Lecturer wins international design competition

Gabor Stark won the Worlds of El Lissitzky design competition

A lecturer from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Canterbury has won an international design competition.

Gabor Stark, senior lecturer in Architecture, impressed the judges in a contest set by the Siberian Centre for the Promotion of Architecture in Novosibirsk to create a monument dedicated to the famous Russian architect, painter and typographer, El Lissitzky.

Rather than creating one fixed monument, Gabor's winning concept features 10,000 portable artefacts that will move around the world.

Gabor Stark said: "El Lissitzky and his wife Sophie Lissitzky-Kuppers led a nomadic existence, travelling around the world collaborating with the international avant-garde, so I wanted to reflect this through small objects that could migrate from Novosibirsk and end up anywhere in the world, the same way that they did.

"I feel honoured and delighted that the jury appreciated my competition entry and I am looking forward to travelling to Novosibirsk later in the year to implement the project for the city's 125th anniversary."

Gabor's winning 'portable monument' More than 300 people from 42 countries entered the Worlds of El Lissitzky competition and several students from UCA Canterbury's School of Architecture have been picked to show their concepts in an exhibition at the Siberian Centre for Contemporary Art in Novosibirsk, which opened in February.

Gabor said: "I'm very pleased that so many of the students have been selected for the exhibition.

"The curator of the Siberian Centre for Architecture went on record to say that the Canterbury School of Architecture made a very important contribution to the contest, so there you go, UCA is now big in Siberia."

Gabor's concept, entitled Black Currency, features small, steel objects derived from the silhouette of a hollow cube. Its perception oscillates between a two and three dimensional piece and key stations of the Lissitzkys' lifelong journey are registered along its sides.

He explained: "Each token is a gift from Novosibirsk and after being launched in Siberia they will slowly be disseminated throughout the world, like black currency.

Gabor's vision for his design "They could be worn as a badge or on a chain, kept in the pocket or on a mantelpiece but, whatever and wherever they end up, I hope the artefacts pay a fitting tribute to the cosmopolitan itineraries of the avant-garde and become a talisman for the 21st century nomad.

"It was a bit of risk to go for a portable monument but I think every project, especially a competition entry, requires a certain degree of risk-taking and should challenge conventional perspectives and genre-definitions.

Allan Atlee, Head of Architecture at UCA, said: "It's fantastic to see a member of staff win an international competition which will, no doubt, increase the standing of UCA's School of Architecture around the world.

"I'm also really proud of our students. We always encourage them to aim high and enter high-profile competitions so it's great that so many of them now have their work hanging in a Russian art gallery and been recognised by a respected panel of experts in this way."

See some of our students' entries in the official competition catalogue.

The portable monuments are made from steel For more information contact:

David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939
E: dreilly@ucreative.ac.uk

Twitter: @UniCreativeArts

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