Avant-Garde as a Method
Vkhutemas and the Pedagogy of Space, 1920–1930
Anna Bokov


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Throughout the 1920s and ’30s, the Higher Art and Technical Studios in Moscow, known as Vkhutemas, adopted what it called the “objective method” to facilitate instruction on a mass scale. The school was the first to implement mass art and technology education, which was seen as essential to the Soviet Union’s dominant modernist paradigm. This book is a groundbreaking new study on the early Soviet Union’s Higher Art and Technical Studios in Moscow.

Design, Education
With Avant-Garde as Method, architect and historian Anna Bokov explores the nature of art and technology education in the Soviet Union. The pedagogical program at Vkhutemas, she shows, combined longstanding academic ideas and practices with more nascent industrial era ones to initiate a new type of pedagogy that took an explorative approach and drew its strength from continuous feedback and exchange between students and educators. Elaborating on the ways the Vkhutemas curriculum challenged established canons of academic tradition by replacing it with open-ended inquiry, Bokov then shows how this came to be articulated in architectural and urban projects within the school’s advanced studios.

Anna Bokov is an architect, urban designer, educator, and historian. She holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, a Master's degree in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Syracuse University. She has taught at the Cooper Union, Yale School of Art, Northeastern University School of Architecture, the Moscow Architectural Institute, and Strelka Institute.


973 color, 73 b/w

624 pages, 1046 illustrations
Hardback, 24x32 cm
Park Books, 1st edition 2020
ISBN 9783038601340