Rebecca Bell is a PhD student in History of Design at the Royal College of Art London researching ‘centralised’ design and craft in Czechoslovakia (1948-1968). In 2007 she completed an AHRC-funded MPhil at Glasgow University in Anglo-American exhibitions of Czech visual art from 1900-1939. Over the last ten years Rebecca has also worked in curating, teaching and project management roles for organisations including the Hunterian Art Gallery, Art on the Underground, The School of Life, the Design and Artists Copyright Society and artist Andy Goldsworthy.
David Crowley is a professor in the School of Humanities at the Royal College of Art, London, where he runs the Critical Writing in Art & Design MA. He has a specialist interest in the art and design histories of Eastern Europe under communist rule. He is the author of various books including National Style and Nation-State. Design in Poland (1992), Warsaw (2003) and editor – with Susan Reid – of three edited volumes: Socialism and Style. Material Culture in Post-war Eastern Europe (2000); Socialist Spaces. Sites of Everyday Life in the Eastern Bloc (2003); and Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc (2010). He writes regularly for the art and design press. Crowley also curates exhibitions (including Cold War Modern at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2008–9; The Power of Fantasy. Modern and Contemporary Art from Poland at BOZAR, Brussels, 2011; and Sounding the Body Electric. Experimental Art and Music in Eastern Europe at Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2012).
Tom Cubbin is a design historian, currently writing his PhD thesis at the University of Sheffield on experimental design and urbanism in the Soviet Union during the 1960s and 1970s. Tom is a graduate of the MA History of Design and the V&A and Royal College of Art, where he is now a visiting lecturer in the School of Design. Tom has published scholarly and journalistic articles in Home Cultures, Estonian Art, Calvert Journal, the forthcoming Our Metamorphic Futures catalogue and is also a contributor to the Bloomsbury Dictionary of Design.
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Gronert was born in Magdeburg in 1946. He studied at the School of Applied Art in Krefeld and continued with studies in art history and philosophy at the universities in Cologne and London; doctoral dissertation on the history of design in England. From 1993 to 2011 Professor for design history and theory in the Faculty of Art and Design at the Bauhaus University Weimar and head of the Michel-Archive (GDR); Dean from 2008 to 2011; he was responsible for setting up the doctoral courses in Art and Design / Fine Art leading to the degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). President of the Gesellschaft für Designgeschichte e.V. (GfDg) since its formation in 2008. Numerous essays and publications on the history and theory of design: /Georg Simmel’s Handle/(2011), /Das Modell als Denkbild/(2005), /Horst Michel – DDR-Design/(2004), /Umweltzeichen global/(1999), /Form und Industrie. //Wilhelm Braun-Feldweg/(1998), /Türdrücker der Moderne/(1991).
Lolita Jablonskiene (PhD) is a contemporary art critic and curator based in Vilnius. From 2000 she headed the Contemporary Art Information Center (CAIC), which spun off from the Soros Foundation, and joined the Lithuanian Art Museum to work for Vilnius’ forthcoming National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art (opened in 2009). In 2002 she was appointed chief curator of the National Gallery. Jablonskiene is an ex-commissioner of the Lithuanian pavilions at the Venice Biennial in 1999 and 2005. She has curated art exhibitions in her home country and abroad, contributed art critical texts to Lithuanian and foreign press; lectures at the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts (associate professor); specializes in the history and theory of contemporary art and design.
Irina Kostenko – biography coming soon
Andres Kurg – biography coming soon
Andreas Ludwig is a historian devoted to contemporary history and museum work. He received his academic training at Berlin´s Free University and attained a PhD at the Berlin Technical University with an investigation on private social initiative during urbanization. After being an active member of the History Workshop movement he was given the chance to develop the concept for a museum on everyday culture of the GDR as an archive of material culture (www.alltagskultur-ddr.de). Under his direction the museum presented several publications and exhibitions, one of them having discussed the everyday dimension of design objects. Since 2013 Ludwig is working on the role of material culture in contemporary history at the Potsdam Centre for Contemporary History.
Mari Laanemets is an art historian, currently senior researcher at the Estonian Academy of Arts (Institute of Art History). She studied art history in Estonian Academy of Arts (1994-2001) and wrote her Ph.D. at the Institute of Art History at the Humboldt University Berlin, where she examined the mutual impact of Western Modernism and Soviet Avantgarde on the unofficial practices of art in Soviet Estonia (Between Western Modernism and Soviet Avantgarde: Artistic Practice in Eastern Europe. A case study on Estonia, 1969-1977).
Her current research looks at the convergence of practices of art, architecture and design of the Soviet Union in the late 1960s and 1970s. At the moment she is working on the publication „Our Metamorphic Futures: Design, technical aesthetics and experimental architecture in the Soviet Union 1960–1980“ (with Andres Kurg, to be published in summer 2013). Her recent projects include the exhibition and publication „Environment, Projects, Concepts. Architects of the Tallinn School 1972-1985“ at the Estonian Museum of Architecture (2008), the exhibition „Provisorisches Yoga“ at Grazer Kunstverein (2009), the exhibition „Our Metamorphic Futures: Design, technical aesthetics and experimental architecture in the Soviet Union 1960–1980“ at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius (2011) and the book „Zwischen westlicher Moderne und sowjetischer Avantgarde. Inoffizielle Kunst in Estland 1969-1978“ (Gebr. Mann, 2011).
Alexandra Sankova – Biography Coming Soon
András B. Szilágyi was born in 1979, as son of András Szilágyi and Julia Kovács, both glass designers. He graduated in art history and communications in the Pázmány Péter Catholic University in 2003. He wrote his thesis in Art History about Julia Bathory, a leading figure of modern glass art. He received an “excellent” grade with it. Since then he has published in several themes about contemporary design, and glass and ceramic arts. He published the Cathalogue of the Julia Bathory Glass Colletion, where he is also curator since it’s opening. He received his PhD degree in Art History in 2013 in ELTE. He is currently a teacher of Art History at the Budapest College of Communication and Business since 2009, at the Media and Applied Arts Department.This year he is going to publish a book about his most recent researches about the 35 years history of the Zsennye International Design Workshop.
Łukasz Stanek is Lecturer at the Manchester Architecture Research Centre, University of Manchester. Stanek authored Henri Lefebvre on Space: Architecture, Urban Research, and the Production of Theory (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and he is currently editing Lefebvre’s unpublished book about architecture, Vers une architecture de la jouissance (1973). Stanek’s second field of research is the transfer of architecture from socialist countries to Africa and the Middle East during the Cold War. On this topic, he published “Miastoprojekt Goes Abroad. Transfer of Architectural Labor from Socialist Poland to Iraq (1958—1989)” in The Journal of Architecture (17:3, 2012) and the book Postmodernism Is Almost All Right. Polish Architecture After Socialist Globalization (Fundacja Bęc-Zmiana Warsaw, 2012). He taught at the ETH Zurich and Harvard Graduate School of Design, and received fellowships from the Jan van Eyck Academie, Canadian Center for Architecture, Institut d’Urbanisme de Paris, and the Center for Advanced Studies in Visual Arts (CASVA), National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., where he was the 2011-2013 A. W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow.
Margareta Tillberg – abstract coming soon.
Iliana Veinberga is an art historian, currently a PhD student at the Art Academy of Latvia and the collection keeper at the Riga Porcelain museum; her main academic interest is industrial design history of Latvia under communist rule (1940 – 1991), however she takes an interest in exploring other aspects of material culture linked to the Soviet industrial design: applied art, architecture, experimental art practices etc.
She has participated in several research projects, most notably „Documenting and preservation of the non-conformist heritage of the Soviet Period for the archive of the Contemporary Art Museum” (Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2010); In collaboration with Lolita Jablonskiene (LT) and Kai Lobjakas (EE) co-curated the exhibition „Modernization. Baltic Art, Architecture and Design in the 1960s – 1970s” (National Gallery of Art, Vilnius, LT, 2011, Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, 2012 ); assisted the curators „On the Track of the Big Life. The Graphic Language of 1960s” (Applied Art and Design museum, Riga, LV, 2013/2014). Her essays on design and architecture are published in the „Soviet Modernisms 1955 – 1991. Unknown Stories” catalog (Architekturzentrum Wien, 2012) and „Recuperating the Invisible Past” (Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, 2012).
Fedja Vukić is associate professor of design theory and history at the School of Design, Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Professional training includes ph.d at the Department of Design, Academy of Fine Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Fellow of The Wolfsonian Fundation Research Centre, Miami Beach 1995 with the reaserch on Italian Advertising in XXth Century. Publishes scholar papers, reviews and articles on visual communications and design history in Croatian and international journals. Has published and edited several books on topic, including A Century of Croatian Design, 1996, Modernizam u praksi (Modernism in Practice) 2008, Croatian Design Now (with Victor Margolin), 2008. In 2003 has edited Od oblikovanja do dizajna (From Formgiving to Design), a collection of essays on design on Croatian, published originally from 1950 to 1980. In 2012 has edited Teorija i povijest dizajna (Design Theory and History), a critical anthology.