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Artists-constructors, or design by another name
In the Soviet context, the word "design" had a very specific meaning. Use of term was usually avoided because of its "capitalist" undertones and its incongruity with socialist ideology:
The ideas and methods used by competing capitalist firms are alien to us – their camouflaging of a product's deficiencies with an effective use of gilding, ostentatious form, or the sublime combination of colors. Algimantas Bielskis, „Gaminys ir vartotojas“, Mokslas ir technika, 1965, Nr. 12, p. 8.
Though the ideals of socialist planned economies were fundamentally different from the Western understanding of design, this didn't mean that there was no design, or designers, to speak of. On the contrary, many events that were critically important for Soviet and Lithuanian design occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including the establishment of new institutions, the launch of specialized study programs, the organizing of the first design exhibitions, and the evolution of concepts concerning the modernization of objects and environments.
To gain a better understanding of this period, we need to introduce different keywords that better reflect the realities of the day. Though professionals used the English-derived term "dizainas" (design), in official discourse the concept was always being modified into new and awkward terminology: industrial art (pramoninė dailė), industrial or technical aesthetics (pramoninė arba techninė estetika), artistic construction (meninis konstravimas), or industrial modeling (pramoninis modeliavimas). Design was a field that existed between industrial production and applied art and between the technical and the aesthetics, characterized by the contradictions between theory and practice, modern unique projects and manufacturing defects, between professional mastery and simple hackwork, and between declared prosperity and perpetual shortage.
People who worked in this specific field were usually called "industrial product modelers", "artists-constructors", or "artists-decorators" – and only very rarely as simply "designers":
Our mission as artists-constructors is to create objects that satisfy the needs of the members of our socialist society, to help them strengthen the shape of our communist life. Nijolė Tumėnienė, „Technika ir menas“, Mokslas ir technika, 1968, Nr. 8, p. 24.
We could list more than a hundred Lithuanian designers who began their creative careers in the late 1950s and 1960s – some well known, others completely unknown. Some specialized in a specific area of design (in furniture, computing or branding, for example) and dedicated their entire professional careers to that field, while others spent only a few years in design, usually after receiving a specific job appointment after graduation or, in rare cases, by taking on a commission of an applied nature (as in the examples of painters such as Algirdas Petrulis and Eugenijus Antanas Cukermanas).
Responding to the need for new specialists, the Vilnius Art Institute introduced a new field of specialization in design in 1961, or rather, to quote source materials from that time, it "introduced the specialization profiles of artistic industrial modeling and decoration," and later opened the Department of Industrial Artistic Construction, headed for several decades by Professor Feliksas Daukantas (1915–1995), considered the pioneer of Lithuanian design education.
The design studies program was noted for its highly praised introductory course based on the Bauhaus BauhausThe Bauhaus was an architectural and design school that operated in Germany from 1919 to 1933 and profoundly influenced the understanding and later development of design.
The Bauhaus school program advocated the rejection of classification into "fine" and "applied arts" and instead promoted a combined approach to theoretical fundamentals, art, crafts and industrial production technologies. Over the course of its existence, the school was led by renowned architects such as Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and hosted lectures by such famous European modernists as Herbert Bayer, Marcel Breuer, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Max Bill, among others.

One Lithuanian was among the 1,250 students who trained at the Bauhaus school – the engineer Vladas Švipas (1900–1965), whose professional career is associated with modernist architectural and urban development intiatives undertaken in the inter-war period in Kaunas, including the activities of the Chamber of Agriculture's Construction Department.
method, as well as for contract agreements with producers and a diversity of activity genres and fields of work in pursuit of original and contemporary forms and functional solutions for a wide array of different objects: welding equipment, machinery, the entire transportation system, household chemical packaging, beer bottles, and new trademarks.
Training designers is something new. It needs support - support for experimentation and the pursuit of new approaches and a trust in the courage and hopes of those who experiment. К. Кантор, „Начатки дизайнерсково образования“, Декоративное искусство СССР, 1965, Nr. 4, p. 27.
137 students graduated from the design department between 1965 and 1980 - an average of seven graduates per year. Some designers were given full-time positions with enterprises (like Algis Šarka, from the first graduating class, who spent his entire life working for the Sigma Computing Machine factory in Vilnius), but most worked in specialized design offices.
Experimental design institutions
Viewed chronologically, the first entity that deserves mention is one dedicated to fashion design, the Vilnius House of Clothing Design, opened in the Lithuanian capital in 1954. The new institution created clothing and footwear designs meant for mass production as well as unique custom designs aimed at foreign shows and, according to long-time Artistic Director Dalia Jurginienė, the era's elite, both in Lithuania and throughout the Soviet Union:
Though there were studios of the highest quality for the well-to-do already operating on Algirdo and Antakalnio Streets, many eminent persons still wanted to have their designs done at the Model House. Their wives had unlimited possibilities – such ladies knew nothing of lines, and were reserved the best products made by Lithuanian firms. By the way, the Vilnius Model House was chosen as the tailor for the high-ranking Soviet party leader Andrei Gromyko. He was clearly offered this service in expectation of returned favors. The highest quality fabrics would be selected for him, and his anonymity was assured. The best designer, P. Vaičiūnas, would travel to Moscow and stay in a hotel reserved for him. Sometimes he'd have to wait several days until Gromyko found the time to be measured. Virginija Majorovienė, „Koks bus sijono ilgis, sovietmečiu sprendė valdžios vyrai“,, 2013 01 28.
The Vilnius House of Clothing Design began publishing a magazine called Banga (Wave) in 1962, staffing its editorial office with graphic artists such as Bronius Leonavičius, Rimantas Dichavičius, and Arūnas Tarabilda and the painter Vincas Kisarauskas. The editorial board also included two renowned cultural figures from the inter-war period, Juozas Keliuotis and Vincas Uždavinys.
Most Soviet design institutions were given long titles that were hard to remember, so they often were known by various different abbreviations. The furniture design agency in Vilnius, in operation since 1957, was known by everyone as the PKB (an abbreviation of its first official name, the Projektavimo konstravimo biuras, or Architectural Construction Bureau, renamed in 1959 as the People's Economic Council Experimental Construction Bureau). The PKB employed Lithuanian architects, engineers and designers to create new furniture and furniture sets for mass production. Pieces created by Lithuanian designers were used to furnish various public buildings in Lithuania and around the USSR, from the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet (or parliament), incorporating office furniture designed by Cukermanas; the Vilnius Sports Hall (designer: Tadas Baginskas), and the Lithuanian Opera and Ballet Theatre (designer: Eugenijus Algimantas Gūzas), to the most famous restaurants of Vilnius and Moscow, including the Dainava Restaurant in Vilnius, with designs by Stapulionis and Cukermanas, considered the first night club opened in the post-war Soviet Union, and cafés such as the one located in the Yunost Hotel in Moscow, furnished with designs by Vytautas Beiga in 1960 and 1961. Lithuanian creations even reached hotels in Africa (furniture for the Hotel Camayenne in Guinea, in 1962, and the Cosmos Hotel in the Congo, 1966–1967, designs by Beiga) and the schools in Yemen, with furnishings designed by Baginskas.
In 1964, a specialized graphic design institution opened in Vilnius, called the Experimental Package Design Bureau, whose mission was to fulfill graphic design commissions from idea generation all the way through actual product realization. The Bureau created labels, packaging, branding and custom-designed projects, and designed and printed various advertising publications and posters. The name of the institution changed several times, so designers and artists working at the experimental facility on Paribio Street referred to it simply as "Tara" (Package). Tens of young, so-called artists-constructors found employment here, many of them graduates of graphic arts programs, but some also with academic backgrounds in set design, frescos and mosaics, ceramics, and textiles.
A branch of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Technical Aesthetics (abbreviated to VTEMTI in Lithuanian) opened in 1966 in Vilnius, with its main mission being the assembly of electronics and precision tools and the design of industrial facility interiors and exteriors. The Institute also contributed to the creation and dissemination of design theory by holding various conferences and publishing notices and methodological guidelines for the practical adaptation of various innovations and regulations. In this context, the designer Algimantas Bielskis deserves special mention. Bielskis was the first certified industrial design specialist in Lithuania, graduating from Leningrad's Vera Mukhina Institute of Industrial Art in 1964, and the author of a theory for a system of cybernetic symbols.
At the initiative of the Technical Aesthetics Institute, specialized design exhibitions began being held in Vilnius in the 1960s. In truth, however, projects by Lithuanian designers were more often displayed in Soviet or Baltic republic pavilions, or stands showcasing Soviet Lithuania, at so-called "accomplishment exhibitions" held abroad. However, even as we begin our review of the various initiatives to establish design institutions in the late 1950s and 1960s, and before we are even able to delve deeper into their activities, we must turn to a discussion about the sad circumstances of their closure. The archives of all of the aforementioned design agencies and the Technical Aesthetics Institute, including all of the designs and prototypes stored for decades in their study rooms and all material kept in specialized libraries, disappeared without a trace around 1990. The only likely exception was the archive of the Vilnius Academy of Arts' Design Department, assembled over the years by Professor Daukantas and his diligent staff, and largely still intact today.
It must be acknowledged, then, that our knowledge about Lithuanian design history is very fragmented. Today, we can only discuss individual fields or periods that were the subject of more extensive research, or that benefitted from efforts to "reconstruct" certain episodes in design history, reviving and newly interpreting facts based on publications from the press of the day, or perhaps using the memoirs and stories of artists and witnesses and isolated instances of individually preserved archival documents or artifacts.
"Art into Life!" – or the modernization of Lithuanian design
How can we best explain the breakthrough in design that occurred at the juncture of the 1950s and 1960s? We could start with the so-called "Thaw" period and the many programs adopted by Communist Party conferences concerning reforms in urban planning, modernization, and domestic life. The processes that spurred a revival in design are linked to the new political, social, and cultural ways of life emerging during the rule of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev – changes that brought the USSR somewhat closer to Western standards. The construction of new residential housing and the associated concepts around the use of household items became a central vector in a modernization program aimed at creating "a brighter communist tomorrow."
The program adopted by the 21st Soviet Communist Party Congress in 1959 proclaimed a now famous slogan of creating "Art into Life", accompanied by even more resounding calls to "bring beauty to mass production, beautifying the lives of millions", or urging that "new inventions must be adapted for life, not for salons", or the need to "aspire to catch up to and overtake the most developed capitalist countries." In Lithuania, one of the most active participants in the "Art into Life" movement was Professor Feliksas Daukantas, who frequently spoke about the educational function of design:
It's not enough to satisfy a consumer's aesthetic needs solely through arts and crafts or applied art (in the narrow sense) that is not mass-produced. We must do so through the industrial production of art, employing everyday domestic accessories to elevate life, improve the mood, and develop taste. The aesthetic impact of our everyday surroundings helps us to better understand the purpose of art and foster a spiritual culture. Feliksas Daukantas, „Dailė – pramonės pagalbininkas“, Literatūra ir menas, 1957 05 04, p. 4.
The first "Art into Life" design exhibition, in which Lithuanian designers also successfully participated, opened in Moscow in 1961. The show presented Soviet design prototypes intended for mass production, as well as examples of designs for interiors, furniture, and fashion. The response to the exhibition impacted future government policy decisions. In 1962, the USSR Council of Ministers adopted a resolution "To improve the quality of mass-produced goods and cultural-domestic products through the introduction of artistic construction methods." The resolution became the foundation for the launch that same year of the All-Union Research Institute of Technical Aesthetics (VNIITE by its Russian abbreviation), which developed into the most prominent Soviet design institute, with fifteen branches and nearly two hundred laboratories. This and earlier government resolutions were also the basis for the founding in the 1960s of the Lithuanian design institutions discussed previously.
The development of Lithuanian design was also impacted by economic reforms enacted under Khrushchev that reorganized industrial management along a territorial approach and led to the establishment of the so-called Lithuanian SSR Regional Economic Council (Sovnarkhoz) in 1957. The REC period, which lasted from 1957 to 1965, saw an increase in autonomy over management of locally supervised industrial production and the activity of academic and planning institutions. Industrial production development also increased through intensified exploitation of local materials found in the constituent Soviet republics and allowing for a more liberal approach to market supply and the modernization of production lines.
If we review archival documents or journals from the 1960s, we notice a wealth of new technology, light industrial goods, and food products given solely Lithuanian names – brands that with their roots in linguistic, cultural or geographic history might even invite poetic associations or call one to embark on ethnographical excursions: tape recorders with names like Neringa, Vaiva, Minija, or Nida; television sets called Dubysa, Šilelis, or Tauras; a business information processing system under the name Rūta (designed by Algis Šarka), or another computing device simply called Vilnius. There was also a furniture set named Ąžuolas (designer: Eugenija Marija Cukermanienė), kitchen furniture sets called Laumė and Ventė (designer: Brigita Adomonienė), and candy brands under the names Gražina, Verpstė, Stelmužė, Neris, Zarasai, Žalgiris, etc. The Regional Economic Councils were disbanded across the Soviet Union in 1965. The insightful commentary of Lolita Jablonskienė is particularly apt here:
Though Soviet reforms were inconsistent and controlled or limited by ideologues and bureaucrats, the material environment of the Baltic countries modernized rapidly, taking on international traits: architecture and design embraced functionalism while creative impulses began to permeate in from the West, albeit indirectly, through their adaptation in Eastern European countries. Modernizacija. XX a. 7–8-ojo dešimtmečių Baltijos šalių menas, dizainas ir architektūra, sudarytoja Lolita Jablonskienė, Vilnius: Lietuvos dailės muziejus, 2012, p. 2.
From the late 1950s to the latter half of the 1960s, Lithuania began to see certain signs of modernization in various fields of design, from interiors created for new cafés (most notably the Neringa Café in Vilnius, by architects Algimantas and Vytautas Nasvytis, 1956–1960; but also the Trys Mergelės Café in Kaunas, by architects Viktorija and Alfredas Jakučiūnas, 1965–1967; and the Vasara Restaurant in Palanga, by architect Aleksandras Eigirdas, 1964–1967), to items intended for everyday surroundings. These included the minimalist and easily assembled furniture created by PKB designers, a stylish recliner designed by Lygija Marija Stapulionienė placed in the corner of a large room, a floor lamp produced by the Panevėžys Electrotechnical Factory, or even such small details as modern label inscriptions, new Lithuanian logos, or geometric "Op Art" motifs on candy boxes designed by artists at the Experimental Package Design Bureau.
The "Kitchen Debate" – or a Cold War race to modernity
Speaking of international creative impulses, it's worth recalling an American exhibition held in Moscow in 1959 that provided an important impetus to the development of Soviet design and which is known in design and political history as the renowned "Kitchen Debate". One day prior to the official closing of the exhibition, the show was visited by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and then US Vice President Richard Nixon, who began a discussion thus:
Nixon: "I'd like to show you this kitchen. It's exactly like the one in our home in California." [Directing Khrushchev's attention to the dishwasher installed in the countertop]. "Look at this dishwasher."
Khrushchev: "We too have such things."
Nixon: "This is the latest model. Thousands of these machines are assembled in factories and later installed right at home. We want to make life easier for our women."
Khrushchev: "There is no 'capitalist view of women' in the Soviet Union."
Nixon: "Wouldn't it be better to compete over the superiority of our washing machines instead of the power of our rockets?"
It's now said that this was a lively, spontaneous discussion over controversial Cold War subjects, though journalists and photographers had already been advised the day before that they would need to "make a stop in the kitchen and talk about Cold War strategies." The conversation did in fact take place in an almost "space age" American kitchen, "armed" with the latest General Electric technology and set up in a typical, actual-size six-room American house.
It was there that Nixon's question, "Would it not be better to compete in the relative merits of washing machines than in the strength of rockets?" marked the moment that the Cold War race was transferred to the domestic realm – namely, design:
Not only signs of military strenght and power, but also glittering products, high-tech electronics, skyscrapers and their images were deployed by each side to demonstrate its superior command of modernity. Cold War Modern: Design 1945–1970, eds. David Crowley, Jane Pavitt, London: V&A Publishing, 2008, p. 13.
The 1959 US exhibition in Moscow, also visited by Lithuanian designers, was the first opportunity to see examples of Western design firsthand, to taste Pepsi Cola or cakes baked from boxed ingredients, to try out make up, sit in luxurious American automobiles, or perhaps even meet the famous American design couple, Charles and Ray Eames. Charles and Ray EamesCharles and Ray Eames were a husband and wife team of 20th century American designers (Charles Eames, 1907–1978, and Ray Kaiser Eames, 1912–1988), who became famous for their experimental designs in the fields of architecture, furniture, graphic design, photography and experimental cinema, and are considered among the most influential designers of all time.

Charles and Ray Eames constructed a special machine in their home that allowed them to easily manipulate pressed wood. The designers developed this innovative technology in 1942 after receiving a commission from the US Navy to produce 5,000 wooden leg splints. Guided by the motto "low cost - high quality", the Eames' created various chair models, the majority of which were produced by the Herman Miller company. For this reason, they are called the designers who changed the way the 20th century sat.

In 1959, Charles and Ray Eames visited Moscow to attend the opening of the US national exhibition, where their film Glimpses of the U.S.A. was shown on seven huge screens installed in a golden geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller - the first ever multi-screen, multi-media installation.
International exhibitions and exchange programs in which the Soviet Union began to participate during the "Thaw" period were among the new sources of a wind of internationalization. From the mid-1950s onwards, Western news, ideas, fashions, and influences also reached Lithuania, by one route or another. First and foremost, Lithuania experienced them via specialized publications from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany, as well as by traveling abroad and participating in exhibitions. Lists of books and magazines kept in the private libraries of Lithuanian artists illustrate that Soviet-era designers attentively followed news from the Western art world and studied global design trends.
Meanwhile, Khrushchev's response to Nixon ("We too have such things") became one of the promises that marked the development of Soviet design. That same year, the so-called Seven-Year Program (1959–1965) was inaugurated in the Soviet Union, aimed at developing industrial production and catching up to, and surpassing, the West. Echoes of the Cold War's race to modernity could also be heard in articles with such ringing titles as "Products will be excellent", "Our products must be the best in the world", or "Products shipping to 74 countries":
Products will be excellent: Even now directives are being issued that all products, both currently produced and newly designed, must be comparable to the best products in the world. […] We seek the active participation of artists in the creation of all new products. Povilas Kulvietis, „Gaminiai bus puikūs“, Mokslas ir technika, 1965, Nr. 2, p. 2–3.
Our products must be the best in the world: we must seek to make the production of Soviet enterprises comparable to the best examples existing in the world. […] Quality must be controlled always. In this regard, we must assess all serial production and make it comparable to the best contemporary products, creating industrial plans to eliminate any lagging behind. Povilas Kulvietis, „Mūsų gaminiai turi būti geriausi pasaulyje“, Mokslas ir technika, 1965, Nr. 5, p. 2–3.
Though these were ideological and propagandistic imperatives and promises, they were intrinsically linked to events shaping the history of Lithuanian design. The goal, however unrealistic, of catching up to and overtaking the capitalist world served as a pretext for the emergence of new design institutions and design professionals, not to mention specific modern design projects. Among the "excellent" products (in the creation of which Lithuanian designers actively participated) showcased in the 1960s in reports and exhibitions of new accomplishments, we note the regular inclusion of the Lithuanian vacuum cleaner "Saturnas", launched into production in 1963 at the Vilnius Electric Welding Equipment Factory. Shaped like a sphere and made of sky blue plastic (though other color options were offered later), the hand-held electrical vacuum cleaner aptly reflected, in all aspects, the prevailing space age aesthetics and was simultaneously a response to the famous Hoover "Constellation" vacuum cleaner of 1955.
Architect and designer Eugenijus Gūzas vividly recounts how this "race" and the system of "adapting foreign experience" actually impacted real life:
I and my colleague Eduardas Jurgelionis began working together at our office. We'd receive specific tasks: I'd have to design leisure furniture for the lobby of the Labor Union Hall, and he'd get something similar. But our boss, growing concerned that his two rookies were hopelessly gazing into the sky waiting for "golden ideas" and using up Whatman paper in the process, assessed the situation and sent us off to Moscow "for inspiration." You see, in the Soviet years there was a fairly well developed system of "adapting foreign experience" – at an institution called the All-Union Chamber of Commerce – where semi-secret "collections and exhibitions" of foreign products were stored, allowing professionals and specialists to examine and lay their hands on products by the most famous global brands. That's where I saw the latest modern furniture – "live" – for the first time. It was a real lesson in contemporary design that became an impetus for my professional work. Lietuviškų baldų dizaino kūrėjai 1957–1990: Baldų projektavimo-konstravimo biuras – profesionalios veiklos židinys, sudarytojai Vytautas Beiga, Vilija Gerulaitienė, Eugenijus Algimantas Gūzas, Vilnius...
It should be noted that such "collections and exhibitions" of foreign products, or at least their photographic records, were also used by Vilnius agencies and individual enterprises and factories engaging in design work.
Experimentation or a problem: how to create "many good, beautiful and inexpensive things"
The label "experimental" was its own form of watchword in the names given to design institutions – as in the Experimental Design Bureau for furniture, or graphic design's Experimental Package Design Bureau. Within the Soviet context, the term denoted a certain level of progressiveness, giving enterprises the opportunity to obtain more modern equipment, better quality materials, and special commissions.
Paradoxes and various inconsistencies are unavoidable in any discussion of Soviet design. Within the context of Soviet ideology, design itself was its own kind of experiment, one in which coincidences played a significant role, as they do in all projects of such type, accompanied by occasional success and favorable conditions, but usually by certain inaccuracies or small details that altered original concepts. This was a period full of contradictions, marked on the one hand by persistent shortages of consumer goods and on the other by individual examples of unique and modern design projects.
Lithuanian magazines of the 1960s advertised new products that were modern, comfortable, and Lithuanian-made, created by artists working in local agencies who often sought inspiration from foreign magazines. Design was meant to substantially raise the public's material and cultural standard of living. As people began occupying newly constructed apartments and newly opened public spaces and offices, there was indeed a need for "many good, beautiful and inexpensive things." Such an initial goal – lofty but nearly unobtainable – was also proclaimed by the experimental design agencies, which invested considerably in new product design.
In the Soviet system, however, theory differed radically from practice and reality. Stores were half empty, the examples of modern design showcased in exhibitions rarely ever reached consumers, while much promoted novelties were accessible only to a select few. A perfect illustration of this is one sincere admission by a visitor to the first industrial graphic design exhibition in 1967. Likely commenting on a bottle of "Lithuanian Calvados" designed by Romualdas Svaškevičius, the visitor remarked in a comment book: "Never in my life have I ever tasted Lithuanian Calvados from such a beautiful bottle." 1967 m. pirmosios pramoninės grafikos parodos lankytojų atsiliepimai, Lietuvos centrinis valstybės archyvas, f. R-396, ap. 4, b. 24. Another impression was revealed in an apt heading to an article, sounding a note of disappointment, by Tadas Baginskas in 1966: "And the Furniture Stays the Same." A citation from a 1968 article entitled "Problem No. 1" included several important buzzwords that reflected the specific nature of the Soviet design system – "Arts Council", "Planning Commission," and "Technical conditions":
Our products become obsolete before they're even born. Let's try and follow their journey. The Arts Council approves the product. In order to produce it, certain technical conditions are needed. The provision and approval of such technical conditions takes a lot of time. Approval signatures are required from the Arts Council, the Ministry of Commerce, the Planning Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the staff of the Regional Economic Council. Months go by before all the signatures are collected. Then, finally, the technical conditions are approved. By now, however, no one can be entirely sure anymore what the product has become. It won't change essentially, but the "details" will. „Problema Nr. 1: diskusija apie plataus vartojimo prekių kokybę“, Mokslas ir technika, 1965, Nr. 1, p. 7.
These "details", however, were what occupied the bulk of the work and time of Soviet artists-designers.
The entire system was focused on the production process, the fulfillment of plans, and reporting, but in reality any quality requirements were difficult to implement. Architect and designer Eugenijus Gūzas recalls his time working at an experimental furniture design office:
In the furniture industry, like in all other production sectors, the priority was on fulfilling the tasks of a given plan, so in principle, a "regional economic" system that disregarded competition had no need for updated product lines, creativity, or new designs, nor for any of the commotion that accompanied their implementation or the introduction of any changes. […] They needed to produce as many products, of any kind, as possible, just to avoid undermining the plan: the risk of introducing innovation posed a danger and the possibility of sanctions. Lietuviškų baldų dizaino kūrėjai 1957–1990: Baldų projektavimo-konstravimo biuras – profesionalios veiklos židinys, sudarytojai Vytautas Beiga, Vilija Gerulaitienė, Eugenijus Algimantas Gūzas, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2013, p. 9.
A great majority of Lithuanian-designed projects, especially the experimental and most modern, never reached mass production and were usually produced only for exhibitions – very often for foreign shows. Susan Reid, a researcher of Soviet design, summed the situation up accurately:
The affluent society required goods not only to use, but to enjoy, desire, fashion lifestyles, and play with. The Soviet Union might have placeholders for such items, but it had missed the point of consumer goods. Susan E. Reid, „Tai rytojus! Vartotojų „gaminimas“ Sovietų Sąjungoje 7 dešimtmetyje“, in: Tarptautinė konferencija. Modernizacija. XX a. 7–8 deš. Baltijos šalių meno, architektūros ir dizaino kontekstai: Pranešimų santraukų rinkinys, sudarytoja Lolita Jablonskienė, Vilnius: Lietuvos dailės muziejus, 2010, p. 9.
Here, Reid's comment might be slightly amended: "not all" items created by Lithuanian designers in the 1960s became products – much like all buyers did not become true consumers. Everything operated along a somewhat "different" system, one in which design was more experimental and its practical implementation was quite often problematic.


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Sources and links

Cold War Modern: Design 1945–1970
Eds. David Crowley, Jane Pavitt, London: V&A Publishing, 2008
Lietuviškų baldų dizaino kūrėjai 1957–1990: Baldų projektavimo-konstravimo biuras – profesionalios veiklos židinys
Sudarytojai Vytautas Beiga, Vilija Gerulaitienė, Eugenijus Algimantas Gūzas, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2013
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Sudarytoja Lolita Jablonskienė, Vilnius: Lietuvos dailės muziejus, 2012
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Darbai ir dienos, 2007, Nr. 47, p. 139–160
„Начатки дизайнерсково образования“
Декоративное искусство СССР, 1965, Nr. 4, p. 25–27
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