Fragile Brutalism

By Seria_ Project

 Kyiv-born urban graphic design project SERIA_ , founded in 2018 by Dasha Podoltseva (graphic design) and Elena Orap (architecture)

Panelki – a plural form of panelka – meaning panels, it refers to a prefab form of construction, which provides mass housing for more than half of the country’s population. Constructed mainly in 1970s-early 1990s these buildings were planned to provide a bright, modernist future and personal space with communal utility services. Unlike industrial sites, e.g. Mariupol steel works, these buildings were not

designed to prevent progressive destruction. A missile hitting top floor is enough for panels to “fold” and press on lower floors with their weight causing further collapse. According to preliminary data received from regional military administrations in Ukraine in September 2022 approximately 15,600 mass housing buildings were damaged or destroyed. Reconstruction is out of the question for the moment while the war is continuing in Ukraine, but a number of initiatives from the professional community of architects, urban planners and researchers are gathering pace. 

FRAGILE BRUTALISM presents large format black and white urban graphics with occasional highlights of vivid colors in juxtaposition with crumpled graphical wallpaper installations representing the current destruction of housing. The exhibition has a dedicated space for collecting ideas on the future of the Ukrainian urban landscape from university students and other visitors.