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Pop Design and Counterculture, 1958–1972. A lecture by Maria Savostyanova

Lecture cycle: Twentieth and Twenty-first century design
15 February 2018


Maria Savostyanova will analyze how the Soviet “thaw” and the sexual revolution in the West instigated new ideas, technologies and forms in design.

Rapid development of mass culture and pop art in Europe and America in the late 1950s and throughout the1960s had significant impact on world design, making everyday things look positive and glossy. Interior and product design experienced a real boom of plastics, which became the most popular material of the era; while the world of fashion was shaken by the introduction of mini-skirt by the iconic Welsh couturier Mary Quant, and the first ever tuxedo suit for women, Le Smoking, created by Yves-Saint Laurent in 1966.

General inclination of postwar design towards affordable quality goods informed, among many other phenomena, Terrence Conran’s project, who opened his first Habitat store in London in 1964, offering a novel way of selling beautiful objects for home interiors. In the USSR, meanwhile, all efforts concentrated on building new housing blocks and separating communal apartments as the “thaw” period continued.


Maria Savostyanova is an art historian and design critic, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Interior+Design, and author of over 350 articles on consumer and collectible design. She has been reviewing major contemporary art and design exhibitions for fifteen years.




Free admission with advance registration


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