Upcycled – Upgraded
Bulky trash, waste, cheap materials: pure gold! At least in the eyes of many active designers. PURE GOLD – Upcycled! Upgraded! explores the subject of rubbish and presents approaches to using trash to create valuable products.
Global industrialization and ever greater levels of consumption make upcycling an urgent matter, therefore ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Stuttgart, Germany) is addressing this issue in Pure Gold - a design exhibition introducing a new global generation of designers who work in an ecological and ethically sustainable manner, and it gathers multiperspectival approaches for a grave problem facing us today: waste and its recycling. The ifa has structured the exhibition as an innovative co-creative format.
As a part of a ten-year tour of 20 venues worldwide, Pure Gold is presented in Vietnam in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Hanoi and Heritage Space.
The cornerstones of this project are ethics, responsibility, internationalization and co-creation.
The Pure Gold project consists of two complementary parts: the physical and material exhibition with the local workshops and the virtual platform as a space for dialogue, discussion and the storage of knowledge in form of instructables.
Although there has long been an awareness of marine litter pollution and the grave consequences for the ecosystem, and although we are constantly confronted with pictures of gigantic rubbish dumps in deprived regions of the planet, our day-today approach to what we generally refer to as waste is only changing slowly.
The exhibition theme of upcycling – the re-use of raw materials that have already been processed to create new objects of greater value – aims to raise awareness of alternative production techniques, while simultaneously pointing up contemporary European and non-European design developments. The designs use what appear to be inferior starting materials, combine different kinds of objects in an unconventional way, or creatively process unwanted by-products.
Working with seven curators from Europe, Latin America, North Africa and the Near East, East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, ifa has brought together 76 exhibits and a total of 53 designers for the exhibition, of which a special selection will be shown at Heritage Space, where they present added value and appreciation within many diverse contexts.
The exhibition is accompanied by a local workshop, which took place at the beginning of April at Heritage Space. Here, 10 local upcycling artists were invited to share their upcycling creations and to contribute these to the exhibition. In addition to the exhibits, there are making--of--videos of the objects from the workshop in Hanoi and former workshops, which took place during the touring exhibition. As a further level for discussion and knowledge, these so called instructable video clips will be on view in the exhibition as well as on the Pure Gold platform.
In addition to the workshop, it is part of the concept of the exhibition project that at every venue of the tour local artists are invited to contribute their own upcycling works to the exhibition. In Hanoi, for the first time during the tour, local designers were asked to apply within an open call. Their objects are integrated in the exhibition next to the exhibits from all over the world as well as the exhibits from the workshop.