Moscow Design Museum Unveils First Ever Exhibition – Soviet Design: 1950s – 1980s

Some of the best authors, poets, dancers and the like come out of Russia. I have a penchant for those amazing matryoshka dolls, although I have yet to start my collection as I have no where nice enough to let them chill out. And now, to commemorate thirty years of industrial, graphic and fashion design, The Moscow Design Museum opens its doors today, with an inaugural exhibition Soviet Design: 1950-1980, featuring household items, graphic posters and children’s toys designed in the USSR.

‘These are not just charming objects, but a result of systematic, functional, aesthetic and humanistic approaches to designing’, the museum says on their website. The objects are based around everyday life in the USSR, divided into sections around childhood and games, leisure and hobbies, sports and mass events, education and science, and domestic life.

The items, from state museums as well as private collectors, offer a window into the aesthetic of the Soviet years, from an orange plastic tumbler for children to Jetson’s style lamps and graphic posters.

More than 20 years after the end of the USSR, the exhibition makes the claim that it’s time to take a fresh look at design in the Soviet era, rather than casting them aside as tchotchkes of a time past. In the process, they reveal a boldly-coloured everyday cast that not only evoke mid-century design, but the political and ideological tokens of life under communism.

The museum was founded this year by a group of young Russian curators, architects and designers. Based in Manezhnaya Square, it also boasts a coach for travelling exhibitions and events, outfitted in graphic black-and-white by Dutch design studio Lava.

Soviet Design: 1950s1980s begins today and runs until 20 January 2013.

Moscow Design Museum
1 Manezhnaya Square
Moscow, Russia

Photos courtesy Moscow Design Museum.


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