DOI: 10.22412/1993-7768-11-3-7


Soviet constructivism as a creative concept in the design of the XX century

Dar’ya Yu. Ermilova, Cand. Sci. (Philosophy), Prof.,
Russian State University of Tourism and Service, Moscow, Russian Federation

The article is devoted to the theory and practice of Soviet constructivism as a creative concept in the design of the ХХ century in the context of the theory of «production art». Subject of research considers to be theoretical propositions, which were implemented in particular design methods and projects of industrial clothes and constructivist fabrics as an example of practical implementation of the ideas of constructivism. The aim of the study is the examination of constructivism as a creative concept in the design from the point of view of formation peculiarities of its theoretical bases and design methodologies.

The hypothesis of the study is the constructivism, which arose under the influence of «industrial art» concept, among other things, suggested the active use of the graphical method of forming and methods of combinatorial programmed forming, which were due to the creative experience in the field of non-objective painting. The study uses the cultural studies approach, which considers design activity of constructivists in close connection with the realities of the era, a systematic approach that allows revealing the relationship of aesthetic theories with the concrete practice of design-design, art analysis in the description of projects of the constructivists. The article proves the influence of the theory of «industrial art» on the formation of the concept of constructivism, analyzes the origins and features of the method of constructivism, especially the graphics method of forming and methods of programmed forming. The article compares the concepts of constructivism with the trends of costume design of the XX century. There are identified the «weak points» of the concept and method of constructivism, which became one of the reasons for failing to fully implement projects in practice. For the first time there were identified the causes of failures in the design of the costume, not associated with ideological attitudes, and with the very creative method. The results of the study fill the insufficiently developed areas in the history of constructivism. Because the constructivism methods remain relevant for modern design, the results of the study can be applied in teaching of «Design» professional disciplines.

Keywords: design, industrial art, constructivism, methods of programmed forming, graphical method of shaping, industrial clothes, constructivist fabrics
For citation: Ermilova D. Yu., Soviet constructivism as a creative concept in the design of the XX century. Servis plus, vol. 11, no. 3, 2017, pp. 54-70. DOI: 10.22412/1993-7768-11-3-7
Submitted: 2017/04/11
Accepted: 2017/06/26



  1. Khan-Magomedov S.O., Pioneers of Soviet design. Moscow: Galart, 1995, 424 p. (In Russ.)
  2. Adaskina N.L., L. S. Popova. Exhibition of works to the centenary of the birth. 1889-1924. Catalogue. Moscow: ARS-Pablikeishns Limited, Gosudarstvennaya Tret’yakovskaya galereya, 1990, pp. 120–135. (In Russ.)
  3. Sidorina E., Russian constructivism: origins, ideas, practice. Moscow: B. I., 1995, 240 p. (In Russ.)
  4. Lavrent’ev A.N., Poetry of graphic design in Varvara Stepanova’s work. Tekhnicheskaya estetika, no. 5, 1980, pp. 22–26. (In Russ.)
  5. Lavrent’ev A.N.,Aleksandr Rodchenko. Moscow: Fond «Russkii avangard», 2007, 128 p. (In Russ.)
  6. Lavrent’ev A.N.,The history of design. Moscow: Gardariki, 2008, 320 p. (In Russ.)
  7. Lavrent’ev A.N.,Varvara Stepanova. Moscow: Fond «Russkii avangard», 2009, 252 p. (In Russ.)
  8. Bowlt J., Artists of the Russian theatre of 1880-1930: Collection of Nikita and Nina Lobanov-Rostovsky. Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1994, 112 p. (In Russ.)
  9. Bowlt J., From picture to textile prints. Print Collector’s Newsletter, NY, March/April, 1976, pp. 16–20.
  10. Kiaer C., The Russian Constructivist Flapper Dress. Critical Inquiry, Autumn 2001, pp. 185–243.
  11. Lodder C. Russian Constructivism. London: Yale University Press, 1983.
  12. Douglas Ch., The great utopia. Russian and Soviet avant-garde in 1915-1932. Moscow, 1993, pp. 255–264. (In Russ.)
  13. Zalambani M., Art production: the avant-garde and revolution in Soviet Russia in 20-years. Moscow: IMLI RAN, «Nasledie», 2003, 240 p. (In Russ.)
  14. Lavrent’ev A.N., Production costume and fashion. Khudozhnik, veshch’, moda: Sb. statei. Moscow: Sov. khudozhnik, 1988, pp. 63—75. (In Russ.)
  15. Lavrent’ev A.N., Geometric flowers on constructivist field lab. design. Mosocw: Grant, 2002, 31 p. (In Russ.)
  16. Strizhenova T. K. From the history of Soviet costume. Moscow: Sov. khudozhnik, 1972, 112 p. (In Russ.)
  17. Koinova N.V., Role VHUTEMAS and BAUHAUS in the formation of education in the field of industrial design. Akademicheskii vestnik UralNIIproekt RAASN, 1, 2011, pp. 87–92 (In Russ.)
  18. Lugina Ya.A., The issue of the history of formation and development of design education. Omskii nauchnyi vestnik, no. 3 (109), 2012, pp. 136—139. (In Russ.)
  19. Kozlovskii V.D., VKHUTEMAS as a sociocultural phenomenon of Soviet art culture of the first third of XX century. Vestnik Moskovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta kul’tury i iskusstv, 3 (59), 2014, pp. 232–236. (In Russ.)
  20. Kozlovskii V.D., Historical and cultural background to the VHUTEMAS (HIGHER ART AND TECHNICAL STUDIOS) and the BAUHAUS (HIGHER SCHOOL OF CONSTRUCTION AND ARTISTIC DESIGN): a comparative analysis. Vestnik Moskovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta kul’tury i iskusstv, 1 (63), 2015, pp. 220–224. (In Russ.)
  21. Shutova A.S., Using the methods of constructivism in modern graphic design. Akademicheskii vestnik UralNIIproekt RAASN, 4, 2014, pp. 96—99. (In Russ.)
  22. Demidenko Yu., New clothes for the new world. Costumes by V. E. Tatlin, on the background of the era. Teoriya mody, no. 39, 2016. (In Russ.) Available at: (Accessed on June 22, 2017). (In Russ.)
  23. Gorbova E.N., Astakhov O.Yu., Life-settling ideas of Russian avant-guard in aesthetics project of working clothes in the beginning of the 20th century. Vestnik Kazanskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta kul’tury i iskusstv, 3–1, 2012. (In Russ.)
  24. Punanova Yu.S., The aesthetics of constructivism in the «new» costume. Vestnik Moskovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta kul’tury i iskusstv, 4 (66), 2015, pp. 99–104. (In Russ.)
  25. Курчанова Н. Model clothing by V. E. Tatlin as antimode. Teoriya mody, no. 39, 2016. (In Russ.) Available at:  (Accessed on June 22, 2017).
  26. Bobrikhin A. A., Egorova S. I., Costume and fashion as the means of Soviet identity formation. 2015. Spetsvypusk, no. 18. ART 75242. (In Russ.) Available at: (Accessed on June 22, 2017).
  27. Punanova Yu.S., The Russian fashion as an identity marker in the first quarter of the XX century. Vestnik Moskovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta kul’tury i iskusstv, 4 (72), 2016, pp. 99–107. (In Russ.)
  28. Arvatov B., About agit – and prose-art. Moscow: Federatsiya, 1930, 224 p. (In Russ.)
  29. Brik O., Drainage art. Iskusstvo kommuny, no. 1, 1918, p. 1. (In Russ.)
  30. Arvatov B., The way of the proletariat in the visual arts. Proletarskaya kul’tura, 13–14, 1920, pp. 72. (In Russ.)
  31. Arvatov B. I., Art and production. Collection of articles. Moscow: Proletkul’t, 1926, 132 p. (In Russ.)
  32. Khan-Magomedov S.O., Design, invention and constructivism. To the problem of formation of the concept of artistic design. Design, function, imagery in design. Trudy VNIITE, no. 23, Moscow: VNIITE, 1980, 140 p. (In Russ.)
  33. Renato de Fusco. Le Corbusier – designer. Furniture. 1929. Moscow: Sov. khudozhnik, 1986, 111 p. (In Russ.)
  34. Sidorina E. V. About the image aesthetics of feasibility 20 years, the style and aesthetic consciousness. Problem of creative thinking in design. Trudy VNIITE, no.17, Moscow: VNIITE, 1978. (In Russ.)
  35. Varst (Stepanova V.), Costume of the day is the industrial clothes. LEF, no. 2, 1923, pp. 65–68. (In Russ.)
  36. Ermilova D.Yu., The history of fashion houses. Moscow: Izd. tsentr «Akademiya», 2003, 288 p. (In Russ.)
  37. Tatlin V., New life. Red panorama, no. 23 (41), 1924, p. 19
  38. Lavrent’ev A.N., Laboratory of Constructivism: experiments of graphical simulation. Mosocw: Izd-vo Grant, 2000, 256 p. (In Russ.)
  39. Roginskaya F., Soviet textiles. Moscow: Izd. AKhR, 1930, 97 p. (In Russ.)