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Past, Present and Future Design Trends at Moscow Museum

Founded in May 2012 and opened to the public in November of that year, the Moscow Design Museum is dedicated to collecting and displaying items relating to past, present and future design trends in Russia, with the goal of becoming an integral part of the cultural landscape by making the history and future potential of Russian design available to the general public. When the idea for the Moscow Design Museum was first considered in March 2011 by a team of young people including designers, historians and architects, it was to fill a gap that was not covered by any other museum. Initially the team had intended to use a refurbished bus to take the museum to the public, but after a series of presentations of the concept, exhibition space was allocated for the museum in the CEH "Manege" located across from the Kremlin in the center of Moscow. The bus remains an integral part of the museum’s goal to make this unique collection available to the public.

The exhibition entitled "Common Objects: Soviet and Chinese Design 1950s-1980s" was put together to display everyday items designed in that specific time period. Visitors to the exhibit can view a range of interesting items including a 1950s MOM wind-up alarm clock; a lava lamp from the late 1970s; an old-fashioned kitchen scale; a 1960s Chaika vacuum cleaner; transistor radios from the 1950s; and more. The items take on more meaning when considering that this was an era during which people in China and the Soviet Union dreamed of equality and prosperity. The purpose of design and branding at that time was not to create a desire for consumer items, as is the case today, but was rather to fulfill basic needs. Therefore, design principles focused on functionality, durability and sustainability. The exhibition is split into sections detailing the differences and similarities in the everyday lives of Soviet and Chinese citizens, giving visitors the unique opportunity to view design principles from the 20th century in a cross-cultural context.

With the catchphrase of "You no longer have to go to a museum, now the museum comes to you!" the Moscow Design Museum's mobile hall in a refurbished bus travels all around Moscow and nearby cities to present multimedia versions of the full-scale exhibits at the museum, workshops, lectures and other educational events. Be sure to check out the Moscow Design Museum when exploring this vibrant Russian city.


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