Abstract and Keywords
Throughout the 1970s, Soviet designers were increasingly concerned with environments rather than separate objects. By the end of the decade, they came to recognize sustainability as a crucial problem not only of market economies but also of socialist planned economies. This chapter brings to light an early attempt to practice environmentally affirmative design in the USSR: a design program for nationwide recycling infrastructure, launched in Leningrad in 1979. Drawing on archival sources, it shows how a team of Leningrad designers expressed a distinctly socialist approach to sustainability through a comprehensive visual form: the approach based on citizen responsibility as much as on the role of material objects as agents of social change. This never-implemented design program is considered here not as yet another socialist utopia, but as an original vision of mass mobilization through design, informed by the legacy of Russian avant-garde as much as by current Western design trends.
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