Como seria de esperar, o design era mal visto na URSS, mas havia sucedâneos:
«“Utopia”, wrote Lenin in 1912, “means a place that does not exist, a fantasy, invention or fairy tale”. Progress towards communism was supposed to be scientific, rational and determined by the proletariat rather than bourgeois specialists and their utopian predictions. There should be no need for utopia, as the proletariat was building it for itself. “The less freedom there is in a country”, Lenin continued, “the more easily political utopias arise and the longer they persist”. For Soviet officialdom, utopia was a pejorative term that signified only hopeless, impossible dreams.
Like utopia, the word design was habitually maligned during the Soviet sixties and seventies. In the 1960s, dizain was perceived as the symptom of irrational modes of consumption and overproduction. Why have 300 types of refrigerator on sale when you could have three? Planned obsolescence, an important driver of industrial growth in post-war economies, was seen to turn consumers into slaves of the corporations who used design as a tool for regulating cycles of consumption.»