Interdesign USSR 1971

The Production and Distribution of Bread, Minsk (USSR, currently Belarus)

23 May – 6 June 1971

This first Interdesign workshop was organised by Frank Height, then Chairman of the Icsid Education Working Group in conjunction with the Soviet Institute of Industrial Design (VNIITE). During this Interdesign, thirty professional designers spent two weeks working together and looking at the comparatively rigid and product-oriented subjects of bread-making, its associated delivery systems and the social structures in which this commodity was bought and sold (from urban planning to market furnishings).


  • To demonstrate the possibilities of international co-operation between designers in projects of social value.
  • To provide an opportunity for the exchange of experience between designers from different countries.


Project A

Although the making of bread had already become a highly automated industry, most of the handling, distribution and selling were still highly dependent hand labour which was, by comparison, much less effective. The project involved developing proposals for a system and its devices required for the mechanisation of processes for loading, handling, transporting and marketing of various kinds of bread in self-service shops. This would lead to improved efficiency, hygiene and economic operation.

Project B

In many cities and towns around the world, the equipment in the streets was “destructive to the urban environment, and inefficient to use.” This was said to be partly due to how each item served separate and independent systems such as communications, transportations or lighting. The project called for design proposals for street furniture and associated items to be applied to one of the major streets in Minsk.


Fluent use of sketches and drawings overcame the barriers of language, and in particular enabled complex or sophisticated technical concepts to be easily communicated. The Seminar encouraged exchanges between designers of different philosophies because in everyday practice, designers appear to associate mainly with groups possessing similar attitudes as themselves. It provided all designers with the opportunity for participation in equal terms by means of activities that involved rapid and continuous involvement with problems with which designers were familiar.