Despite worldwide recognition of the “Amazons of the Russian avant-garde”, further achievements
of the Soviet women in art and design field are relatively poorly covered in professional and
Authors of the current research will consider a huge list
of undeservedly forgotten
names and undervalued design projects accomplished by Soviet women. For the first time, there would
out a detailed scientific analysis of the gender aspect impact on the Soviet design
specifically on the formation of the professional identity by women designers in the
USSR and the
The results of this study will not only demonstrate the features of professional contribution
women designers in the material and visual culture of the XX-XXI centuries, but also draw
to a set of economic and socio-cultural reasons that hindered the professional
of women designers, artists and architects in different periods of the USSR history. Many
identified factors (including gender-specific boundaries and stereotypes within the design profession) still
relevant in contemporary Russia.
The subject of gender issues in Soviet design history was addressed by Alena Sokolnikova
in following talks:
“Social values in Soviet design history” the lecture and participation in the panel discussion
“Social design: European (Dutch) and Soviet perspectives” in the framework of the exhibition
“Red Wealth: Soviet design 1950–1980”, Rotterdam Kunsthall, Rotterdam, Nederland (February 2016).
Lecture “Beyond nostalgia. What can we learn from the experience of Soviet designers?” at the
Russian design Day, The First London design biennale, Somerset house, London, UK (September 2016).
Presentation at the International interdisciplinary conference “THE BODY OF THINGS: Gender,
Culture and Design in (Post)Soviet Russia” an interdisciplinary conference, Aarhus University
Aarhus, Denmark Report by Alena Sokolnikova “A new wave of women: the formation
of a professional identity of women designers in the USSR in the
The first draft of the book was made and sent to some major international publishers editorial
in may 2018. In December 2018, the “Women designers of the USSR” book got a grant
in the framework of the Garage.txt. publishing program. Currently, we are intensively
material for publishing.
In June 2018, we formed a concept and a presentation of the “Women
In Design. 1918 — 2018 / USSR — Russia” (work title) exhibition;
submitted the first application for a research project on the exhibition at The Garage
At the moment, we are looking for partners and an exhibition venue for this
promotional presentation is available upon request.
Audio and video recordings of exclusive interviews for this project are carried on from May
to the present time. Here you will find links to all published interviews.
1. Svetlana Ysova
At the moment, the authors of the study collected brief biographical information about more than
who carried out projects in the field of graphic, industrial and environmental design, costume
accessories, as well as certain types of arts and crafts in the period from 1917
In the future, this time frame will be expanded.
If you, your relatives or friends were designers in Soviet times, and you are ready
to share some
information about the professional activities of women designers, please contact us!
As the project progresses, we are planning to publish all collected materials in the
of an online database with a free access.