Yesterday’s panel discussion and opening

Last night we held a very lively panel discussion and opening of the Fantastical Investments exhibition at Droog Amsterdam. The exhibition is on view at Droog Amsterdam until October 2nd, 2011. Stay tuned for more photos and video clips of the discussion.

press release: Fantastical Investments

Fantastical Investments—the outcome of Droog Lab’s study of consumption habits in Russia—is an imaginary luxury brand. By Droog with Metahaven, Fantastical Investments will be presented on Thursday, September 22nd with a panel discussion and exhibition at Droog Amsterdam. Unveiling a collection of nine products, the brand will act as a vehicle for discussion on the co-existence of fiction and survival in a new vision on luxury.

“Russians have a deeply engrained reading culture; one can find literary classics in any supermarket. At the same time, they are known for their lavish spending on luxury goods. Our intention was to understand the relationship between these apparent contradictions in developing a new model of consumption inspired by Russia,” says Renny Ramakers, co-founder and director of Droog, and initiator of the project. As part of the Strelka 2010 summer program, the Droog Lab design team led by Daniel van der Velden discovered that many consumption patterns in Russia emerged from a context of institutional mistrust. “Western countries have often been perceived as an example of the future towards which Russia is moving to. However, in the world of rising uncertainty and institutional instability Russia may be considered as a looking glass that for the last 20 years has been offering the Western countries the reflection of this coming future,” stated sociologist and economist Olga Kuzina in conversation with the team.

The team observed that acquiring durable goods can be a survival strategy, akin to hoarding or investing in gold, and that consuming fiction and feeding the imagination is equally critical to one’s capacity to thrive. These principles formulated the Fantastical Investments luxury brand proposition, inspired by Russia but aiming for more universal impact.

“Fantastical Investments brings together imagination, luxury and survival, anticipating a gradual dissipation of the 20th century institutional backup for civil life,” says Daniel van der Velden. The brand “thrives on some of the darkest sentiments currently around in Western culture, but gives them a positive turn.”

Download the full release here.

Invitation: Fantastical Investments

fantastical investments by droog with metahaven

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
Droog Amsterdam

We invite you to the opening of the exhibition Fantastical Investments by Droog with Metahaven. The imaginary brand, Fi, is the outcome of Droog Lab’s study of consumption habits in Russia in partnership with Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.
exhibition opening: 6:00 – 8:00 pm

We also invite you to the panel discussion moderated by Farid Tabarki, with Renny Ramakers (Droog), Daniel van der Velden (Metahaven), Olga Kuzina (economist and sociologist, Russia), Sjeng Scheijen (specialist in Russian culture, Leiden University) and Agata Jaworska (Droog).
panel: 4:00 – 6:00 pm

RSVP by Sept 20 [email protected]
(required only for panel)

exhibition on view until October 2nd
Tues – Sat 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sun 12:00 – 5:00 pm

twitter hashtag #Fi

Partner: Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design
Supported by: Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and City of Amsterdam