The Pure Gold exhibition consists of two complementary parts: the physical and material exhibition and the virtual platform as a space for dialogue, discussion and the storage of knowledge.
Volker Albus planned this exhibition and is also responsible for the European section. Albus is a designer and professor at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Germany.
Expertise for the six other regions in focus is provided by the curators Adélia Borges, São Paulo, Brazil (for Latin America), Tapiwa Matsinde, London, United Kingdom (for Sub-Saharan Africa), Divia Patel, London, United Kingdom (for South Asia), Bahia Shebab, Cairo, Egypt (for North Africa and the Near East), Eggarat Wongcharit, Bangkok, Thailand (for Southeast Asia) and Zhang Jie, Beijing, China (for East Asia).
The principle of co-creation is also implemented on another level: ifa is offering every tour venue for this exhibition to invite local designers to present their work within the exhibition space and on the virtual Pure Gold platform.
The Pure Gold platform is developed and overseen by Axel Kufus. He is a designer and professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Germany. He will explore local designer and maker scenes and universities during the exhibition tour and then offer workshops that experiment with the exhibits on show by exploring new or expanded uses of local resources.
The results will be shown on the platform as instructables, facilitating experience, documentation and the sharing of do-it-yourself moments. Further information and materials on the workshop themes will be added.
VOLKER ALBUS – CURATOR
While industrial recycling aims to generate a quantity of products that are all as identical as possible, these "as found" strategies [for upcycling] are primarily interested in using very specific known or hitherto neglected qualities such as formability, colour, firmness, haptics, or material structure and to add nuances in a new context.
AXEL KUFUS – PLATFORM CURATOR
These works stand for a bottom-up principle which cleverly finds potential in the top-down strategies of value-diminishing use, and then uses this for expanded added value...
ADÉLIA BORGES – CURATOR
The garbage of the wealthiest became raw materials for the population brackets on the base of the pyramid. Thus, reusing leftovers, as “infected” as they might seem, became an everyday practice.
TAPIWA MATSINDE – CURATOR
Actively fostering and maintaining a productive and positive upcycling culture does more than just give a new lease of life to materials and products that have outgrown their original purpose. In echoing traditional cultural practices, with an instinctive pull towards being mindful of the space one inhabits, designers, artisans and creative organizations are mobilizing their local communities, and most notably extending a hand towards people living at the margins of society.
DIVIA PATEL – CURATOR
The story of recycling and repurposing in India takes us from the poorest in society to the luxury consumer. The materials, processes and products are wide-ranging and shaped by economic need, unskilled and skilled labour, as well as by creative impulses and experimentation.
BAHIA SHEBAB – CURATOR
It is evident that the concept of upcycling is relatively
new in the Arab region and is mainly driven by young designers who are collaborating to produce work. They have been exposed to ideas generated globally due to increasing access to the internet. NGOs, festivals and online groups are also mushrooming in the region and promoting ideas of green and sustainable living.
EGGARAT WONGCHARIT – CURATOR
Consumers should want to buy recycled products not only because they are aware of environmental issues. The standard of upcycling production should also reflect product value that can improve lives. Standardized upcycling should use less energy, save labour costs and be friendly to the environment.
ZANG JI – CURATOR
An item, after being manufactured, is called a product. Placed on the shelf of stores, it is dubbed a commodity, and when used, it is an article. However, it will be a waste if tossed into the dustbin. So-called “waste” is actually goods put in the garbage. In practice, design should be able to guide human behaviours, directing them through processes of consumption and utilization and showing us how to use products and live in a healthy fashion, rather than leading to extravagance – as things are now.