Retrotopia: Design for Socialist Spaces
Claudia Banz (Ed.)
Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin & Kettler Verlag, 2023
Along with urban planning and architecture, design played a central role in shaping the socialist future. On both sides of the Iron Curtain, it was above all the issue of housing that became the yardstick of the successful implementation of visions of a better world. Beginning in Berlin with its early housing exhibitions which took place in an atmosphere that was shaped by political rivalry and the pathos of progress, this publication focuses on the (post-)Soviet satellite states. It explores the socio-political dimension of housing and the role of design between utopia, power and gender discourses.
In their texts, 25 experts from around the world present different designs and interiors. They cover a wide range of objects from kitchen utensils to space rockets. The book thus makes a significant contribution to the current discourse on (post-)socialist design, which is gaining increasing academic attention especially internationally. For the first time, authors originating from the various (post-)Soviet countries have worked together on a publication: it fills an important lacuna in the study of the history of design.