What is Luxury?
I went the the V&A Musem, and they had a great exhibition on luxury. There were some amazing items on display, but what really struck a chord were the quotes on the wall. They reminded me of how I approach my work and how I feel about the instruments I build.
Luxury production represents an investment in time. This applies not only to the time spent making an object but also to the process of perfecting skills. Makers of luxury are inspired by passion and curiosity for the intricate nature of objects, the potential of materials, and complex techniques. This motivation often exists beyond market demands and can require an acceptance of risk.
Making luxury is not concerned with practical solutions but with the extraordinary, non-essential and exclusive. Mastery of a craft and exceptional expertise are demonstrated by outstanding precision, attention to detail and remarkable finishes. Such quality is achieved by challenging and broadening established standards of craftsmanship and accepted categories of design. The resulting work combines high levels of innovation with a respect for craft traditions.
Luxury has the potential to unlock dreams of being somewhere else or someone else. It exists at the boundaries of daily routines and systems but relies on notions of break out.
The acquisition of luxury objects has always fulfilled aspirations. In a busy and intrusive world, people increasingly value time and space for enjoying special moments and extraordinary experiences. Contemporary designers engage with how the availability of time and space, and equality of time spent, can be seen as luxuries in their own right.
The question of luxury is ultimately a personal one. Everyone decides for themselves what their luxury could be. Enjoying or affording luxury is not only a question of budget but of individual circumstances and preferences.
Freedom to dream and the ability to take decisions are fundamental to enjoying luxury. These principals of freedom and choice are central to the thesis of an ongoing project, The Last Man. It imagines a situation in which individual finds himself alone in the world but with all of its resources intact. Free from obligation, economics, politics, fashion, society, and the constraints of time, the last man gamely begins to design and build his own material world, reflecting his dreams and desires.