Enough Retail

retail studio at Strelka institute, 2013-2014

The theme for Strelka Institute’s 2013-2014 research school year is Urban Routines. The educational programme was devoted to the studies of the most common, trivial, everyday matters, concentrating on four main themes: the different spaces and places where our everyday life unfolds (comprising the themes “Dwelling”, “Offices”, “Retail”), and commuting between them (the theme “Сars”).

The goal of the Retail Studio's research, led by Yury Grigoryan and Edouard Moreau, was to produce a snapshot of Moscow retail, to compare it with global trends and patterns, to understand hidden retail agendas, and to reveal certain paradoxes that shape our retail routine. 

Does Moscow need more retail? Whatever the answer may be, that’s where we need to start. Why is this opinion on the shortage of retail space so widespread, and seldom challenged? Throughout this research, we will encounter contradictions and paradoxes. The dream of a rich life, and the threat of an urban landscape characterised by dead malls; the temptation of foreign brands, and the risks of a faltering national identity; the ambition of personal choice, and the fear of daily manipulation. Bulimic wealth and desperate poverty. Art and advertising. Mismatched densities: retail and people do not always intersect in space and in time. We will walk through a shady underworld: does informal trade need to be fought against or integrated?

“Enough Retail” book is devoted to retail in Moscow, an overwhelming force that each day shapes the routines of millions. Only by pretending that this force is limited, we can somehow attempt to measure it and put forward some new ideas to manage it, for the common good of the city. Surprisingly, it seems that Moscow has sufficient retail space already, but are they being used effectively? Enough retail, it starts here.


The Studio's projects focus on finding points of tension: between the macro- (Kirill Lebedev) and micro-scale (Alina Bibisheva) of retail in Moscow; between the Soviet past of Russian retail (Martha Coe) and its possible future (Daniele Belleri); between excessive superficial and intrusive manipulations that operate consumers every single day (Yuliana Guseva) and attempts to limit consumption as a need or as a choice (Anna Maikova); between less obvious functions of retail in the city (Katy Asinskaya) and re-evaluation Hlporninant retail models (Pavel Ilyichev); between the way retail consumes time (Daniil Gavrish) and the patterns of consumers making their daily purchase choices (Albina Nurgaleeva); as well as the way retail is reflected in art, globally and locally (Olena Kovalyova).

Manifesto for Moscow 2013 contains 12 slogans that we think are necessary to embrace retail. Rather than discarding retail, we need to acknowledge it as an irreplaceable human force, which now needs to be pushed in a new direction. We need to give retail the power to revive neighborhoods, and to fuel the demand for street life and street commerce. In order to fully realize this power, we need to set up the necessary conditions for a new balance between formal and informal, large and small, western and national. The city of Moscow must develop a deeper understanding of the current way retail  works, proposing new models based on proper analysis and research, and integrating the various local communities into the process of reviving neighborhoods and taking ownership. 

PDF of the book


425pp / 200 x 335 mm

Published in 2014

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YEAR 2014

PROGRAM research

TUTORS Y. Grigoryan, E. Moreau


STUDENTS K. Asinskaya, A. Bibisheva, D. Belleri, M. Coe, Y. Guseva, D. Gavrish, O. Kovalyova, K. Lebedev, A. Maikova, A. Nurgaleeva, P. Ilyichev