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Beyond Utopia: Representing Life in the Productivist City

Beyond Utopia: Representing Life in the Productivist City AbstractDuring the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union’s first five-year plan, the city of Magnitogorsk was built on a sparsely inhabited site in the Western Siberian steppe marked by a geological anomaly: a mountain of almost pure iron ore. Magnitogorsk was nominally designed by Ernst May, a founding member of CIAM and former municipal architect of Frankfurt who had come to the Soviet Union with his “brigade” of leftist German and Austrian architects. The May brigade would, however, struggle with both material difficulties and a constellation of ideological conflicts that would make the city into a screen onto which were projected ambitions, aspirations and anxieties about social transformation effected or facilitated by architecture. Magnitogorsk was conceived of as a city organized completely by production where the linearity of the assembly line and the continuous casting mill would extend into the kitchens and bedrooms of the workers and become the basis for a radical new culture. This would be contested by the Socialist Realist call for symbolic form and cultural continuity and the humanism of the Western media until the city, and its real conditions of radical change, would disappear under competing regimes of image production. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architecture and Culture Taylor & Francis

Beyond Utopia: Representing Life in the Productivist City

Architecture and Culture , Volume 3 (3): 17 – Sep 2, 2015

Beyond Utopia: Representing Life in the Productivist City

Architecture and Culture , Volume 3 (3): 17 – Sep 2, 2015

Abstract

AbstractDuring the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union’s first five-year plan, the city of Magnitogorsk was built on a sparsely inhabited site in the Western Siberian steppe marked by a geological anomaly: a mountain of almost pure iron ore. Magnitogorsk was nominally designed by Ernst May, a founding member of CIAM and former municipal architect of Frankfurt who had come to the Soviet Union with his “brigade” of leftist German and Austrian architects. The May brigade would, however, struggle with both material difficulties and a constellation of ideological conflicts that would make the city into a screen onto which were projected ambitions, aspirations and anxieties about social transformation effected or facilitated by architecture. Magnitogorsk was conceived of as a city organized completely by production where the linearity of the assembly line and the continuous casting mill would extend into the kitchens and bedrooms of the workers and become the basis for a radical new culture. This would be contested by the Socialist Realist call for symbolic form and cultural continuity and the humanism of the Western media until the city, and its real conditions of radical change, would disappear under competing regimes of image production.

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References (12)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2016 Taylor & Francis
ISSN
2050-7836
eISSN
2050-7828
DOI
10.1080/20507828.2015.1082060
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractDuring the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union’s first five-year plan, the city of Magnitogorsk was built on a sparsely inhabited site in the Western Siberian steppe marked by a geological anomaly: a mountain of almost pure iron ore. Magnitogorsk was nominally designed by Ernst May, a founding member of CIAM and former municipal architect of Frankfurt who had come to the Soviet Union with his “brigade” of leftist German and Austrian architects. The May brigade would, however, struggle with both material difficulties and a constellation of ideological conflicts that would make the city into a screen onto which were projected ambitions, aspirations and anxieties about social transformation effected or facilitated by architecture. Magnitogorsk was conceived of as a city organized completely by production where the linearity of the assembly line and the continuous casting mill would extend into the kitchens and bedrooms of the workers and become the basis for a radical new culture. This would be contested by the Socialist Realist call for symbolic form and cultural continuity and the humanism of the Western media until the city, and its real conditions of radical change, would disappear under competing regimes of image production.

Journal

Architecture and CultureTaylor & Francis

Published: Sep 2, 2015

Keywords: Soviet Urbanism; Productivism; Constructivism; Ernst May; representation; Magnitogorsk; Margaret Bourke-White

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