The V&A Museum in London is a mecca for luxury and in a new exhibit titled, What is Luxury? visitors are invited to explore why certain designs are deemed to be luxurious, as well as begs the inquiry as to what the future of luxury will bring. The show purposes to answer the complex question the exhibit poses using more than 100 objects ranging from pieces like diamonds made from roadkill to vases made from toxic waste leftovers. Sections will include Pleasure, Passion, Expertise, Investment, and Precision.
Designs included in the exhibit explore how commodities that we take for granted could become luxuries in the not-so-distant future. A DNA Vending Machine, created by American artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo, is one of the pieces on display at the V&A, and its existence implies that with the increased availability of biotechnology, ownership of one’s own DNA could become a luxury. All the more a luxury in this era is free time, a concept that is contemplated by Martin Rusak’s creation of, “Time For Yourself.” This portion of the exhibit includes a watch with no dial and a compass which spins to random coordinates.
There are a few elements that these varied objects have in common. All are made from rare materials, have required staggering amounts of time, skill, and talent to produce, and afford the owner some level of comfort or pleasure that a simple, inexpensive, or cheap item supposedly cannot.
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