Luxury is a basic human need
published on 12/9/2017
On the night of September the 7th during the 2nd edition of the Spotted public events series, the international Droog community was to Rethink Luxury by approaching it from very diverse perspectives. The aim of the evening: coming up with substitutes for traditional notions of luxury in order to create new opportunities and possibilities.
To get an idea of how Droog rethinks, curator Agata Jaworska presented Droog Lab’s Fantastical Investments project. She explained how in this project the daily dealings of people in Russia with luxury inspired Droog to design new products that appeal to other ideas of luxury.
Curator Aaron Betsky also discussed the conventional notion of luxury as being something else than the application of a great deal of skill and knowledge to materials that are rare, have an innate sensuality, or both. Via a spoken column he stated that true luxury is the absence of guilt about luxury, our ability to revel in it in the here and now without caring about its costs in this world or the next that is the most precious of all.
Host of the evening Renny Ramakers asked designer Marcel Wanders to react on Aaron’s statement. Marcel said that designers could fulfill the desires of people who are gradually climbing the financial ladder, as these people tend to crave for splurge versions of things they are already familiar with in a lesser price range.
Designer Sander Wassink pointed out that the abundance of discarded products could also be turned into luxury. He shared his fascination about the journey that products on flea markets have made. He sees true luxury in being knowledgeable about, and appreciative for the world around us. In this same way one could also look at repairing as a luxury. Via a mini performance designer Saskia van Drimmelen promoted the Golden Joinery workshop and its main goal of being together, exchanging stories, and repairing torn garments with threads of gold. The workshop that she and theater professional Margreet Sweerts will give on Sunday October the 15th in Hôtel Droog has already been sold out. Similarly designer Jeroen Verhoeven (demakersvan) told Renny in a chat about solar panels that awareness of sustainability can be achieved by adding extra enriching aesthetic value to ordinary items.
From an immaterial point of view one could say that the White Spots App invites to rethink luxury as well. With this app people can find spots deprived of wifi connection. In the digital age not being irritated by constant email and social media feeds will perhaps be an ever growing luxury. Time as luxury was likewise being touched upon by artists Josephine Goverts, Eline Janssen, Mirelle Versteeg, and Mickey Yang who united themselves in The One Day Collective. They repaid the audience’s precious minutes and seconds for watching a video with a free work of art for everyone to take home.
From a humanistic perspective visual artists Olfa Ben Ali showed via a video how the fashion glossy Re|fuse is to give an aesthetic and positive view on the refugee issue. Subsequently writer and activist Umayya Abu-Hanna reminded everyone that Aleppo was once at the very end of the silk road and that even Queen Elizabeth the 2nd went there for her wedding robe textiles.
The conclusion of the evening is that the notion of luxury not only has to do with scarcity in a broad sense. Regardless of how luxury is understood, whether it is doing nothing or dressing up, luxury should rather be seen as a basic human need. Luxury is eventually feel good without guilt. So let’s stop talking about sobriety, and let us talk about luxury instead!