The Socialist City of Uralmash between

The Socialist City of Uralmash between "Cultural Heritage" and "Utopia": how to Talk about the Architecture of the Avant-Garde Today

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Mikhail Ilchenko

Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

October 8, 2015

Center for Urban History, Lviv

Recently, the avant-garde architecture has become a topic which is increasingly interesting not only for representatives of various research areas, but also for public activists, artists, urbanists, designers and other experts. Buildings from the avant-garde period are considered to be monuments of a historical epoch, urban symbols, artistic images, "memory sites" and new cultural spaces. In such circumstances, a focus on the heritage of avant-garde implies not only and not so much urban solutions but work with meanings and senses ​​this architecture is filled with. In this regard, it is important to understand what types of discourse and ways of speaking about avant-garde architecture have emerged in the public narrative today. The history of constructing the socialist city of Uralmash described by means of various categories – from "the city of the future" to "an unrealized utopia" – supplies ample room for new interpretations and ways of reading avant-garde architecture.

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Mikhail Ilchenko

researcher of sociology of urban space, post-Soviet transformation and methodology of social sciences. Author of numerous publications on contemporary institutional research and urban studies. In 2011 he defended his dissertation in political science. Participant in a number of research, educational, and artistic projects related to the study of the architectural avant-garde. Research associate at the Institute of Philosophy and Law, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, lecturer.


Сover Image: Sverdlovsk, the square of the First Five-Year Plan, Ilyicha street