Collective City is a research and curatorial project by Bart Goldhoorn and Alexander Sverdlov, commissioned by the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
(curator: Kees Christiaanse).
In the Soviet Union, in the period from 1956 to 1989, fifty million standard flats were built in the districts known as Microrayons. After the collapse of the socialist regime, these mass-produced, generic districts are facing a crisis of public space, Yet, as Collective City clearly demonstrates, there is no need to fear mass production in architecture.
The Collective City argues that one should combine the best features of mass production with the Western idea of designing individual building lots. The essence of Collective City’s proposed solution is not to design each site individually, but to develop a standard for all sizes of sites – just as it happened, for example in the shoe industry, which has developed a standard for shoe sizes.
Such an approach should result in a greater variety rather than uniformity, and this will in turn work to the advantage of the quality of both public and private space.