CONSTRUCTOR. MOSCOW GARAGES

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

https://constructor.jewish-museum.ru/ru

The Constructor is a game where user builds five avant-garde Moscow garages in the Tetris mechanics and learns the history of the buildings and their authors at the same time.

Player taps on the screen or uses keyboard to rotate the element in the right way. You may also check and find out if you are Vladimir Mayakovsky, who never knew how to drive a car, or Konstantin Melnikov, who was the best in garage building.

Constructor game where you can feel like an avant-garde architect was created by the Jewish Museum and the Tolerance Center for the exhibition Where Cars and Buses feel at Home. Bakhmetevsky and Other Garages. The exhibition shows the era of the 1920s-1930s from an unusual side: through the prism of the history of Moscow garages.

Le Corbusier's famous principle ("House is a machine for living in") only partially characterizes that dynamic time. Car is the same age as modern art and garage (house-for-car) has become one of the symbols of the Modernist architecture inspired by industrial aesthetics.

IN ORDER TO PERSUADE THE EXHIBITION VISITORS THAT GARAGE ARCHITECTURE IS BOTH INTERESTING AND VERY BEAUTIFUL, WE INVITED THEM TO PLAY A GAME

ALEXANDRA BORISOVA

Content Director of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center

How did you come up with this idea?

Architecture (and especially the Avant-garde architecture) is not the easiest form of arts for a person without relevant experience and education. In this context, garage architecture has no value at all for a non-expert. "What does it give me?", "Garages - is this really interesting?", "Can the architecture of a garage be something remarkable?" - such questions could be asked by the potential audience of this project. The exhibition by the Jewish Museum Where Cars and Buses feel at Home. Bakhmetyevsky and Other Garages was dedicated particularly to Moscow garages built in the Avant-garde style. In order to persuade the exhibition visitors that garage architecture is both interesting and very beautiful, we invited them to play a game. Each user could feel like the Avant-garde architect and build five famous garages. After completing each level of the game, users learn some stories about buildings, their architects and heroes of that time.

What was the most difficult thing in your project?

We chose Tetris mechanics for the game because it is familiar and known to the potential audience of the project. However, it turned out to be difficult to divide the Avant-garde garages into elements similar to the game blocks falling on each other until a building is made up. To accomplish this task, we created three-dimensional models of each garage: to do this, we took modern photographs of garages, compare them with old drawings and practically work as an architect.

Why do we need projects like yours? What is their value to people?

Where Cars and Buses feel at Home is an exhibition that tells the history of Moscow through the car engine roar and bold architectural decisions. The 1920-30s garages became symbols of the Avant-Garde architecture inspired by the industrial aesthetics. You are probably familiar with the most famous garage designer — Konstantin Melnikov, the architect. He was the one to build the Bakhmetevsky garage that houses today the Jewish Museum. Innovative architects, with their buildings as manifests, young car enthusiasts, and first drivers with their foreign Renaults and Soviet ZIS shaped the image of the time — daring and dynamic, interweaving together art and technology, love and politics. It was our main goal to bring the museum visitors and the users of the Constructor game to this era and tell them about the values specific to it.

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