VNIITE: the Soviet design research institute
Technical Aesthetics magazines 1960s – 1980s (Photo © Moscow Design Museum & courtesy ADAM – Brussels Design Museum) The 1960s were marked by the constant competition between western countries and the USSR for technological and industrial development. Said competition went as far as taking a man to the moon but …
The 1960s were marked by the constant competition between western countries and the USSR for technological and industrial development. Said competition went as far as taking a man to the moon but it also brought VNIITE to life.
VNIITE (All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Industrial Design in Russian) was founded in April 1963 under the request of the State Committee on Science and Engineering of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. The idea behind it was having a team of the best researchers and designers developing the most cutting edge techniques in design to overcome the threat of western industrial production.
Within VNIITE, industrial and graphic designers worked hard to slow down the take over of western design within the USSR. Western design was being copied and highly celebrated in USSR at the time. With 10 satellite studios and its headquarters in Moscow, VNIITE created a wide range of great Soviet design projects that were ultimately overshadowed by the fall of the USSR and western mass-produced design.
A new book from Unit Editions, named VNIITE-Discovering Utopia: Lost Archives of Soviet Design pays tribute to this fascinating design studio and its history. Make sure to check it out.