Even though designers and architects often had more freedom than artists or writers, careers could come to an abrupt end if they expressed excessively radical opinions or if their works were consi- dered too bourgeois or radical.
In the days of the old Eastern Bloc, design flourished. Despite the political division and oppression, the official ideology was still collectivist. Individual designers did not become well-known names. Many remai- ned anonymous until very recently.
A significant number of institutions, museums and design curators in the former Eastern Bloc have now organised themsel- ves in an ambitious collaborative project titled Retrotopia: Design for Socialist Spaces. The aim is to highlight the role of design in the communist countries from the 1950s to the 1980s, from the end of the war to the fall of the Soviet Empire.
In the latest issue of Form, Sonia Hedstrand tells the story of a partly forgotten design scene that now evokes feelings of nostalgia. Read it here.