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Walk Through Lissitzky's World
Throughout his career, Lissitzky serves as a powerful agent for avant-garde ideology. By challenging limitations posed by the standards of art, architecture, education, and typography, he transcends media typologies and experiments with ideas beyond his time. While his innovative approach to commissions proved meaningful to a period of socio-political unrest, the realization of Lissitzky’s later work1 anticipates the capacity of a much later digital age. Lissitzky champions the avant-garde movement because the novelty of his work advances the ways we view our world. Therefore, a monument built in his name is not only devoted to his portfolio of work, a period of social reform, and a movement in the arts…a monument to Lissitzky is a monument to the art of seeing and creating the world in a new way.
We approach the generation of this monument by creating a loop, full-circle, of various media types Lissitzky uses to create new levels of experience. The process for designing this architectural object begins with a two-dimensional design inspired by architecture. The monument plan is an enlarged lithograph done by Lissitzky, himself, for a November 1921 commissioned cover designed for the Dutch journal, Wendingen. This edition, Volume 4, Number 11, is dedicated to the work of American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. In the reinterpretation of the lithograph, the figure-ground relationship is reversed. Lissitzky’s colorful geometries become three-dimensional spaces sculpted from a mass of material to reveal a spatial pathway through solid form. By cutting out extrusions of Lissitzky’s two-dimensional figures, spaces of color link and overlap creating depth and bold interior perspectives. At times, the geometries puncture completely through the mass, allowing views to surrounding Novosibirsk. The experiment of sculpting and re-working the design intentions of Lissitzky completes a space which allows Novosibirsk, Avant-garde design, and the creation of Architecture to be seen in a new light.