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Announcement
June 20, 2017

Symposium: "Luxury!? – Positions between Opulence and Asceticism"

School of Design Pforzheim

Courtesy School of Design Pforzheim.

What is luxurious nowadays? How do designers transform articles of daily use into “must-have” products? Where does consumption become mania?

What is the luxury of the future: Money? Time? Artistic craftsmanship? Design? Scarcity? Hedonism? For example, would it be luxurious to be able to purchase a Bentley Mark VI? Or would it be more luxurious to have enough leisure time to drive a classic motorcar? Does the pleasure derive from the fact that this automobile is not a mass-produced item and has an exclusive design? Or from knowing how exceedingly complex and laborious its manufacturing process is? We live in a world of things which are so similar that only their marketing differentiates them from one another. Accelerated production cycles (as in the fashion industry) and throwaway articles alter the DNA of luxurious things. How will valuables look in the future?

Designers, academicians, artists, consultants and theoreticians of culture will converse with one another and present their concepts for the future of luxury at the symposium on June 23 and 24, 2017 at the School of Design in Pforzheim.

Our presenters:

o. Univ. Prof. em. Dr. sc. tc. hc. phil. hc. Bazon Brock: Professor emeritus for aesthetics and cultural mediation at Bergische Universität Wuppertal, artist and art theoretician.

Prof. Dr. Oliver P. Heil: Chair for marketing and business administration, director of the Center for Luxury Research at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität in Mainz. Coauthor of the book Luxury Marketing & Management (2015).

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hensel: Chair for the theory of art and design at the School of Design in Pforzheim. Co-curator of the exhibition Luxus!? (Luxury!?)

Zaim Kamal: Creative director of the German company Montblanc. This brand’s classical writing instruments are laboriously produced in over 100 work steps in Hamburg.

Thorben Kochs: Designer at the automobile manufacturer Bentley Motors United. Together with Rolls-Royce, Bentley motor vehicles epitomize classical English luxury automobiles.

Olaf Nicolai: Conceptual artist, PhD in German language and literature, frequent participant in the documenta art exhibition. He has won numerous well-known awards and grants.

Wilhelm Rieber: Master watchmaker, nicknamed the “Magician of Watches,” he handcrafts exclusive wristwatches with flying tourbillons. Their fabrication is exceedingly complex and requires several months of work.

Andreas K. Schlittenhardt: Managing partner of Döttling GmbH. Based in Sindelfingen, this company designs luxurious, custom-tailored, antique and modern safes. Each safe is designed to be both functional and aesthetically sophisticated, e.g. the “Narcissus” luxury safe, which was designed by Karl Lagerfeld.

Greta Taubert: This young journalist from Leipzig writes for DIE ZEIT, SZ-Magazin and other publications. Her book Im Club der Zeitmillionäre (At the Club of Time Millionaires), which was published in 2016, focuses on free time as a different kind of wealth.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich: Author of Siegerkunst. Neuer Adel, teure Lust (Victor’s Art: New Nobility, Costly Desire). Published in 2016, this book characterizes art as a status symbol of the wealthy, the successful and the powerful.

Christoph Wellendorff: CEO of the jewelry manufacturer Wellendorff Gold-Creationen. The company was founded in Pforzheim over 120 years ago. Its trademarks are a “W” of brilliant-cut diamonds and a cord of gold wires.

Prof. Dr. Lambert Wiesing: Chair of image theory and phenomenology at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena. Author of the book Luxus (Luxury), 2015.

Moderator:
Dr. Susanne Kaufmann, SWR2, Prof. Dr. Thomas Hensel, Dr. Robert Eikmeyer, Prof. Dr. Jan Of, School of Design Pforzheim University

The symposium concludes the exhibition Luxury!? – Positions between Opulence and Asceticism.

Supported by the Bundesverband Schmuck + Uhren and Goldstadt 250.

Design doesn’t occupy itself only with the “creation of the costliest.” Luxury is limitation and longevity, scarcity and refinement, desire and sensuality. What is luxury in satiated markets – for the people who already have everything and for the people who stand at the other end of the supply chain? The School of Design, Pforzheim’s Art Association, the Cultural Office of the City of Pforzheim and the EMMA-Creative Centre Pforzheim collaboratively approach these questions with an exhibition, a symposium and a design week (July 11 to 16, 2017).

Thank you!

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