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Imagine Moscow: Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution at the Design Museum

The exhibition will host six unbuilt projects from 15th March to 4th June 2017. All the proposals were originally designed for Moscow between the 20s and 30s. The Design Museum celebrates the first centenary of the Russian Revolution by housing an exhibition where visitors can discover six old projects which were designed to change the city. These architectural projects were never built, but were designed following the Russian Revolutionary style. These six unbuilt projects were going to be situated close to Red Square. If they’d been built, they would have changed the city, it would have been full of big, new iconic buildings. The capital city of Russia would have been reborn.

This proposal of a new Moscow was created by a bold new generation of architects and designers in the 20s and early 30s. They worked on an idealistic vision of the Soviet capital that was never built. The exhibition shows large-scale architectural drawings which are shown like artworks. Besides that, propaganda and other kind of publications are part of the exhibition. All this projects are linked to the lifestyle of that moment. the viewer is forced to reflect on how life and ideology in the Soviet Union truly was: communication, industrialisation, communal living, activation, collectivisation and urban development. The main idea is that visitors obtain a unique insight into the culture of the time.

Communal house (1920) by Nikolai Ladovski was one of the most iconic and famous symbols of Soviet communal living; Cloud Iron (1924) by El Lissitzky consisted of eight lightweight horizontal skyscrapers linking the work and living spaces using trams and metro; Lenin Institute (1927) by Ivan Leodiniv was a new planetarium and a big library; Health Factory (1928) by Nikolai Sokolov consisted of individual capsules for isolated rest, and a big area for communal activities; Narkomtiazhprom (1934-1936) a building design by the Vesnin brothers: Ivan Leonidov and Konstantin Melnikov. It was intended to house the People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry; The Palace of the Soviets (1932) by Boris Iofan, was the ultimate monument of Soviet power at the time. It was going to be the tallest building in the world.

180- Yakov Chernikov, Composition on a theme of an industrial area with buildings and metal constructions, 1924-33, paper, ink, gouache, pencil, whiting. Tchoban Found

Gustav Klutsis, Architectural Study, 1920-1921, Courtesy Annely Juda Fine Art, London copy

Gustav Klutsis, Photomontage, lithography on paper, 1924, Ne boltai! Collection copyValentina Kulagina, To the Defence of the USSR, Poster, 1930, Ne boltai! Collection smaller copy

192- Boris Iofan, Vladimir Shchuko and Vladimir Gelfreikh, Palace of the Soviets, 1944, pastel, watercolour, charcoal, pencil, paper. Tchoban Foundation


Design Museum
Kensington High Street
W8 6AG

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