Do it yourself, kids.

A friend recently told me about Ross Wolfe's fascinating site that includes great information about Soviet history and the history of avant-garde architecture. I was especially drawn to the post below, thinking about the relationship between the author (who had to "walk a fine line as they helped children visualize tantalizing opportunities of exploration and invention while placing limits on this potentially uninhibited dreaming"), a child who may have worked through these cardboard projects imagining new possibilities for his or her future, and the ruling party, dictating what might be learned by these young minds.

"A stratum of do-it-yourself books focused exclusively on teaching children about the world outside the imaginative realm by offering age-appropriate accounts of how complex machines like tractors, Morse code transmitters, semaphores, steam locomotives, and radio-receivers work and, for some, how they can be made at home. They discuss important topics for the Five-Year Plans, give advice on how to build some of these at home, and stress the significance of collective labor and socialist rationalization," reads this post entitled A. Laptev, We build from cardboard [Строим из картона] (1932).