Anna BokovDec 29, 2021
Avant-Garde as Method
Vkhutemas and the Pedagogy of Space, 1920-1930
Park Books 2020
In Avant-Garde as Method: Vkhutemas and the Pedagogy of Space, 1920-1930 (Park Books, 2020), Anna Bokov examines the history of the Higher Art and Technical Studios (Vysshie khudozhestvenno-tekhnicheskie masterskie) in Moscow, known most commonly by its acronym Vkhutemas. Operating between 1920 and 1930, Vkhutemas was a centre for developing new pedagogical methods to support mass education in art and technology. In this richly illustrated study, Bokov traces how radical experiments in art, architecture, and design were translated into systematic body of knowledge – and how this knowledge was then applied in various projects aimed at shaping modern Soviet society. From small utensils and furniture pieces to large-scale urban designs, the Vkhutemas influence was visible everywhere, and Bokov foregrounds the school’s impact both on the formation of modernism, along with its lasting creative legacy.
Anna Bokov is an architect, urban designer, and historian specialising in the history of the avant-garde movements and design pedagogy. She is a faculty member at the Cooper Union and the City College in New York and Fellow of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Architecture at ETH Zürich.
Iva Glisic is a historian and art historian specialising in modern Russia and the Balkans.