Constructivism is one of the most exciting, important, productive, inventive avant-garde movements of the first half of the 20th century. It developed in many cities of the Soviet Union and not only in Moscow. Developments took place in Leningrad, in Ukraina, even in the Caucasus, and were connected to a series of contemporary movements. The founders of constructivism knew extremely well what was happening in Germany. In France, for instance they had contacts with most of the progressive and inventive architects and they presented their work to the Soviet audience at the time of the exhibition on the modern architecture they organized in the building of the Vkhutemas in 1927.
But constructivism had a peculiarity, if you look at the spectrum of all the movements that developed since the end of WWI. The constructivists had an aesthetic agenda, a technological agenda, but also, and maybe first of all, a social agenda. Constructivism aimed not only at changing architecture, at changing the range or the spectrum of building types, working on the communal houses, on worker’s clubs. Using the medium of architecture, constructivism aspired to contribute to the so-called cultural revolution, to contribute to what the bolscheviks then called “the reconstruction of everyday life”.
J.L. Cohen, interviewed by OK