Magic Architecture of Stéphane Malka

It was first through graffiti, a technique he adopted for over 10 years, that Stéphane Malka discovered the city and its untapped potential. He then began studying architecture in his home town of Marseilles before completing his studies at the school of Paris-la Villette.

After a stint with Jean Nouvel, he set up his studio on his own. “Before being able to share points of view, it is essential for me to be confronted with the essence of the project. This initial approach is about thought and thus informal, and for me it requires a process of maturation and solitary reflection.” Today, he makes use of two parallel but complementary practices. “The act of dressing up the city to think better about architecture”; this is how this skilled user of wordplay and other devices (as evidenced by the titles he uses for his projects), summarises the dual approach to his production.

In reality, ecological strategies often generate an over-production of materials, becoming energy-vores and clients of factories, the polluters of the world. The real ecological combat is within the reappropriation of materials and experimentations with ready-made objects, far from the so-called benevolence of subsidized agencies. The student housing on rue Amelot is a project that inserts itself into an urban interstice: the thickness of a blind wall. It’s within the thickness of these walls that this thin building is constructed. The urban form is an extension of the blind walls, which houses using the existing. No building is destroyed, and no pollution generated. PARIS, FRANCE, 2011.

As infrastructures inhabit and even dominate today’s cities, it is time to accept and give them value. While composed of a poetic vocabulary of sinuous curves and evoking the picturesque, infrastructures have been dedicated to the automobile. Why not offer the richness of this language to pedestrians? Why not organize an open dialectic between vehicles and pedestrians? City: PARIS, ISSY-LES-MOULINEAUX, 2011.


From graffiti to the city. The history of a system of proliferation, invasion of space, and appropriation of place. On the way from the street to the museum, the essence of graffiti loses its breath. If it does not metamorphose it becomes a mutilated object, which in the best case loses its legs and in the worst, sells its soul. The following installation is a rewriting of tags made on the city; it’s the mutation of graffiti into the invasion of space, parasiting the smallest crevices of the site. Here the gallery is implicated as the active support of the intervention, a metaphor of the city. MOSCOW, RUSSIA, 2010.

The Temple of Fury is a proposal for the proliferation of an object, the ‘Fury Insta-Pump’ Reebok sneaker, pushed to its paroxysm until it reaches “the necessary disappearance of that which is its foundation” (Foucault). This installation is a pointillist critique of mass publicity campaigns made to invade our minds, haunting us with the specter of the object.

The Temple of Fury is a fetishist abyss of objects of consumption, in which desire supplants need. NYC, 2011.


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