Pure Gold – Upcycling and its Emotional Touch

Germany's installation looks at trash and upcycling in design, and their emotional resonance in production and reception. Thirty examples by twenty-eight international designers and design studios present a great diversity of approaches to reusing rubbish. 

In contrast to industrial recycling processes, methods of upcycling do not aim for mass production. The focus is more on the aesthetic and artistic redesign and reuse of already used materials, with the aim of making high-quality functional and consumer goods.

Alongside the idea of added value, upcycling also relies on strong emotional connections. Trash is usually closely linked to cultural identities and social practices. Exploring uses of trash leads to individual, social and also sociological insights. The starting materials for the exhibits in this show are mostly derived from the direct lived-in environment of the designers, and this personal point of reference is significant.

  • Project Management: ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)
  • Curator: Volker Albus, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Digital curator: Axel Kufus, University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany