

The model is incased in the cube where a similar effect is achieved (with only one perfect view, and rest with mismatched parts) a homage to Leonidov style of model building.




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The story is coming together.

The world of Leonidov was full of possibilities, the political changes in Russia demanded social changes. He  responded by envisioning a new society, which in turn demanded new form, new materials and new organisation of space. His aim was to integrate various activities on the inside of basic geometric forms, where materials rather then form would become signifiers for the public. The House of Industry is a perfect example, a glass facade aids to reveal the diversity of interior life, where pressing a button in the elevator could lead to exposing yourself to a new activity, subjecting yourself to change and chance discovery. Very much alike our experience of internet, where each internet link has the ability to take you into a world you haven’t seen yet, to engage you in an activity and topic you might not of considered. However as of late our Euclidean spacial experiences as well as cyber, have been of division and compartmentalisation. The possibility of chance encounters have been limited by walls and logarithms that are design to divide us. I believe Leonidov has realised this destructive power of architecture.
Following the initial success of the House of Industry, he was asked by several other major USSR cities to design a similar beacon of proletarian ideals. He with a singe building was able to achieve fame not previously know or experienced by any other architect, he build an icon and he became a star.
City officials gifted with limited imagination asked him to build almost identical building, he was being boxed in by his own creation.  The House of Industry copies didn’t get built, since WWII broke out shortly after, however he did create 4 collages tagged with a separate city. There is a noticeable progression in the collages, with each and singe one you can see Leonidov’s growing frustration with the very building that put his name on the cover of Komsomolskaya Pravda.
He first removes the marble wall exposing the circulation, in next collage he goes further and removes the facade all together reviling and accentuating the true purpose of the building which becomes clear in the last collage – the union of people. People of all walks of life in one building interacting, learning, being the new society that he envisioned. One might think that what he wanted to replicate was the “think tank”  from which the Russian avant-garde, constructivism and he himself was forged.
To be continue…
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X-ray is the only way IN


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Happy Holidays!!!


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Entering CUBE


I’m making a book to organise my re-con thoughts, while i think about how I enter my cube.

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By taking a phenomenological approach to the study of landscape, a person’s experience of a place occurs through the medium of the sensing body. This embodiment of space can occur through different sensory perceptions such as taste, touch, smell, and sound. Soundscapes offer a lens through which we may gain knowledge of a place that can incorporate additional cultural significances which may be silenced in an exclusively visual study of the land.

For my franchise I want to explore soundscape as a design tool, in order to make all the interior spaces, irrelevant of their scale, feel familiar without using visual signifiers.

I made a video, but it was too big to post on the blog, here is the link.

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Sound of franchise

Student: If you reject music, then what should be heard on the radio?

Leonidov: Life.

 Interior familiarity

cryptic as always, will write explanation later, back to hopeless HTS



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Missing link

After tremendous success of House of Industry in Kiev, Leonidov was asked to build similar “idea-tanks” in other cites. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to go though with the plan because of the war, however he did create collages imagining the future. This particular one was for Leningrad (aka St. Petersburg).




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House Scale


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Room scale


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To be continue…


Collaging program into a singe body of basic geometric form, simplifies the exterior to absurdity and intensifies the interior to perplexity.
…Designing a program becomes the only thing that requires DESIGNING, which reduces exterior facade to a sale pitch for an architect’s brand. Singular focus on a program strips architect of a brand, by doing so paves the road to an architectural franchise, where one simple geometric shape is designed to accommodate all possible PROGRAM configurations.
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Franchise Architecture




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Kill by dissociation

In 1921 Rochenko stated “I reduced painting to it’s logical conclusion and exhibited three canvases: red, blue and yellow. I affirmed: it’s all over.” He continued stabbing art with his collages however, Duchamp did one better he killed art with a fountain. 


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The one that slipped through unbuilt cracks

Cornerstone Ceremony Marks U.N. Dayleonidov_parade Leonidov_topfloor Permanent Home of the United Nations

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Slide 10


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Either was really wrong before or really wrong Now

The point is not to bury a ghost idea that has traveled a world and back, the point is to become a ghost, to be everything that Leonidov (a natural STAR, leader, visionary) could not be during his life,  and everything he and his ideas (in his case inseparable and the same) became after his death. Flexible, able to move from one body to another, non attached to ideology, country or social order.  The aim is to learn how to ghost myself.

….because after all we no longer live in the time when fire of revolution is ignited by loud speeches at public squares and go on to change social order, economy, world! instead OUR world changes according to whispers behind closed doors.


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Program-(English version)


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-Take my gold and give me my peace
-We don’t need your gold, that has rust as disease.

Glossy black crows will get what they want, 
Snatching a diamond from ghostly eyes,
Planting it far in their deep black claws,
Leaving the ghost with restless lives.

-Take my kingdom and take my crown
-We hold no desire for kingdom and your thorny crown.
-Take than my eyes, so I wouldn’t see you no more.
-Your eyes were the first to be taken by us, we dove into them and emerged as us.


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Aging my slides


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Constructing a beacon of communism with bare hands


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View from open floor

“From here you can see all of Moscow! The gem of our collective effort, the beacon of Communism stands tall and proud.” 1937 CA Journal


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Eye – window into a soul.

The eye is a precise mechanism which transmits what is seen to the consciousness. The positive or negative coloration of visual sensations depends on the class experience of our consciousness, irrespective of whether it is individual or social. -Leonidov at the OSA congress


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Peering inside proletarian window


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Proletarian activity

Strategically placed ribbon

Strategically placed ribbon

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