Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design

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Random House Incorporated, 2010 - Design - 222 pages
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The Soviet era remains a relatively little-known and seldom acknowledged part of the history of Russian design, but one whose legacy is still visible today. Many products of the era went on to become iconic and influential works of design, celebrated as much for reflecting the unapologetic ethos of the time as for their own ingenuity. Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design is an irreverent celebration of fifty such masterpieces, ranging from pioneers of early Soviet technology such as the Lada car, The Sputnik rocket, And The Lomo camera, To icons of quotidian Soviet culture such as the fishnet shopping bag, The infamous Soviet school uniforms, The beveled twelve-sided glass, a Cold War-inspired arcade game, and Misha the Olympic Bear, The mascot To The 1980 games. After an introduction from editor Michael Idov and an essay on the place of design in Soviet culture by Gary Shteyngart, The objects are presented with a short accompanying essay from one of today's best-known Russian writers giving a brief history of its creation, and each is illustrated with black-and-white archival images. Three color sections throughout the book include additional images of a selection of the objects. Designed by the creator of the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedia series, The book is as much an intelligent reading book on forgotten aspects of Soviet culture as a tongue-in-cheek illustrated survey of an under-acknowledged but prolific period in Russian design and creativity.
 

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Contents

Aeroflot
10
Sputnik
14
Aelita2
18
Hammer and Sickle
20
Tembr 3
24
Temp 2
28
Tablet 0249
30
Morskoi
32
Disco Light
107
Elektronika
127
Yantar
131
BK0010
132
Tonika Formanta Ural 144 Girls School Unilorm
140
Mark ot Quality I50 Zaporozhets
148
Za Rulem
154
I56 Banki
156

Erudit
36
Street Soda Dispenser
40
Collapsible
42
Change Machine
44
Reflector
66
Belomorkanal
68
Avoska
72
Pyramid Milk Carton
74
Beveled Glass
78
Kvass Barrel
82
Caviar
86
Raketa Chaika Saturnas
88
Peterhol Raketa
92
Boiling Wand
96
Krugozor
98
Vesna 3094
104
Nevalyashka
160
Ostankino Tower
162
Misha
166
I70 lototron
170
Mlshka Kosolapyi
172
VEF Spidola
194
Vyatka
196
LOMO
202
Rla Novosti
204
Vertushka
208
Khryusha and Stepashka
212
Horse and Jockey
214
Ural
216
Buran
220
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Michael Idov is a contributing editor at New York Magazine and the author of the 2009 novel Ground Up, published in English as well as Idov's own Russian translation. His essays have appeared in numerous publications including GQ, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic. He lives in New York City.

Boris Kachka
is a journalist and author whose writing has been published in New York Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, and Russia! Magazine.

Vitaly Komar
ia a conceptual artist and, together with Alexander Melamid, one of the founders of the Sots Art movement. His work has appeared at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and at the Venice Biennale.

Gary Shteyngart
is the best-selling author of fiction including The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and The New York Times.

Lara Vapnyar
is the author of the novel Memoirs of a Muse and a collection of short stories, There Are Jews in My House. Her work has been  published in The New Yorker and Harper's Magazine.

Bibliographic information