Russia and Global Culture: Balancing on the Blurring Boundary

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Presentation by LUMIKNOWS CEO Ekaterina Khramkova at Design Management Institute’s European conference COLLECTIVE DESIGN in Helsinki, 2012. Based on the key take-aways from design research projects done for Russia.

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Russia and Global Culture: Balancing on the Blurring Boundary

  1. 1. Russia andthe Global Culture: Ekaterina Khramkova, Lumiknows, Russia Design Management Institute | “Collective Design” | Helsinki, 2012
  2. 2. CROSS-INDUSTRY INSIGHT 2
  3. 3. EACH CULTURE CREATED ITS OWN IMAGE OF THE WORLD,ITS OWN MODEL OF THE UNIVERSE WHICH INFLUENCESOUR EVERYDAY COMMON SENCE MORE THAN WE THINK. 3
  4. 4. EVOLUTION OF THE CORPORATE IDENTITY OF ONE THE LEADINGRUSSIAN INSURANCE COMPANIES “RUSSIA”: BACK TO BASICS.Famous Russianicon protecting 1915 2000 2011against fires 4
  5. 5. EACH CULTURE CREATED ITS OWN IMAGE OF THE WORLD,ITS OWN MODEL OF THE UNIVERSE.WHAT CAN BE CALLED A “RUSSIANCULTURAL MODEL” AND HOW THIS CAN BETRANSLATED INTO “PRODUCTDEVELOPMENT CODES”? 5
  6. 6. IS RUSSIA EITHER EAST OR WEST?Life isn’t either prickles, or goo.Life is either gooey prickles or prickly goo.Alan Watts, The Nature of Consciousness 6
  7. 7. IS RUSSIA EITHER EAST OR WEST?Life isn’t either prickles, or goo.Life is either gooey prickles or prickly goo.Alan Watts, The Nature of ConsciousnessRUSSIAN CULTURE IS BOTH EASTERN WESTY,AND WESTERN EASTY. 7
  8. 8. Why is this building becamea winner according to theInternet voting for the bestbuilding in St. Petersburg? 8
  9. 9. Fairytale Festive moodNew technologies Big size Russian identical motifs combined with the newest Western technologies (serigraphy, glass printing).Glass Link to Russian history Contrasts Bright image 9
  10. 10. THE TWO CAPITALS OF RUSSIAMOSCOW: 15th – 18th centuries, 20th – till present ST. PETERSBURG: 18th – 20th centuriesMOSCOW, RED SQUARE, 19th CENTURY ST. PETERSBURG, ADMIRALTY SQUARE, 19th CENTURY 10
  11. 11. THE TWO CAPITALS OF RUSSIAMOSCOW: 15th – 18th centuries, 20th – till present ST. PETERSBURG: 18th – 20th centuries GREW DESIGNEDORGANICALLY AND CREATEDCITY WHERE THE RUSSIAN STATE BEGAN THE MOST “WESTERN” RUSSIAN CITY 11
  12. 12. SO, TO ANSWER THE QUESTION“IS RUSSIA EITHER EAST OR WEST?”IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT UNDERSTANDINGEASTERN AND WESTERN MODELS OF THEWORLD. 12
  13. 13. AT THE BASE OF THE MODELS LIE QUESTIONS *CHAOS – COSMOS,EARTH – HEAVEN,WORLDLY – SPIRITUAL…*Cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term“kosmos”, meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. 13
  14. 14. AT THE BASE OF THE MODELS LIE QUESTIONSIS THE WORLD GROWING, ANDSPONTANEITY IS A KIND OF A NORM;OR IT IS RATHER MADE, ANDPLANNING IS NEEDED? 14
  15. 15. MOSCOW ST. PETERSBURG 15
  16. 16. SYMBOL OF MOSCOW RESTING CROSS 16
  17. 17. SYMBOL OF MOSCOW SYMBOL OF ST. PETERSBURG RESTING CROSS SAILING CARAVEL 17
  18. 18. WHAT DO THESE SYMBOLS MEAN?WHAT WAS “IN THE BEGINNING”?.. 18
  19. 19. THE BIBLE, AND THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES:Judaism, Islam, and Christianity derive their basic picture of the world “GENESIS” 19 from Greek “BIRTH”, “ORIGIN” 19
  20. 20. THE BIBLE, AND THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES:Judaism, Islam, and Christianity derive their basic picture of the world “BEING” (~”DASEIN”) “GENESIS” 20 EXISTENCE which has NO ORIGIN from Greek “BIRTH”, “ORIGIN” 20
  21. 21. RUSSIAN “BEING” MEANS BOTH OBJECTIVE, AND SPIRITUAL REALITY, “THIS” AND “THAT” WORLDS WHICH ARE DEEPLY INTERCONNECTED WITH EACH OTHER. 21
  22. 22. AS OPPOSED TO THE WESTERN MODEL, IN THERUSSIAN IMAGE OF THE WORLDCHAOS AND COSMOS,EARTH AND HEAVEN,REALITY AND FANTASYEASILY COEXIST 22
  23. 23. RUSSIANSLIVE IN ITSOWNREALITY,IN WHICHMIRACLEIS ANORDINARYTHING… Mark Chagall, Old Vitebsk, 1914
  24. 24. Western archetype is rooted in the holiday of Christmas, but Russian - in Easter. EASTER: The MIRACLE of the Resurrection CHRISTMAS: The FACT of the Incarnation The Resurrection of Christ, icon of the 16 c., Moscow Kremlin Adoration of the Magi, 15 c., Galleria degli Uffizi 24
  25. 25. • In English, we call them fairy tales… literally translated as “tales of the fairies”. In Russian, the designation for stories concerning the marvelous is skazka, meaning simply “story.” In Russian, there is no onus of falsehood attached to the term, as there is to the English “fairy tale”. Russian Fairy Tales, The Fantastic Traditions of the East and West by Helen Pilinovsky 25©2010 Lumiknows | Serbia, Novi Sad
  26. 26. • In English, we call them fairy tales… literally translated as “tales of the fairies”. In Russian, the designation for stories concerning the marvelous is skazka, meaning simply “story.” In Russian, there is no onus of falsehood attached to the term, as there is to the English “fairy tale”. • In Western culture, the stereotype of fairy tales as the province of children is deeply entrenched, but in Russian culture, this idea has absolutely no place in a discussion of fairy tales. Russian fairy tales were traditionally told only after dark, when younger children were asleep. Russian Fairy Tales, The Fantastic Traditions of the East and West by Helen Pilinovsky 26©2010 Lumiknows | Serbia, Novi Sad
  27. 27. When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is. Pablo PicassoTHIS MENTALITY LED NOT ONLY TO ARTISTIC REVOLUTIONS OF THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY Mark Chagall, Over the Town, 1914 – 1918
  28. 28. …BUT ALSO TO SOCIAL REVOLUTION1917 AND SUCH BREAK- THROUGH AS SENDING THE FIRST MAN ON1961 EARTH TO COSMOS 28
  29. 29. THE FAIRYTALE BECAME REALITY 29
  30. 30. BEING = NO BOUNDARY BETWEEN DISTINCT BOUNDARIESCHAOS AND COSMOS, BETWEEN CHAOS ANDMUNDANE AND DIVINE, COSMOSDAY-TO-DAY AND MAGIC BEING GENESIS SPIRITUAL REALITY OBJECTIVE REALITY 30
  31. 31. BEING = NO BOUNDARY BETWEEN DISTINCT BOUNDARIESCHAOS AND COSMOS, BETWEEN CHAOS ANDMUNDANE AND DIVINE, COSMOSDAY-TO-DAY AND MAGIC.NO REASON TO MOVE BASIC TO THIS (WESTERN) IMAGE OF THEANYWHERE, EVERYTHING IS WORLD IS THE NOTION THAT WEVE GOT TOALREADY HERE… IMPOSE OUR WILL UPON THIS WORLD AS IF WE WERE SOMETHING COMPLETELY ALIEN TO IT. AND SO WE GET A CULTURE BASED ON THE IDEA OF THE WAR BETWEEN MAN AND NATURE. Alan Watts BEING GENESIS SPIRITUAL REALITY OBJECTIVE REALITY 31
  32. 32. IF YOU’D ASK TO VISUALIZE RUSSIAN MODEL OF THE WORLD… BEING = NO BOUNDARY BETWEEN CHAOS AND COSMOS, MUNDANE AND DIVINE, DAY-TO-DAY AND MAGIC Kazimir Malevich, Black Square, c. 1915. State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg 32
  33. 33. RUSSIA IS ACULTURE OF COMPARISONCONTRASTS: IS ONE OF THEBLACK BECOMES MOSTBLACK ONLY INFLUENTIALAGAINST THE DRIVERS.BACKGROUNDOF WHITE. 33
  34. 34. CULTURE OF CONTRASTSAccording to government data, theincomes of very rich members ofRussian society are 15-20 timesthose of the poorest - one of thehighest levels of social inequalityto be found among the world’sleading countries. In Moscow, thisdifference is 53-fold. 37
  35. 35. CULTURE OF CONTRASTSAccording to government data, the Forbes magazine has calculatedincomes of very rich members of that, measured against theRussian society are 15-20 times economic output of the countrythose of the poorest - one of the ($458 billion), there are morehighest levels of social inequality billionaires in Russia thanto be found among the world’s anywhere else in the world.leading countries. In Moscow, thisdifference is 53-fold. 38
  36. 36. NO MIDDLE CLASSVasily Surikov. The Boyarynia Morozova. 1887. 39
  37. 37. NO MIDDLE CLASSBoth poles have historically lived in the same space/time continuum …Pay attention to hands and chains of the both 40
  38. 38. ONLY EMERGING MIDDLE CLASS We are not an opposition. We are your employers.An estimated 50,000 people gathered in Moscow and 10,000 in St Petersburg. We do not protest.Analysts say this is the first time when the Russian emerging middle class We fire you!gathered to protest against Putin and his policy. 41
  39. 39. Danfoss, DEVIElectrical floorheating designresearch, 2008 42 42
  40. 40. 43
  41. 41. RUSSIAN CULTURE IS BOTH EASTERN WESTY, AND WESTERN EASTY… How the Russian market adapted DEVI thermostats: Minimalistic aesthetics refers to poverty in the Russian culture. So, pure and austere Danish high- tech core was embedded into “rich” Italian Bticino supports. 44 44
  42. 42. LOOK INTO THE FUTURE.LIVE FORWARD. 45
  43. 43. LOOK INTO THE FUTURE. FEEL THE FUTURE RIGHT NOW.LIVE FORWARD. 46
  44. 44. ONE OF THE BESTDESCRIPTIONS OF THE“MYSTIFYING RUSSIANSOUL”:I was born betweenheaven and earth and theworld, for me, is anendless space, throughwhich my soul wanderslike a little flame.Marc Chagall 47
  45. 45. THANK YOU! Ekaterina Khramkova, e.khramkova@lumiknows.come.khramkova@designresearch.ru 48

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