Here’s a brief outline (the full document is available here):
Can jewellery function as an instrument of change?
Jewellery is expanding in scope. Traditionally, the production of a beautiful adornment served as a marker of individual status. Emerging trends in jewellery and related object design are beginning to challenge many customary ideas of jewellery. The creative power of the jeweller is extending beyond the bench to the world which the object will inhabit. This includes jewellery as a functional device, an agent of social change and a way of bringing people together. These trends provide the basis of a FORM exhibition in development for 2010.
Concepts such as ‘functionality’ and ‘change’ are open to multiple interpretations. However for the initial purposes of this exhibition, they have been grouped into two key categories:
1. Function and Technology
This category includes jewellers and related designers who create products possessing tangible functions or new technologies which aim to deploy specific benefits to individuals and/or the broader community. Emphasis will be placed on designs that point to long-term benefits, rather than one-off, largely conceptual pieces.
2. Sociology and Symbolism
This category includes the less tangible elements of contemporary jewellery which have potential to alter perspectives and promote action through their symbolic connotations. Like the Function and Technology category, the underlying themes here are designs which focus on benefits and heightened social awareness for individuals and the broader community.
The exhibition will explore jewellery that fits into either (or both) of the above groups, while focusing on the varied levels of ‘change’ jewellery can wield; namely in the areas of health, technology, sciences and community.
This is a relatively new area of development but one which possesses immense potential for groundbreaking innovation and cross-disciplinary, cross-industry advancement. A central aim of the exhibition will be to highlight this potential for innovation and cross-sector collaboration through jewellery design, and the strategies, investment and other conditions required to foster these new directions.
Also key to the exhibition will be examinations of the crossovers between the two categories, and the relationships between aesthetics and practicality.