Work Debate rides DDW2019

Research

Lesia Topolnyk interviews Floris Alkemade, the State Architect of the Netherlands. For the Dutch Design Rides Lesia Topolnyk designed an object related to her graduation project. The object was placed on top of one of the taxis, which bring visitors to locations across the Dutch Design Week. The designed object represents the idea of an extrapolated historic street, an informal decision-making place. To Lesia, it is important that her work is contextualized, mentally or physically. Therefore, complementary to the object, she decided to turn the taxi itself into the debate-space, creating a Debate-Ride. Besides riding along with visitors, she invited Floris Alkemade to discuss several topics related to the interlocking realm of politics and architecture, which is the theme of her award-winning graduation project: Un-United Nations Headquarters.

Conceptual object designed for Dutch Design Week, representing extrapolated historical street, neutral ground for disagreement. Size: 50cm x 50 cm x 100 cm

Project

Biography

StudioSpaceStation operates across architecture, politics, technology and design, focusing on a broad interpretation of the architecture field, exploring its potential within our fully constructed reality.

StudioSpaceStation is a satellite and invader simultaneously. It observes current and future affairs, manifesting resolutions through architecture as a solidified representation of dreams and ideas.

StudioSpaceStation provides a vessel for discussion, emergent from critical thinking through perpetual evolvement and experimentation.

Studiospacestation works on cultural self-initiated as well as commissioned by Governmental organizations projects. We take initiative in formulating assignments, working experimentally and in a multidisciplinary fashion with research by design approach StudioSpaceStatinon alternates between speculation and realism.

Clients

Atelier Rijksbouwmeester, Gemeente Rotterdam, Rotterdam Maritiem Museum, Failed Architecture, Creative Industries NL, Archiprix

Honors & Awards

2020 - Talent Grant, Creative Industries, Netherlands
2020 - Young Talent Architecture Award, nomination (by the Fundació Mies van der Rohe and the EU Commission)

2019 - Winner Archiprix Nederland
2019 - Winner Archiprix International
2019 - Winner Tamayouz International Award

Selected Exhibitions
2022 - upcoming, Biennale, Lisbon
2021 - Dutch Design Week
2021 - Biennale, Venice
2020 - Dutch Design Week
2019 - Biennale, Santiago
2019 - Archiprix International
2019 - Archiprix Netherlands

StudioSpaceStation was founded by Lesia Topolnyk after winning several international awards such as Archiprix National, Archiprix International and Tamayouz International Award, and a nomination for the Mies van Der Roche young talent award. Prior to that, she worked at several award-winning international practices such as MVRDV and Powerhouse Company.

Lesia holds her master's from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, she also gained experience in France, Germany and Lichtenstein. During her studies, she explored architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture simultaneously. Her work is characterised by the ability to translate complex issues into precise simple aesthetic solutions. Lesia perceives architecture as a curatorial discipline where one must establish the right interconnections to assign new meaning to spaces.

Lesia's designs explore a broad palette of spatial experiences, providing for agonistic interactions and new architectural typologies.

Through interviews, writing and other mediums Studiospacestations explores urgent issues and addresses them through solid design proposals.

'Lesia Topolnyk is an architect who focuses on a broader interpretation of her field. She is interested in the potential of her profession within our constructed reality – not necessarily in building things. 'It's about ideas that take shape during the research and design process which generate new typologies,' she says. For her, it's not enough to shape the world reactively, or in line with what already exists. She explains: 'Although architects are seen as people who design spaces, we also design relationships. Especially in these turbulent political times, it's necessary to look at how the world is designed to understand the larger context in which a project is taking place. I sometimes reflect on major problems at a global level, while other times I focus on the space inside someone's mind.'

Topolnyk grew up in Ukraine, and addressed the situation in Crimea with her final project at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. She created a proposal for a building that consisted primarily of corridors – places where discussions and interactions occur that ultimately have the greatest influence on the decisions being made. Continuous mediation of the situation was central to this concept. The architecture symbolised and supported the mental capacity of those involved. In this endless network of hallways, which reference the agora, visitors could have endless discussions which allowed for a continuous debate; politics is an ongoing conversation. Similarly, her own vision of architecture and her process of research and design focuses on conversation, contributions from different positions, and the involvement of people with a wide range of expertise. She therefore frequently collaborates with people who work in different fields. Because 'you can learn from others and they bring valuable insights and viewpoints...'

Her current research is focused on the various crises humanity is currently facing, with a special interest in political systems and the significance of democracy, including its Greek foundations. She is exploring how this form of government was historically designed and how architecture supported and portrayed it. 'It's about how we can shape change and how we can manage the world better together,' she concludes. Architecture can play a role in that by offering design solutions that support the decision-making process.'

Text: Vincent van Velsen

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