What kind of architecture do young people need?

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Moscow City University conducted a study of how young people perceive the capital’s architecture. It turned out that future graduates want to study and do science in classical style buildings, to spend leisure time – in buildings in the Art Nouveau style, and to live in modern houses.

Doctor of psychology, Professor Boris Ryzhov conducted a study “Modern perception of architectural objects by young people” in cooperation with the student of MCU. The relevance of the study is explained by the increasing contradiction between the new architectural solutions and the desires of the people who live in these houses.

No other form of art has such a psychological impact on the formation of a person’s worldview as architecture. Music and works of fine art can give an explosion of emotions and impressions, but it is short-lived. The emotional repercussions of what one sees in a gallery or hears in an opera will fade, but people “communicate” with architecture every day. At some point it begins to play the role of a 25-frame, then one stops feeling its impact, noticing it. But architecture continues to affect us, says Boris Ryzhov.

Six architectural styles were selected for the sociological survey: classicism, triumph (Stalin Empire style), art nouveau, constructivism, post-constructivism of the late 1930s or magno style, and modern style. Students of Russian universities were shown collages of six photographs of buildings and offered to rank them in descending order of liking.

According to the results of the study, it is possible to make conclusions about the preferences of students of Moscow City University. 73% of positive reviews received the Stalin Empire style, the brightest representatives of which are the Stalin skyscrapers, the arch at the entrance to Gorky Park, the main pavilion of VDNKh. Modern architecture was represented by the most popular buildings – skyscrapers Moscow City, the house on Mosfilmovskaya street, Zaki Hadid’s Dominion Tower. This style was in the penultimate place in the rating.

Respondents were also shown public buildings in different styles – residential buildings, libraries. Here the first places were shared by Art Nouveau and magno (53% and 52%, respectively). The modern style again did not rank high. And in the survey of small houses and mansions modern buildings are in the lead with 84% of votes. It is worth noting that MCU students evaluated a building based on the question if they would like to live in it. Young people chose modern architecture to live in, even though they like classical columns and spacious halls.

The results of studies by Moscow City University show the preference for old buildings. New architecture aggressively intrudes into the urban panorama, which has been formed over the centuries. In different districts of Moscow modern buildings aggressively destroy rather than organically complement the architectural landscape, which contradicts the classical principles of architecture – symmetry, beauty.

The survey resulted in an index of preferences for architectural styles among students of Moscow City University. Most of the votes (67%) go to the triumph style, whose majestic forms are most emotionally appealing to young people. Second place (37%) of votes is shared by the modern style, magno and classicism. Art Nouveau gets 22% and constructivism about 1%. The results of the study were used to develop an interesting tourist route through the center of Moscow. 

To summarize, Russian students choose to study in monumental buildings, the walls of which instill confidence in the prestige of chosen profession and inspire respect for lectures and science classes. Comfortable modern low-rise buildings are suitable for life. It is important that architects and builders take into account the opinion of young people – the urban landscape must be psychologically comfortable for the new generation.