Yuri Soloviev

(b. 1920)

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Raymond Loewy (1893—1986)


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(1920– )

One of the leading figures in Russian design in the second half of the 20th century, Soloviev worked in many fields including furniture, interior, industrial, and transport design. Director of the government‐sponsored USSR Research Institute of Industrial Design VNIITE (1962–87), and a prominent figure in ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design), Soloviev was also a founding member and the first president of the Society of Soviet Designers (established 1987). He studied design in Moscow (1938–43) before going on to work as a designer in a number of state‐funded enterprises including the Architecture and Art Bureau (of which he was the first director) in the Ministry of Transport Industry (1946–56), the Central Design Bureau in the Ministry of Shipbuilding (1956–9), and the State Commission for Science and Technology (1959–62). His role within the Ministry of Transport Industry was important since the USSR's transportation infrastructure had been badly affected by the war. His design work included design of railway carriages, urban transport, and passenger ships. He became the founding director of VNIITE from 1962 to 1987, having been charged in 1959 with expanding design activity in the USSR. He had consulted with leading internal figures in contemporary design, most significantly Paul Reilly, director of the Council of Industrial Design (See Design Council) in Britain and the American industrial designer, Raymond Loewy. The COID provided the model of a state‐funded organization charged with the promotion of improving standards of design in industry, albeit in a democratic consumer society, whilst Loewy's consultancy demonstrated the significance of design in business with offices in New York, Chicago, South Bend, Los Angeles, and London. VNIITE grew in size and significance with branch offices across Russia and began to establish international relationships through the organization of exhibitions and seminars. Its research and development policies were also influential in East Germany. Perhaps most important in terms of external relations was the link with ICSID, of which VNIITE became an institutional member in 1969, with Soloviev becoming a vice‐president in the same year. After organizing ICSID's 1975 biannual congress in Moscow on the theme of Man, Design and Society, he served as president of ICSID from 1977 to 1980. In addition to his role in design education and professional organizations Soloviev also disseminated his ideas widely through his editorship from 1964 onwards of the Tekniecheskaya Estetika (Technical Aesthetic) VNIITE design journal, as well as the publication of many books and articles and conference addresses. His importance was recognized in the receipt of many design awards including the fourth Osaka International Design Award (1989), the International World Design Prize (1988), and the Japan Design Foundation's International Design Award (1989) and the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design (2001).

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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