28 March 2008

Russian Contemporary Design.

Deep in the Moscow suburbs there is a strange but Most Excellent fashion of painting psychedelic things on the walls of houses. This one, (above and below), is the most impressive. Instead of dull gray boxes of concrete, fun and whimsical contemporary, "pop" art like murals rule. They look like they may have just stepped out from Japanese animation.

Full view of side of building - detail above

So often we equate fine contemporary design with Italy or Sweden, to name two examples. How often do we consider or ponder Contemporary Design from Russia? While I could go on and on presenting example after example of Russian design, please allow me to touch upon a few designs that I consider to be Most Excellent and a lot of fun. Presented here is a sampling of the world of contemporary Russian design, the advanced part of it.

I would also like to throw in a few snapshots of some unique "moving" museums or contemporary art that may be found in and around Moscow.

It is no secret that in every country there are some pretty gifted designers that in our time of globalization can sell their creations to Western countries. On to Russia...

"A Moving Museum"

Here are some photographs of the Moscow subway, (above and below). Select trains are like moving museums with paintings of some famous Russian artists set up on the walls and outside the cars instead of windows so people everyday can meet some art on their way home.

A Select Few Contemporary Pieces. From Russia.

Bookshelves resembling hieroglyphs for people who like something not usual. Shown above empty.

Designer: Kibardin Design

With books - covered in white paper

You can turn into an angel for a while sitting at this chair with angel wings mounted to the back.

Design: Kibardin Design

Lightweight home furniture made from multi-layered cardboard.

Designer: Michael Scholk

Some Russian people are not happy with white air conditioners “ruining the overall designer’s look of my flat”, so this new service of painting air conditioners seems to be popular these days.

A chocolate bar in a form of PC keyboard. If to be produced in a full scale size can weight two pounds. The designer advises not to eat at the same time CTRL ALT and DELETE chocolate keys.

Designer: Michael Sholk

Computer styled thumbtacks to use in the real world, not only on your computer display.

Designer: Artem Lebedev Studio

"The Greenboy" - a hard-fabric key chain that splits your office keys from home keys, is said to be very handy and nice to touch and use - saves your life when trying to find the right key.

Design: Vadim Kibardin

Prototype of the Russian Car - "Russo-Balt", (above and below)

Back view - The Russian "Russo-Balt"

Definitely not an iPod. This is a stainless steel mp3 music player in a form of Christian cross that can be worn on the neck.

Design: Man Work Designs

These watches were rewarded with a few awards for design. They are wrist hand watches imitating sand hourglasses with pixels.

Design: Pavel Balikin