In his book “For Common Things”, the American author Jedediah Purdy foretells the end of the fun society. It is a scathing dismissal of the cult of superficiality and cynical indifference. Purdy calls for a return to culture, morality and the seriousness of life.
Adorno and Horkheimer rear their heads. As early as 60 years ago, the main philosophers of the Frankfurt School criticized the “cultural industry” as a mass con in a sequin dress and the permanent demand for happiness as an instrument to betray true joy.
The question of values is also one that occupies jewelry designers time and again. Do they focus on their personal experience and decisions or has it mutated into their own “ego world” to market lifestyle as a form of life. The new edition of art + design attempts to find interesting answers to this aspect in various articles.
Faced with the flood of impressions and objects, people are principally vision-orientated. It is unlikely that the world can be comprehended in any other way. The inner values only become apparent later on.
Jewelry – but also other design objects in applied art – provides information on their owners. Whether worn or publicly displayed, these objects also function as a communication medium between people, transport global or regional contents and emphasize affiliation to a certain group or subculture.
Design is the threshold between functionality and statement. This includes clarity and comprehension, but also charisma of design. Simplicity is a relatively recent name for an old virtue. The term was not yet in common parlance in the 16th century. Simple was all too often deemed to be simple-minded. However, simplicity convinces through reduction and is the opposite of primitiveness, with which it is often confused. The decadence and the collapse of the high cultures always occur when the complication of their structures have reached their apex.
The silent potency of simplicity appears to have poor cards at the moment as well. “Sacrifice does not take, sacrifice gives”, explains the philosopher Martin Heidegger in his short, 7-page treatise “The Pathway”, which can be seen to be a manifesto in favor of simplicity. Our métier provides conclusive evidence of this. A cut diamond is many times more valuable, as it is more beautiful, than the inconspicuous uncut stone, although it is twice as heavy. Combined with sacrificing half of the material, it is the cut that lends the finished item value and charisma. Designing something always starts with there being substance for it. However, it will only become a work of art if there is added vision to make something special out of it.