The term “Para-cities” comes from the words parallel and parasite. It is a concept with which I describe the meeting of physical and digital spaces where the “otherness”, understood as non-hegemonic subjects and relationships, can take place. Some places sprout from a particular group of people who meet by virtual means but who require a “real” place to interact.

The research is focused on sexuality and public interactions in Moscow. It raises the question about how personal desires are visible in the built space and how they can be important forces capable to empower urban renewal. It suggests an exercise  // Para-sight //, as the medium to connect digital opportunities with urban realities in order to reconfigure spaces and transgress social norms.

Para-sight is a prototype of glasses to break the ice and relate to others. In the lenses, you can read the other(s) messages only when eye contact occurs. Para-static is a projector that transforms facades into transitional surfaces where the individual can express, therefore changing the static image of the constructed landscape into a diverse environment.


Research and design developed by Carlos Medellín as part of the Strelka Institute for Media Architecture and Design.

Advisors Carlo Ratti and Rem Koolhaas