Architectural Criticism in the Soviet Lithuania 1958-1988: Vision of the New Architecture in the Specialized Periodicals
Keywords:architecture, criticism, modernism, periodicals, Soviet Lithuania
Architecture criticism of Soviet Lithuania has not been properly addressed in scientific research. The novelty of the work relates to the branch of architecture criticism as part of the history of arts, particularly in the context of the historiography of 20th- century modern architecture. This paper is to uncover the various forms of architectural criticism and its agents among the vocational and scientific publications aimed at other architects of the Lithuanian SSR. Using a systematic approach and qualitative research methods, a database of 100 critical articles is constructed. The phenomena of architecture criticism are explored using the theoretical framework of W. Attoe from his book “Architecture and Critical Imagination” (1978). The results of the research brought several understandings. Despite the common belief among professionals that architects should be predominantly the creators of architecture criticism, architects by profession make up only half or less of the total number of texts in the specialized press. The dominating types of architectural criticism are normative and descriptive (excluding the texts that would describe the context of an architectural idea or particular building). There are very few examples of interpretative criticism encountered (except in the thematic group of criticism around interior design). Further discussion of prevalent thematic groups led to the conclusion that architectural criticism in Soviet Lithuania alongside the official “politically allowed criticism” has been using disguised forms of texts. There has been an underlying narrative to promote modernist or simply, new architecture principles using photography with little to no text, indirect speech, and other forms of non-explicit communication. One of the wider goals of this paper is to initiate wider research into the subject of architectural criticism of Soviet Lithuania and also validate the existence of the neglected phenomena using the specific material of professional and academic architectural publications.
“The copyright for the articles in this Journal is retained by the author(s) with the first publication right granted to the journal. The authors agree to the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 agreement under which the paper in the Journal is licensed”.