cover image New Russian Design

New Russian Design

Rizzoli, Constantin Boyn, Constantin Boym. Rizzoli International Publications, $45 (204pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1613-2

After dreary decades of a single, government-imposed style, pluralism has blossomed in the design world of the former Soviet Union. Posters, packaging, graphics, built environments for restaurants and stores, utopian architectural drawings, industrial design, furniture and consumer products are sampled in this kinetic survey, which focuses on the work of more than 25 Russian designers in the 1980s and 1990s. Eclecticism, irony, multiple meanings and postmodernist allusions characterize the output of this new generation of designers. Evolving as a visionary enterprise rather than as a market-oriented tool, Russian design has been largely ignored by the masses, yet, as this dazzlingly illustrated album shows, it has the potential to touch all aspects of life. Boym, a Russian-born designer living in New York City, where he coordinates product studies at the Parsons School of Design, traveled in Russia in 1990-1991 to research this study. (Jan.)