Concept development

History is the object of a construction whose place is formed not in homogenous and empty time, but in that which is fulfilled by the here-and-how [Jetztzeit]. For Robespierre, Roman antiquity was a past charged with the here-and-how, which he explored out of the continuum of history. The French revolution thought of itself as a latterday Rome. It cited ancient Rome exactly the way fashion cites a past costume.

Fashion has an eye for what is up-to-date, wherever it moves in the jungle [Dickicht: maze, thicket] of what was. It is the tiger's leap into that which has gone before. Only it takes place in an arena in which the ruling classes are uncontrolled. The same leap into the open sky of history is the dialectical one, as Marx conceptualized the revolution.



The concept of “Home as a place for living” is dramatically changing. And common expressions such as “My house my rules” or “My house is a castle” for now are relevant as ever. In this project, I would like to research not only the way how National could be interpreted in contemporary design but also how it could be applied in modern houses (not only Russian but generally) and in new reality perspectives.

What items are associated with the traditional Russian house

It was not a survey, just a question to my friends on Instagram. I was curious to check how we all perceive such a trivial problem differently. I cannot say that I was surprised that most of the friends started to ask for some additional information about the context. It was essential to get the first impression, something subconscious.


Walter Benjamin, the German philosopher, and art critics, once said: “The traces coming from the past are neither inert and petrified relics nor simple objects to confine to a museum. They rather need to be read as sparks able to set alight the fuse of the explosive material placed in what has already been. Sparks can build constellations rich with future in which past meets present”. This statement made almost 100 years ago looks relevant now. Today, when creative ideas must be gained as fast as possible due to the market demands, it seems pertinent to find historical inspiration (as a vast source of already developed ideas). Moreover, when the design approaches are often guided not by creativity and curiosity but by lawyers or authorities, it seems more relevant to look at national heritage to avoid accusing any cultural appropriation.


National heritage is not only an excellent source for inspiration or a way to give another life for something from the past but also a way to add some distinctiveness to design. This project aims to find a way to apply traditional Russian art & craft to contemporary objects. The goal is to prove that references from national heritage in modern interpretation can be recognized and accepted these days.


These days humanity is experiencing a significant shift in social behavior, which causes the rise of many new long-lasting trends. Therefore, it seems relevant to evaluate such a concept as “Home” in terms of both the current environment and described ideas for research.

© 2024 Ksenia Semirova. Hand Embroidery Artist