The scholarly interest today makes it important to keep the history of this extraordinary period within the academic and public domain across three strands: (i) Soviet architecture, theory, and architectural teaching research, (ii) collaborative research, and (iii) education of architectural students in the UK and beyond. Research within these strands explores how geographically and historically different models of learning and teaching function in the construction of national identity, and how teaching and learning intersect with pedagogies of design. It promotes the value, richness, quality, and diversity inherent in design education.
Soviet Architecture, Theory, and Architectural Teaching Research
One focus of Russia House research is to address the visual culture of the Soviet obsession with architecture and teaching with particular attention to the city of Moscow. Its ambition is to establish cross theoretical connections tracing parallel links with the contemporaneous concerns of architects, teachers between Soviet architecture and teaching, and enhancing the understanding of the period. This approach will shed light on how the workings of the theory and trends of architects – individual theoretical ambitions and architectural language of the Soviet period developed and establish new knowledge on key historical personalities and movements which still remain obscure. This will open the prospect of a more thoroughly grounded understanding of a variety of new and unknown topics within Soviet architecture making an important contribution to the History and Theory of Soviet architecture and architectural teaching. The research is intended to serve architects and students of Soviet architecture, as well as to aid institutions and individuals collecting and researching material on the subject. It will be amongst researchers themselves where parallel connections will render its most important service, by opening up the wholly unfamiliar world of intellectual discourse within which their Soviet fellow-professionals have always worked.
Collaborative research on this period of Soviet architecture, theory, and architectural teaching will be most effective in on projects of overlapping interest. The overlap will allow for common ground to be established, while the respective areas of expertise covering a greater ‘surface area’ of new knowledge will be brought to bear on a specific question on the period of the 1920s. There will be other ways through collaborative research to frame important questions and conduct further architectural undertakings to better what is already known. Collective research through collaboration will uncover opportunities for translation into new work and represent new findings that change and enhances our understanding of Soviet creative thought by adding breadth to the scope and depth of the research which will help solidify the trajectory of Architectural Historians.
Education of Architectural Students in the UK and Beyond
Improving the knowledge of the students and institutions and general knowledge of Soviet architecture, theory, and teaching it is important to the ambition of Russia House. To expose the history of this period within the student domain offering students a way into their architectural education through informed Soviet architectural and teaching knowledge is a key aim. Doing so will provide the greatest opportunity to expose the brilliance of Soviet creative thought allowing the history to be restored and presented for the future. The education of architecture students opens the opportunity to transfer revolutionary teaching methods within a modernist setting of providing new forms of architectural teaching which have otherwise remained unknown to the current academic and teaching debate.