Drawing of "Baba Yaga" Breadbox
by Sean Cummings
Pencil on bond
8.5 x 11 inches
July 2005


    Fermata Projects
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    Active Projects

    Center for the Arts in Latvia : New Student Proposal from Ukraine

    Center for the Arts in Latvia

    Designer: Antonina Kitoraga
    Advisor: Prof. Igor Klimov

    School: State Technical University of Construction and Architecture Kharkiv, Ukraine

    The main purpose of establishing a center for arts in Latvia is to unite people for their creative communication, sharing their experiences, for learning, for the cultural enrichment of society.

    In the projected Center for the Arts there are envisioned:
    - exhibition space, a gallery, exhibition halls (for presentations or expositions);
    - a conference room (for meetings, presentations, workshops);
    - a universal hall (for shows, theatrical performances, press conferences, etc.);
    - lecture halls and workshop rooms (for lectures, seminars, master classes and working with students);
    - a library;
    - a cafe;
    - a hostel;
    - administrative staff and support staff;
    - business premises;
    - a summer theatre (outdoor theatre) ;
    - parking (for visitors and service parking area).

    Thanks to its extremely rich cultural and historical heritage, Latvia boasts a varied architecture, in which multiple styles and ethnic influences can be traced. It is characterized by a diverse and rich palette of building coloration. This is also influenced by the Baltic climate, distinguished by high humidity and abundant rainfall. Therefore, days here tend to be overcast and cloudy, with the characteristic gray colors.

    Accordingly, the color scheme and, in general, the nature of the designed object can be, to a considerable extent, identified by analyzing the architecture of Latvia, its climate and its geographical features.

    The facility has a centric composition, in which volumes of various heights, colors, different dynamics are strung radially.
    The center of the whole composition is a forum (plaza), circular in shape. The circle, in this case, symbolizes communion, a circle of friends, combining different countries, epochs, art forms, intermingling of cultures.
    A radial-ring system is characteristic of many historic cities. The projected object might be described as a city of arts. The artistic image of the object has been defined through a mixture of styles which is characteristic of this region (Latvia, Estonia).
    The organization of the internal area uses stylized columns in the post-modern style, entablature twined with greenery, which symbolizes the depth of time. Arches are introduced, such as form the flying buttresses of medieval cathedrals. The whole is like a cathedral square, bringing people together.
    Further from the center, the image of the building gets modern. From postmodernism the transition is towards hi-tech (from historicism to more current technologies). This represents movement in time.
    The entrance to the building is via a central forum, from which passages fan out. Along the circumference of the plaza, a covered glass gallery is arranged which serves for recreation and viewing the scenery, because it contains a transit passage to the lake shore.

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    Project Proposal: "Let's Build a Roof over the World"

    This file (pdf) contains the first 6 pages from a detailed, 50+ page formal project proposal outlining Fermata initiative "Let's Build a Roof Over the World". A full copy of the report is available upon request.

    FAF Books: "Let's Build a Roof over the World" Book

    Latvian-English publication, translated by Santa Siksna

    This project involves the creation of a bilingual poetry book (Latvian & English) celebrating the "Let's Build a Roof Over the World" drawing exchange program and exhibitions, held since 2009. It is translated by Santa Siksna, a University of Latvia student, as a semester project.

    Balvi International Design Center Project

    (United States - Latvia)

    East-West International Cultural Movement

    (Professional artist program, Russian Federation, numerous countries)

    The East-West Movement represents a continuous exchange of culture between Eastern Europe and the West and encompasses numerous projects, among them:

    East-West Project Artists' Catalog: view the catalog page-by-page here

    Alexandra Tolstoy sculpture design for Tolstoy Foundation.

    A study in clay is pictured below, by Nikolay Pogorelov. Another artist, Alexander Mal'kov, is also working on this project (photos will become available soon). The purpose of this work is to celebrate 70 years since Tolstoy Foundation was established in 1939.

    FAF East-West Literature Contest

    Topic: “Character Sketch of A. L. Tolstoy in the history of World Culture”
    Cultural value of the contest: The contest for the best composition about Alexandra L. Tolstoy (Leo Tolstoy’s daughter), held by FERMATA and the Tolstoy Foundation, aimed at the integration of international humanistic, cultural and educational process, as well as at developing an understanding of the place of Russian culture in the world cultural community.

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    Ideal House Drawing + Cultural Exchange

    (School-Age childrens program, numerous countries)

    As of November 2009, Ideal House has brought together students in the nations of Bulgaria, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Ukraine through their drawings and shared exhibitions. The exhibition is traveling to Latvia in December 2009. Click here to see the gallery of ideal house participants and events.

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    Belltower International Design Exchange

    (Architectural Design and Historic Preservation project focusing on Tolstoy Center, Valley Cottage, NY USA, involving US and Ukrainian partners.)

    Ecovillage Design Collaboration

    (USA and KSADA-Kharkiv State Academy of Art and Design, partners)

    Kharkiv State Academy of Art and Design and its students are planning an ecological student housing campus near the main campus in collaboration with FAF. See a presentation board of the scheme by Olesya Povydysh (KSADA thesis student) below:

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    The 10 Centers Project for Youth

    (Social/design project for Eastern Europe, under development for multiple countries)

    Rehabilitation work involving planning and selection of effective means to help children, improving their access to education and training, based on the identification and effective use of the social mechanisms in place, to promote the social adjustment of a child in certain living environments. Rehabilitation implies the fostering of positive influences on a child's personality, holistically. Most importantly, the process of raising a child is to create a positive environment and the right relationships between the personality and the community, which are developed longitudinally during education, career and social life.

    The project is architectural in scale, and each site will be located in a near-suburb of the first and second-tier Eastern European cities. The project provides for the construction of 10 multi-purpose social centers over 10 united sites, which are radically new to Eastern Europe in general. The peculiarity of the project is that a guest or a child placed in the social center may circulate both freely and securely through any part of the complex without going outside using a variety of kinds of circulation, not limited by inclement weather.

    Practical value of the Research

    The practical research value of this project lies in the fact that the theoretical provisions and conclusions of the research, as well as the developed and approved social center design model will contribute to improved quality and efficacy of the social services provided by the state, city, general public, private investors and foundations, as well as the teachers and social workers in the social centers. The research materials may serve as a basis for new research on the problem of pedagogical rehabilitation in the context of orphanages and social centers.

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    Urban Futures Advanced Architectural Lab

    (Graduate-level architecture/urban design institute, under development, involving knowledge transfer between Ukraine and others and the USA)

    FAF Projects...

    1. Develop cultural partnerships between New England cities and cities in the Ex-Soviet Bloc countries;

    2. Provide opportunities for individuals to experience and explore other cultures;

    3. Create an atmosphere in which community development can be strengthened by stimulating environments through which communities will creatively learn, work, and solve problems together through reciprocal cultural and educational exchanges and projects; and

    4. Involve collaboration with organizations in the United States and other countries which share similar goals.


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