Transforming Public Space in Mitino: The Finale

The final modular interventions to create a positive public space, responsive to people’s requests:

A book exchange

A mini house co-designed by a kid who added the light and curtains

Lots of nice seating area, things to read and plants to be around.

A games box: Tic-tac-toe and chess / checkers

And a bike rack.

We also installed a chalkboard, DIY map and notebooks for feedback and people to express themselves.

The best part was probably the return of several kids who ended the day making their own toys after codesigning some of the spaces.

All these pieces can be moved and rearranged by the community depending on what they want. Unfortunately, it seemed rather than wanting them to remain there, people either wanted to buy them, take them home, advertise on them or… destroy them. So for now, they are no where.

Photographs by Alex Melnikoff

Today! Saturday, August 4

Day 5: Construction with TYIN, kids and participation

Yesterday, everyone was in their groove, and we had a lot of people join our ‘building block’ party. Mostly children, who were super enthusiastic and unstoppable. Nikita was back and his father claimed he had not stopped talking about coming to help us the next day. Two other young boys wandering the area joined us. All the kids helped with painting sanding, sawing and picking up scraps of wood.


Day 4 with TYIN: On Site Construction in Mitino

We finally got ourselves (and all the materials) to the site in Mitino, where the team began ‘constructing with wood 101′ – sawing, drilling, and avoiding self mutilation.

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TYIN Mitino: Designing Social Dialogue

Today we can say with certainty that half of the workshop is now complete, and sum up the results.

First day was entirely devoted to analyzing the site. Divided into groups, we examined all aspects of terrain, such as distances between objects, human flow, insulation, and even an analysis of the sound context. After a few hours in the sun, tired and sunburned, we all dispersed to our homes to prepare for the morning meeting.

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TYIN в Митино: Дизайн для общественного диалога

Сегодня можно с уверенностью сказать, что ровно половина воркшопа позади, подводим итоги.

Первый день был полностью посвящен анализу площадки. Поделившись на группы,  мы исследовали все аспекты местности, начиная с таких характеристик, как расстояния между объектами, заканчивая подсчетом людских потоков, инсоляции, и даже анализом звукового контекста. После нескольких часов на солнцепеке, загоревшие, уставшие, но довольные, все разбрелись по домам готовиться к утренней встрече и демонстрации результатов.

На площадке. Обсуждение.

Второй день начался с презентаций от каждой группы, обмена информацией и бурных обсуждений результатов за ранним ланчем.

И вот пришло время переходить к проектированию. Проведя пару часов за просматриванием книг и спорами, весь оставшийся день мы посвятили эскизам.

Designing for Ownership – Day 6: Presentation

On the morning of the sixth and final day the teams finalized their prototypes and presentation materials. In the afternoon we went from Strelka to the park in Yuzhnoye Medvedkovo. Unfortunately there had been a bit of  miscommunication about the precise starting time of the event in the park. When we arrived at the amphitheater at around 15:00 the deputy of Uprava was already there, together with a small number of other interested people. She had understood 14:00 and she was not amused about our delay. Fortunately, she stayed and participated in the discussions during the presentations of the ideas and prototypes.


The workshop yielded quite a wealth of ideas and interventions, which I will describe here. As mentioned in the post about day 4, the two main problems that participants sought to address where:

1) lack of communication, and
2) lack of participation.

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Designing for Ownership – Day 5: Prototyping 2 + Testing

On the fifth day the participants continued to work on their prototypes in teams. The visit by some participants to Yuzhnoye Medvedkovo on the previous day resulted in some amendments to the prototypes. On this day several other team members went to the neighborhood together with Michiel to do some additional testing of their ideas and to arrange buying materials. To our surprise very few people in the park wanted to cooperate in the testing of the prototypes. On previous visits people seemed much more willing to engage in conversation. It could have been the early hour or the treat of thunder and heavy rain showers looming over Moscow. In any case it proved to be a good lesson in thinking about how to communicate to people in the neighborhood.


Urban Conquest: DIY Neighborhood Games!

Randomly coinciding with Day 1 of the London Olympics, residents and urban hacktivists created and deployed their own games in Voykovskiy. Beginning midday, participants designed, constructed and played in spaces that had been underused, waiting to be activated.

Situationist soccer
Using found wood to build three goal posts in a recreational space in the park that was meant for basketball. Because the surface was less than ideal (and because many of us love soccer and situationists) it was the perfect (and perfectly random) game to play. Three teams, three goals.

More Badminton
Everywhere is a badminton court.

Swinging at the bus stop
Rope + a sawed plank of wood to install a swing at a bus stop.

Street Dominoes
A larger than life domino game to interact and occupy an unused public space.

More Checkers
With the help of locals who had been painting and maintaining the tram stop, we color coded a board days before and used cans to identify competing teams.

The Ultimate Race
We used tape and chalk boards to turn a shortcut where people climb over a gate to get to the train platform and skip buying tickets into a game. Players time themselves and record their scores.

Photographs by Maria Semenenko.

July 28 = Game Day in Voykvoskiy

Situationist soccer, badminton championships, furniture parkour obstacle courses, street checkers, dominoes… the fun is limited only by your imagination + enthusiasm. Come out and play!

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