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Space vacuums and dial-less phones: Surprise designs behind the Iron Curtain

<strong>"It's Time for a Grand Housewarming," poster for a 1959 Soviet documentary on new urban reforms. </strong><!-- -->
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</br>The era of de-Stalinization in 1950s Soviet Russia was dominated by sweeping political reforms that put an end to forced labor and marked a split from the cult of personality that surrounded Stalin during his 30-year reign.<!-- -->
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</br>But there was a more subtle cultural shift too. A new, characterful style of design emerged -- typified by futuristic consumer goods like fridges, scooters and vacuum cleaners. <!-- -->
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</br>Fueled by a desire to match the quality of life enjoyed by their U.S. rivals, the then Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev built huge numbers of standardized apartment blocks or "Khrushchyovkas" across the USSR -- while Soviet designers raced to come up with goods to fill them.<!-- -->
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</br>Today these objects offer a colorful glimpse into daily life behind the Iron Curtain...

"It's Time for a Grand Housewarming," poster for a 1959 Soviet documentary on new urban reforms.

The era of de-Stalinization in 1950s Soviet Russia was dominated by sweeping political reforms that put an end to forced labor and marked a split from the cult of personality that surrounded Stalin during his 30-year reign.

But there was a more subtle cultural shift too. A new, characterful style of design emerged -- typified by futuristic consumer goods like fridges, scooters and vacuum cleaners.

Fueled by a desire to match the quality of life enjoyed by their U.S. rivals, the then Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev built huge numbers of standardized apartment blocks or "Khrushchyovkas" across the USSR -- while Soviet designers raced to come up with goods to fill them.

Today these objects offer a colorful glimpse into daily life behind the Iron Curtain...