Tatjana Gorbachewskaja icw Katya Larina – Nikel Materiality

Nikel Materiality by Tatjana Gorbachewskaja, in collaboration with Katya Larina, seeks to explore Nikel through the prism of the unique material substances that this city has created. The story of Nikel is that of a place that transformed the natural environment, seemingly no longer dependent on its geographical, geological or atmospheric attachments to the Earth. It could have been artificially and technologically built anywhere. But due to more volatile economic and political circumstances, Nikel was left without sufficient central control. The materiality of the artificial organism of the city started to interact directly with the natural conditions of the unique Arctic climate and ecosystem. Nikel’s artificial materiality was forced to adapt to survive. Tatjana Gorbachewskaja and Katya Larina illustrate this idea through thematic maps and catalogues of artefacts that emerged from Nikel’s symbiosis between the natural environment and alienated materials created by human culture. As part of the project the series of maps and artefacts will be published on an online platform. During the second Dark Ecology Journey Gorbachewskaja and Larina present their research in the form of a talk and a conceptual walking tour through the city of Nikel. Visit the website www.nikelmateriality.darkecology.net to browse through the entire research project. Thanks to the Childrens' Art School in Nikel for providing work space. Tatjana Gorbachewskaja (RU) is an architect and urbanist, who grew up in Nikel, Russia. Before starting her own praxis in 2014, Gorbachewskaja worked as architect and leading designer at UNStudio in Amsterdam, under Van Berkel & Bos. Tatjana is currently a lecturer and PhD candidate at the Design School in Offenbach, Germany. Her research hones in on the phenomenon of a ‘New Materiality’, as a multi-scale field for application design. Gorbachewskaja has been awarded multiple fellowships and prizes: the National Organisation of the Education Promotion for Architects, Russia; Goethe Institute, Russia; German Academic Exchange Service DAAD, Germany; Centre of Contemporary Art and Sustainability CACiS, Spain and Creative Centre Arteles, Finland. www.architizer.com Katya Larina (RU) is an architect and urban designer who received her Master’s degree in Landscape Urbanism from the Architectural Association, London. Larina has been co-directing a series of independent workshops for the past four years. She has also been invited as an expert and guest lecturer at Institute Strelka and the UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture in London. Katya is co-founder of the research and education project U:Lab.spb, which develops tools that are used in the fields of design and analytics of critical urban environments of Russian cities. U:Lab.spb focuses on social economic strategies that combine knowledge from the fields of sociology, economics, urban planning and ecology to foster the redevelopment of Russian industrial cities and knowledge centres.

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