Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, May 2nd–3rd 2014
This two-day workshop will bring together members of academic and cultural institutions from across Europe and Russia in order to discuss key concepts, individuals, organizations and turning points that comprise the history of design in post-war Eastern Europe. In recent years, study of design has emerged as a unique way of understanding socialist culture due to the way it links societal ideals with economics, scientific and technological progress, consumption, the material practices of daily life, the imagined West and broader artistic culture.
While material culture studies have made a significant contribution to historians’ understanding of post-war life in socialist countries, a broader understanding of how the design profession sought to both construct and criticize the material environment of socialism is only just beginning to emerge. Through discussions generated by the workshop, we will consider the main aesthetic turning points of design in socialism in relation to socio-political contexts. By considering various approaches to design across the Eastern Bloc, we would also like to explore commonalities and exchanges among former Eastern Bloc countries. Finally, we would like to consider how museums and collections have presented this history. What role does design heritage play in contemporary post-socialist society?
Preliminary List of Talks (For more information see ‘Abstracts’ page)
The Other Children of Marx and Coca-Cola: Pop Art and Cinema in Eastern Europe
David Crowley – Royal College of Art, London
Designing for the Socialist Present: Post-Utopian Practice in Soviet Urban Design of the 1970s
Tom Cubbin – University of Sheffield / Royal College of Art
Building up a Design Culture in the German Democratic Republic: Parallels and Differences to Design in the West
Siegfried Gronert – Bauhaus University, Weimar
Lolita Jablonskiene – Lithuanian National Gallery of Art, Vilnius
The Afterlife of Suprematism: Malevich’s legacy in Leningrad applied art and design of the late 1950s-1960s
Yulia Karpova – Central European University, Budapest
Deterritorializing Utopia: “Paper Architecture” in Moscow, 1984
Andres Kurg – Institute of Art History, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn
Creation of a new professional identity (working title)
Things to Use: Desgn Objects in Everyday History
Andreas Ludwig – Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam
Abstract coming soon.
András Szilágyi (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)
“Design for Man an Mankind”: VNIITE hosts ICSID’75 Moscow
Margareta Tillberg – Stockholm University
Neither a real artist, nor a designer: art laborers in the Riga Porcelain Factory and their output in the Soviet period
Iliana Veinberga – Art Academy of Latvia, Riga
Design Theory and Self Management in Socialism: The Yugoslav Case in a Panoramic Survey
Fedja Vukić – University of Zagreb.