Encyclopedia of Ukrainian Architecture

Encyclopedia of Ukrainian Architecture is a multimedia online project that demonstrates the panorama of Ukrainian architecture with the help of various media tools. Curators Ievgeniia Gubkina, Yaroslav Perekhodko, Kateryna Radchenko, as well as guest directors (Dmytro Tyazhlov, Tetiana Kononenko), video makers (Yevhen Chervonyi, Leonid Yezhurov, Vika Haiboniuk), media artists (Mykola Ridnyi, Anastasia Starko, Piotr Armianovski), architects (Arthur Aroian, Vasylysa Shchogoleva, Dasha Tsapenko, Julian Chaplinsky) and more than 40 participants from around the world in their photo and video works, performances, collages analyze how society shapes architecture and how architecture shapes society. The project, created at the intersection of architecture, history, criticism, cinema and visual arts, encourages dialogue. This comprehensive approach allows to maximize the perception of the material environment, see it from different angles and form own opinion about its current state. This is a revision of the role of an architect and architecture of today, the interpretation of the axioms of this area, the visualization of its elements, styles, processes and temporal changes.

What is the architecture of Ukraine – fortresses or barns, huts or Khrushchev-era houses, palaces or ruins, tourist sites or developers construction sites? Or maybe it’s architectural styles – baroque, classicism, modernism, brutalism, postmodernism? Or maybe it’s all just beams and bricks?

In contrast to formal and informal databases, we offer another type of encyclopedia – created by a specific group of people with their own worldview, principles and methods, without being limited by the influence of any institutions. An encyclopedia that is not an end in itself, but only an instrument of cognition. Denis Diderot saw the encyclopedia as a bridge in time, as a way to convey the experience of reality through the optics of a caring encyclopedist. However, experience is not always about “successful cases” and won battles. It’s more about ways to deal with problems, mistakes and defeats. There can be no solution without a problem, and there can be no architecture without solutions. The Encyclopedia of Architecture of Ukraine is a critical project based on a problem-based approach. In it, the categorical principle of systematization of information corresponds to the brightest and most painful issues that Ukrainian architecture works with. After all, the essence of the architect’s activity is to find a form of solving social problems.

The general picture of the project has multiple perspectives – from large-scale to small, from theorizing to humanistic dimension. The architectural landscape of Ukraine, like a mosaic or collage, creates an intricate, multi-layered palimpsest. And many voices – polyphony. The macro level is contrasted with the micro level – local, personal histories of the relationship with architecture. And here the key is not only what and how we talk, but also about whom and with whom. We try to look where they don’t usually look, to give a platform, the right to vote to those who aren’t usually talked to, to see something more behind the walls. Which, perhaps, is much more outstanding and beautiful than bricks and beams. After all, architecture is not walls, it is people!

Find more information on www.ukrarchipedia.com.

Organizers: NGO Urban Forms Center in partnership with the small cultural capital of Ukraine 2020-2021 – Slavutych, Slavutych City Council and the Central State Scientific and Technical Archive of Ukraine with the financial support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and Zagoriy Foundation.