The Fluidity of Luxury | The Plan
  1. Home
  2. Magazine 2005
  3. The Plan 009
  4. The Fluidity of Luxury

The Fluidity of Luxury

The Fluidity of Luxury
By Cristina Morozzi -

The more you analyse it, the less clear it becomes. Luxury is a slippery, fluid word. In philosophers’ jargon it is called a “suitcase” term, a container of various, even contradictory, meanings you can fill up as you like. Luxury is not one but many and disparate. Every era and season makes its own definition of luxury.
What was once poor and plebeian can become aristocratic – or vice versa. Food is a good example. Today food is a key socio-cultural indicator, the object of extensive fads and fashions. No longer a basic human need – we need very little nourishment to stay alive – food has become a cultural and lifestyle reference. Unelaborated, “poor” foods are sought after today, thanks largely to Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food movement that has gone to the rescue of tastes and flavours threatened with extinction. Today the ultimate luxury is the rustic dish available only locally. People are prepared to travel miles to enjoy it. Colonnata bacon produced in the province of Carrara and aged in marble vaults will be much more appreciated by dinner guests than oysters and caviar, now considered the fare of the parvenu.  Spanish chef Ferran Adrià, inventor of the vegetable mousse, is hailed as a hero, his views on taste greeted as the definitive opinion of the aesthete.
Food is a perfect example of the “fluidity of luxury”. Historic luxury as displayed by the courts of France or Ludvic of Bavaria, for example, are no longer yardsticks of the ultimate in swank. So if we want to talk of luxury, we must first define it.
A complex question, especially in the realm of design. Design and luxury have always been considered opposites. Since its inception – in the consensus view, with the founding of the Bauhaus in 1921 -  design was invested with the mission of democratising quality. Its lofty aim was to lend dignity to ordinary objects, creating an aesthetic that fitted the function. Geared to function, design pared away the superfluous, and would have no truck...

Proceed with your preferred purchase option to continue reading
Digital

Digital

5.49 €
Print

Print

Sold out
Subscription

Subscription

From 35.00 €
Keep up with the latest trends in the architecture and design world

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054