Architectures of the everyday in 1920s and 1930s Russia
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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This dissertation is an architectural history of Russian everyday life, or byt, in the first two decades after the October Revolution. In this period, the investigation and reform of byt was a project that vastly crossed the limits of the architectural profession. I survey ways in which the quotidian environment was understood, ordered and envisioned in a variety of practices: bureaucracy, literature, theatre, film, urbanism, and design. The dissertation explores the architecture of discrete geographies, sets of tactics and strategies, employed in mapping the terrain of the quotidian. It explores how the official rhetoric of labor and productivity was translated into ethics and aesthetics of existence. The study is ordered chronologically, and according to scale. In the first chapter I explore the manipulation and invention of the everyday object. The second chapter is about the performance of the everyday in Meyerholds's biomechanical theatre, its ties with the Central Institute of Labor, and the charting of the agitated body in action onto the space of the stage. The third chapter captures a moment in the development of the Soviet bathhouse, or banya, , in which the bath, resembling a factory, was conceived of as an efficient, working building, which processed citizens' bodies in their entirety, and in some cases, presented replicas of the world at large. In the fourth chapter I read collective workers' histories to reconstruct the aesthetic of the Moscow Metro and particular modes of perception needed to capture and behold its magnificence. The final chapter is about the efforts of wife-activists, or obshchestvennitsy, to represent a society of surplus and overproduction through their management of nature's bounty.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2010.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 212-221).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology