Soviet Bus Stops

In a recent post on the East Surrey N Gauge Group blog, Jon wrote a post that mentioned a new book dedicated to the Soviet bus stops and their design.

I find the subject matter fascinating and I am interested. I might even go so far as to say that I’m interested in ordering a copy of the book. Learn more about the book here: fuel-design.com/publishing/soviet-bus-stops

Naturally there’s an opportunity here to discuss the stark contrast in the sometimes quite flamboyant designs of these potentially insignificant structures against the backdrop of a place that seemed once upon a time, so utilitarian. I would like to understand more about why these structures were offered as invitations to artists on which to explore their form and use. Intrigued by the idea, I went browsing around the internet for other photographs. In so many I saw amazing diversity in terms of design and how each shelter was imagined. I also saw the effects of time. Not every stop has had been the beneficiary of maintenance to stave off the passage of time. It’s in this decay that I found my connection to the subject. Not just how they weathered but how they provide evidence of our relationship with things over time.

Sometimes this study is in how a material ages. Sometimes this study is one that explores how different forms respond to the challenges of weather. Sometimes the study is more organic and almost humane. Where what we are left with is a reminder of something that we once celebrated, then didn’t, and left us wondering what had changed.

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5 comments

  1. Thanks, Chris, for drawing out some of the points I should have spotted! Could be an entire new hobby…. My interest comes from working in Azerbaijahn and Georgia, and seeing a range of different structures there – as well as the statues of Stalin in Georgia – local boy made good.

    1. Thank you for introducing the book in the first place. A new hobby or a superb example of how something becomes art or even how an inanimate object becomes alive by expressing lifelike attributes like aging.

  2. If you like Soviet bus stops, check out Moscow metros… such interesting art work in tile in such a drab city. I lived in Moscow in the late 1970s and it was such a gray, dull city but the subway stations were a stark contrast to the rest of the city. I don’t remember bus stops being that interesting but we hardly ever took the bus.

    1. Now I need to go check out the metro. I just really want to visit the place and need to move that adventure from my “want to do someday list” to my “done’ list.

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