CitiesDesign MemoMuseum MemoNEWS

Unseen Moscow: Up In The Clouds

March 16, 2017

At London’s new Design Museum the topical exhibition Imagine Moscow, Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution reveals a striking, futuristic vision of the reborn capital city after the 1917 Russian Revolution.

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

Boris Iofan Vladimir Shchuko and Vladimir-Gelfreikh; Palace of the Soviets,1944, pastel-watercolour charcoal pencil paper. TchobanFoundation.

Centred around Red Square are six landmark yet unfulfilled design schemes by leading Russian architects of 1920s-1930s including Iofan’s Palace of the Soviets (conceived as the world’s tallest building) and Cloud Iron by Lissitzky an extraordinary network of horizontal skyscrapers.

617- El Lissitzky, The Announcer from The Three-Dimensional Design of the Electro-Mechanical Show ‘Victory over the Sun’, 1923

El-Lissitzky;The Announcer from The Three-Dimensional Design of the Electro Mechanical Show, Victory over the Sun,1923.

Dreamlike cityscapes reflect the rapid changes to people’s lives after the October Revolution and downfall of the Czar paved the way for socialist ideology and USSR. Powerful themes of industrialisation, urban planning, aviation, communal living and recreation dominate. International loans of large-scale plans and images, models, original drawings and artworks, colourful propaganda posters, porcelain and textiles offer a rare insight.

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

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

Says Eszter Steierhoffer, curator of Imagine Moscow:

The October Revolution and its cultural aftermath represent a heroic moment in architectural and design history that still inspires the work of contemporary architects. Radical ideas in this exhibition remain highly relevant to cities today. Imagine Moscow  brings together an unexpected cast of “phantoms” the architectural monuments from a vanished world of the Soviet Union that survive in spite of never being realised.”

Need to Know: Imagine Moscow:  Exhibition Catalogue £12: designmuseumshop.comImagine Moscow: Architecture, Propaganda, Revolution, 15 March – 4 June 2017, The Design Museum, London  W8 6AG,  #ImagineMoscow


Liz Osmond 





You may also like