Shaping Inspiration is an exciting new book from Fair Enough publishers. Based on extensive research into Russian avant-garde, modern, and post-modern architecture, it presents an inventory of some of the most inventive and inspirational forms ever devised.
Drawing from a wide range of designers, including Konstantin Melnikov, Leonid Pavlov, and Sergei Tkachenko, Shaping Inspiration provides an overview of formalistic experimentation from the 1920s, '60s, and '90s. Each era offered its own experiments and rationale. The avant-garde '20s provided constructivist forms based on designing new buildings for a new society. Following the conservatism of the Stalin era, the modernist '60s revived many avant-garde notions in order to generate rationalist buildings capable of bringing communist society to full fruition. In the post-Soviet '90s, architects finally found themselves free of political ideology an exuberantly experimented with aesthetics of all kinds. Shaping Inspiration draws from this rich history in the hope that it may inspire a new generation of architects, in Russia and abroad.
In order to make the content accessible to the unfamiliar and original to the expert, we have chosen to present buildings as silhouettes. This allows the reader to appreciate the shape in its pure form, and provides ample room for speculation on its original program or future uses. Although the main body of the book is kept intentionally vague, an index in the back provides a fuller story, with a photograph of each featured building offered, together with information on its architects, date of completion, and original program.
Shaping Inspiration is architectural history activated. We believe that the work of our predecessors provides an unlimited supply of inspiration and challenge. By stripping each building to its formal essence, we hope to trigger new thoughts that will generate a new generation of inspiring shapes.