The exhibition at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, that is the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg, Germany (September 2017 - January 2018) was the opening of the touring exhibition. Here the 76 selected design objects have been presented in this compilation to the public for the first time.
The exhibition was accompanied by the conference “Trash it? Burn It? Use It! Rubbish Dump or Workshop? Creative Approaches to Trash”, in cooperation with the MKG.
On 30th November and 1st December 2017, the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) held an international conference entitled "Trash it? Burn It? Use It! Rubbish Dump or Workshop? Creative Approaches to Trash", in cooperation with the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG). This conference accompanied the ifa exhibition "Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded!" and looked at the structures of a globalized consumer society and its conspicuous ecological consequences, and also discussed solutions in trash avoidance and the use and value enhancement of waste.
The international curators of "Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded!" and further experts from the fields of environment, research, and the creative economy held keynote talks that introduced diverse themes. The conference also included workshops, interactive discussion, action formats and networking opportunities, as an open platform for designers, the maker scene and civil society. Sabine Schulze, director of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, and Elke aus dem Moore, director of the Fine Arts department at ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) welcomed the guests, and Géraldine de Bastion presented the opening evening.
HAMBURG CONFERENCE TALKS
“Some questions from the South”
Brazilian curator Adélia Borges (São Paulo) looked at the issues from the perspective of the Global South. She pointed out that most people in the world have to live on less than 10 US dollars per day.
“Turning waste into opportunity”
Tapiwa Matsinde (London) looked at the issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rubbish heaps and more and more waste in form of electrical goods waste coming in from the industrial nations are a massive problem in many places in the region.
“A new eldorado: Cairo’s garbage city”
Bahia Shehab (Cairo) looked at the informal urban quarter of Manshiyat Naser in Cairo, known as "Garbage City." The streets are covered with trash; the stench is almost unbearable.
“Updating the epicycles - turning waste into taste”
Thai designer Eggarat Wongcharit (Bangkok) also emphasized that upcycling is not a cultural export from the West, but firmly anchored in Asian culture, as many examples from Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia have shown.
“Made in China? Designed in China!”
Chinese curator Jie Zhang (Beijing) appealed for the preservation of traditional Chinese handicraft techniques, for which she wishes to create a new basis in the age of rationalization and technologization.
HAMBURG CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS
Friedrich von Borries is an architect, curator and university lecturer at the HFBK Hamburg. He creates socially critical exhibitions such as Klimakapseln (Climate Capsules) (2010) at MKG, addressing current issues such as climate change.
Angeli Sachs art historian. Angeli Sachs is a professor at the Zurich University of the Arts and a curator at the Zurich Museum of Design, where her exhibitions have included “Global Design” (2010) and “Do it Yourself Design” (2015).
The Design duo Lapatsch|Unger are responsible for the development of the Instructable clips accompanying “Pure Gold – Upcycled! Upgraded!”. They form together with Axel Kufus the workshop team of the workshops taking place at the exhibition venues around the world.
In their design work they are focusing on current social issues and address the narrative qualities of materials and their transferal into objects.
Reinhard Fiedler, innovation officer at the Hamburger Stadtreinigung city waste disposal company, presents a real-life picture of our use of trash, analyses specific issues, and presents practical tips for action.
Christian Zöllner is a designer and the founder of The Constitute, which organizes subversive actions in urban space. In conjunction with the conference, the “laboratory bus” Fab-Mobile will be in front of the MKG and will be used in conference workshops.
Victoria Wenzelmann, Samer Shawar (Hackerspace Vecbox, Ramallah) and Marios Mouratidis (YALLAH! exchange programe) from GIG Global Innovation Gathering, the global network of makers and socio-technological innovators, will facilitate practical experience in an upcycling workshop.
The conference is moderated by Geraldine de Bastion, political scientist and curator of re:publica, the most important European conference on digital society.