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Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

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Lez Cooke

audience in all its social, cultural and ethnic diversity. In the rapidly changing ecology of British broadcasting, independent production companies now provide a progressive counter balance to the more conservative regional drama produced by the national broadcasters, the popularity of which was confirmed in a report from the media regulator Ofcom in April 2006 which revealed that regional audiences often have a preference for programmes made in their own region, as The Guardian reported at the time: Viewers show strong loyalty to their regional identity. The Cornwall

in A sense of place
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A problematic development
Fanny Lopez

appear as a form of civil combat against a monopoly but especially against a public “monument” that had a positive distinction value. In the framework of public right, utilities are supposed to permit everyone, including those excluded from distribution structures, to access consumption. Public service is emblematic of a societal model, it is the sphere of collective functions, it is one concept of the state’s role: regulator, planner, welfare provider. Infrastructure corresponds to both a power structure and a collective structure: it is the image of society

in Dreams of disconnection
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Charlotte Klonk

political dynamic prevalent in each state at the moment of the act of terror. And only comparisons of series of hostage images, like those discussed in Chapter 2 , expose the differences that allow us to determine the function of images within the various contexts of their reception. Images of perpetrators, finally, are so over- and underdetermined at the same time that we can only see in hindsight, once the threat has disappeared, which hopes and fears have been associated with them. Only then can we begin to understand their role as temporary regulators of emotions

in Terror
Tijana Vujošević

experience the rapture of “force,” the worker has to first realize that his body is a machine like other machines. “Our first task,” writes Gastev, consists of working with that magnificent machine that is so close to us – the human organism. This machine possesses sophisticated mechanics, including automatism and swift transmission. Should we not study it? The human organism has a motor, “gears,” shock absorbers, sophisticated brakes, delicate regulators, even manometers.6 To become aware of his body as a machine, a machine that plugs into other machines such as those in

in Modernism and the making of the Soviet New Man
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Artisanal virtuosity and material memorialisation
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin

consumers of material cultures, including apprentices, journeymen, master craftsmen, retailers, and regulators of the crafts and trades – the gift could have particular and unusual significance. Artisans were especially well placed to assess the symbolic, design, and material qualities of judiciously commissioned or personally crafted offerings. Citizens were closely attuned to the importance of suitable temporal and spatial contexts for both the initial gift presentation and subsequent ‘social life’ of their offering. The chapter further demonstrates that across the

in Crafting identities
Yulia Karpova

) production. Neodecorativism signalled design professionals’ disappointment with the populist aspirations of the Khrushchev era and, evidently, their tiredness with the role of regulators of mass tastes and consumption patterns. Turning from regulation to reflection, decorative artists broadened the borders of good taste, and reconsidered the relationship between people and things in the age of people’s growing dependence on machines. However, these artists also marked a new social distinction based on post-functionalist aesthetics – a distinction not only from their

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

table-top refrigerators. While the demand for high-capacity refrigerators grew in the US and Western Europe, such models were unsuitable for the small kitchens of Soviet prefabricated flats. They also did not correspond to the modular structure that was established in the Soviet furniture industry. In addition, Soviet refrigerators had a greater weight per volume and mostly lacked temperature regulators, door-opening pedals, auto-defrost and moveable shelves. Moreover, they often had technical deficiencies. KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 128 20/01/2020 11

in Comradely objects
Jonathon Shears

1793 regulated immigration, particularly from France, following the Revolution, whereby immigrants were required to register with a local justice of the peace. It lapsed in 1826. The Aliens Act of 1848 expired without ever being invoked (Shaw, 2015: p. 4). 10 Julius von Haynau was an Austrian general who aggressively suppressed radicals in Italy and Hungary during the insurrections of 1848; Harvey founded the Sunday Times in 1821 and, in 1839, became the chief regulator of taxis in London, presumably explaining his inclusion here. 11 Michael William Balfe was an

in The Great Exhibition, 1851