Soviet Critical Design: Senezh Studio and the Communist Surround - Cultural Histories of Design (Hardback)
  • Soviet Critical Design: Senezh Studio and the Communist Surround - Cultural Histories of Design (Hardback)
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Soviet Critical Design: Senezh Studio and the Communist Surround - Cultural Histories of Design (Hardback)

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£85.00
Hardback 248 Pages / Published: 13/12/2018
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Soviet Critical Design is the first monograph to explore the socialist design practice of 'artistic projecteering', which was developed by the USSR's Senezh Experimental Studio in the 1960s. Tom Cubbin first examines the studio as a site for the development of the design discipline in the optimistic environment of the Soviet Thaw of the 1960s. He then explores how designers adapted to new realities of the Soviet Union of the 1970s and 80s. Over two decades, designers at the studio worked on critical projects that highlighted how the Soviet state's treatment of citizens, urban heritage and the environment was manifest in daily life. Drawing on previously unpublished visual material from private archives and also extensive interviews, this book presents a new history of the late socialist period in the USSR, which gives insight into the creative strategies of designers who engaged their practice as a contribution to broader discussions on alternative models for socialist existence. Overall, it argues that artistic projecteering must be read as a utopian activity which privileged the political and ideological over the functional.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350021990
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 502 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
For many years, it seemed as if there were only two kinds of Soviet design: visionary Constructivism or Stalinist kitsch. Cubbin's vividly written and deeply researched study offers an entirely new picture. Illuminating the long history of modernism in the USSR, he examines how critical designers sought to create utopia on a human scale. * David Crowley, Head of the School of Visual Culture at NCAD, Ireland *
What happens when principles of Russian avant-garde of the 1920s are retooled for the needs of Soviet science and technology? In his book, Cubbin traces the emergence and demise of "technical aesthetics" created by Soviet artists-engineers in the 1960s-1980s as a communist alternative to capitalist design. Highly informative and richly documented, this book reconstructs fascinating yet barely known moments in the history of material culture and aesthetic theory of the twentieth century. * Serguei A. Oushakine, Director of the Russian and Eurasian Studies Program at Princeton University, USA *
The book provides insight to the activities of Senezh studio, an important part of the USSR Union of Artists. It also explores the phenomenon of 'paper design', a particular kind of project work, characteristic of the Soviet cultural milieu. Senezh studio operated for more than twenty years, although only a fraction of its projects were ever realized. Despite this, the studio's design practices were of remarkable national importance. * Alexandra Sankova, Director of the Moscow Design Museum, Russia *

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