retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces

Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces

 

‘Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces’ brings the work of numerous significant designers from post-socialist countries under one roof. The exhibition touches on the role and impact of design in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc and former Yugoslavia between the 1950s and the 1980s. On view at Kunstgewerbemuseum from 25 March to 16 July 2023, the exhibition is a retrospective of realized and imaginative design concepts, including public and private spaces. The projects present a vast scope of works, from futurist interiors for hotels, and presidential lounges to visual communication for festivals in public urban spaces, as well as from opulent textiles or artistic glass installations for trade fairs to cybernetic living spaces.

 

Curated and directed by Claudia Banz, ‘Retrotopia’ hosts a second section that engages the audience in a multisensorial journey. This part includes extensive archive material, photos, posters, magazines, books, films, and other design objects, that form a three-dimensional mind map on thematic clusters.

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces
SPHINX – ‘Superfunktionale Informations- und Kommunikationseinheit’, alternative Konfiguration, Sowjetunion, 1986–87, Reprints, 2023, © Privatsammlung

 

 

 

the passion of planning

 

Initiated by an innovative team of curators and institutions, ‘Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces’ spotlights the ‘complex facets of the design landscape of a region that remains unknown to the broader Western public.’

Through extensive pursuit, they ‘make a decisive contribution to a long-overdue re-evaluation of the global and decolonial history of design.’

 

Through the ‘Iron Curtain’, the political boundary that divided Europe into two separate areas, a lively dialogue emerged, creating a powerful artistic network that sought solutions for cultural, environmental, and economic topics. Planning became the keyword in an attempt to shape the future through systematized innovations.

 

‘During the Cold War, design and architecture came to reflect the geopolitical tug-of-war between the two superpowers of the USA and the USSR. But beyond any political differences, designers and architects from both systems had one thing in common: they were faced with the same social challenges, worked to solve similar design problems and to find sustainable solutions for the environment, developed comparable ideas, and proposed visionary project,’ as stated in the press release (see more here). 

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces
Modell des ‘intelligenten Arbeitsraums’ in Originalgröße, Teil der ‘Heim-Informations-Maschine ‘(DIM), ausgestellt auf der Elektronik-Ausstellung, Moskau, Sowjetunion, 1971, Reprint, 2023, © Privatsammlung Wladimir Papernyj

 

City planning, architecture, and design contribute to the practices that seek to design a better tomorrow. The advance of technology, artificial intelligence, cybernetics, and computerization entail social prosperity, a term translated as ‘happiness for all’. ‘An enthusiastic belief in the power of technology and a passion for planning were the driving forces behind ‘system design’ and the design of private and public spaces, reaching all the way to outer space.’

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces

VNIITE Designteam: Dmitrij Azrikan, Igor Lysenko, Marina Micheewa, Alexej Kolotuschkin, Maria Kolotuschkina, Elena Ruzowa, SPHINX – ‘Superfunktionale Informations- und Kommunikationseinheit’ (Detail), 3D-Druck, Verbundwerkstoffe, Acrylmalerei, Tinte, Foliendruck, Sowjetunion, 1986–87, Modell in Originalgröße, Rekonstruktion von Igor Lysenko, Marina Micheewa, Sergej Petrow, Alyona Sokolnikowa, Pawel Menyailow, Yurij Naumkin, Dmitrij Protopopow, 2021, © Privatsammlung

retrotopia-design-for-socialist-spaces-staatliche-museen-zu-berlin-designboom-1800

VNIITE Designteam: Dmitrij Azrikan, Igor Lysenko, Marina Micheewa, Alexej Kolotuschkin,
Maria Kolotuschkina, Elena Ruzowa, SPHINX – ‘Superfunktionale Informations- und
Kommunikationseinheit’, 3D-Druck, Verbundwerkstoffe, Acrylmalerei, Tinte, Foliendruck,
Sowjetunion, 1986–87, Modell in Originalgröße, Rekonstruktion von Igor Lysenko, Marina
Micheewa, Sergej Petrow, Alyona Sokolnikowa, Pawel Menyailow, Yurij Naumkin, Dmitrij
Protopopow, 2021, © Privatsammlung

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces
Lutz Brandt, Entwurf Tribünen Marx-Engels-Platz, X. Weltfestspiele der Jugend und Studenten 1973 in Ost-Berlin, Foto: Armin Herrmann

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces
Věra Machoninová, Vladimír Machonin, Hotel Thermal, Interior of the Congress Hall, ca. 1977, Foto/Photo: Jaroslav Franta

retrotopia-design-for-socialist-spaces-staatliche-museen-zu-berlin-designboom-41800

Presidential Airport Lounge, Bratislava, Slovakia, Foto/Photo: Lívia Pemáková

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces
Sirje Runge (Lapin), Proposal for the Design of Areas in Central Tallinn, 1975, © Museum of Estonian Architecture, Foto/Photo: Tiit Veermäe

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces
Lithuanian advertising for Saturnas,1963, published in journal Mokslas ir technika (Science and Technology), 1963, no. 8

retrotopia at berlin's kunstgewerbemuseum touches on the role of design in socialist spaces
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker

retrotopia-design-for-socialist-spaces-staatliche-museen-zu-berlin-designboom-31800

Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum +
Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker

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Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
The special exhibition Space and Form I, Tallin Art Hall, 1969, Design concept by Bruno Tomberg, Maia Laul, Kärt Voogre, Eha Reitel, Saima Veidenberg and Taevo Gan, © Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
The special exhibition Space and Form I, Tallin Art Hall, 1969, Design concept by Bruno Tomberg, Maia Laul, Kärt Voogre, Eha Reitel, Saima Veidenberg and Taevo Gan, © Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Davorin Savnik, 'Iskra', ETA 80 electronic telephone, plastic, 1979, © MAO Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana
Davorin Savnik, 'Iskra', ETA 80 electronic telephone, plastic, 1979, © MAO Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Boris Babi & Mario Antonini, Sideboard, Gusseisen, Eschenholz, Herstellung: DIP Novoselec, Kroatien, Jugoslawien, 1957–61, © Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Zagreb
Boris Babi & Mario Antonini, Sideboard, Gusseisen, Eschenholz, Herstellung: DIP Novoselec, Kroatien, Jugoslawien, 1957–61, © Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Zagreb
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Csaba Ásztai & György Soltész, Kochtopf, Stieltopf und andere Geräte aus dem 'Standardisierten Küchen-Projekt’, Stahlblech, emailliert, Herstellung: Lampart Emaille-Werke, Bonyhád, Ungarn, 1975, © Museum für Angewandte Künste, Sammlung Metall, Budapest
Csaba Ásztai & György Soltész, Kochtopf, Stieltopf und andere Geräte aus dem 'Standardisierten Küchen-Projekt’, Stahlblech, emailliert, Herstellung: Lampart Emaille-Werke, Bonyhád, Ungarn, 1975, © Museum für Angewandte Künste, Sammlung Metall, Budapest
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Davor Grünwald, Electronic calculator TRS 537, Manufacturer: TRS, Zagreb, 1974, © Museum of Arts and Crafts, Zagreb
Davor Grünwald, Electronic calculator TRS 537, Manufacturer: TRS, Zagreb, 1974, © Museum of Arts and Crafts, Zagreb
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces, Ausstellungsansicht, Kunstgewerbemuseum + Kulturforum 2023, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / David von Becker
Dubovyk Oleksandr, Sketch of the Stained Glass 'Carnival' for the 'Voskhod' Resort in Feodosiya, 1987, © Stedley Art Foundation
Dubovyk Oleksandr, Sketch of the Stained Glass 'Carnival' for the 'Voskhod' Resort in Feodosiya, 1987, © Stedley Art Foundation
1
 
Ivan Ilko, Fenster mit Glasgemälde im Studierendenklub Yuventus, Herstellung: Volodimir Kuznietsov, Uschhorod, Ukrainische Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik, 1984, Foto/Photo: Yevgen Nikiforov
Ivan Ilko, Fenster mit Glasgemälde im Studierendenklub Yuventus, Herstellung: Volodimir Kuznietsov, Uschhorod, Ukrainische Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik, 1984, Foto/Photo: Yevgen Nikiforov
At Žirmnai restaurant in Vilnius, 1971, © Lithuanian National Museum, Vilnius, Foto/Photo: Marius Baranauskas
At Žirmnai restaurant in Vilnius, 1971, © Lithuanian National Museum, Vilnius, Foto/Photo: Marius Baranauskas
Illia Tolkachev, Tree of Life (Sketches of the Façade and Stained-glass Windows), 1981, © The Tolkachev's Family Collection
Illia Tolkachev, Tree of Life (Sketches of the Façade and Stained-glass Windows), 1981, © The Tolkachev's Family Collection
Oleksandr Milovzorov, Entwurfszeichnungen für Glasmalereien im Pionierlager Romantik, Gouache auf Papier, Karkaraly, Kasachische Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik, 1978, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Alexander Milovzorov
Oleksandr Milovzorov, Entwurfszeichnungen für Glasmalereien im Pionierlager Romantik, Gouache auf Papier, Karkaraly, Kasachische Sozialistische Sowjetrepublik, 1978, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Alexander Milovzorov
DNA, Redesign of the Jižní Město housing estate – Urbanity 86, Builders’ Park, 1986, © DNA
DNA, Redesign of the Jižní Město housing estate – Urbanity 86, Builders’ Park, 1986, © DNA

project info:

 

name of the exhibition: Retrotopia. Design for Socialist Spaces

curated and directed by: Claudia Banz

venue: Kunstgewerbemuseum – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin  | @staatlichemuseenzuberlin

dates: 25 March – 16 July 2023

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