The Eye of the Architect

The Eye of the Architect installation for the Interni Legacy special project as part of Milan Design Week

Courtyard of the University of Milan
Project authors: Sergei Tchoban, Sergey Kuznetsov
Project architects: Evgenia Murinets, Sergey Glubokin
Production: Tatlos (Velko Group)
The exposition of the exhibition was made up of art objects and installations by the world's leading architects and designers, dedicated to a common theme - the relationship between modern architecture and historical heritage. Among the participants of the collective philosophical and design project are such stars as: Alessandro and Francesco Mendini (Alessandro e Francesco Mendini), Odile Dec (Odile Decq), Massimo Iosa Ghini (Massimo Iosa Ghini), Michele De Lucchi (Michele De Lucchi), bureau SOM - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and others.
Among others, the Russian architectural studio SPEECH Choban & Kuznetsov received an invitation to take part in the exhibition. The heads of the workshop, architects Sergei Tchoban and Sergei Kuznetsov, jointly developed and presented their installation "The Eye of the Architect" in Milan. The perception of historical heritage by modern society and the translation of this perception in the forms of modern architecture can be multifaceted. The determining factor is the personality and attitude of a particular architect, his creative rethinking of the visual richness of the historical environment, absorbed by his mind through visual pictures and images of real architectural monuments of past eras.
In this creative process, the architect's eye becomes the most important tool, as a kind of absolute point of connection between external pictures and their internal transformation. The embodiment of this image, brought to symbolic purity and clarity, is the ideal form of a sphere, whose mirror surface reflects the beauty and perfection of the surrounding space of the courtyard of the University of Milan with a two-tiered arcade built in the 18th century. But this mirror sphere is not just an impersonal technogenic abstraction. As conceived by the authors, it appears as a giant eyeball with a movable pupil that reacts to the surrounding reality. Images of architectural monuments under threat of destruction are projected inside the eye. As the most striking examples, the authors of the installation chose photographs of monuments of the Russian avant-garde, whose deplorable state is well known to the entire world community. The pupil expands and contracts like a real human eye, conveying a sense of shock, fright, shock from what is happening, greatly enhanced by the understanding of the unconditional value of destroyed objects for world culture and architectural heritage. Thus, in the symbolic form of the installation “The Eye of the Architect”, the problem of the inextricable connection between professional activity and the importance for each architect of the problem of preserving monuments is embodied.