3D Printing and the Luxury Industry
A mini demo I saw in action at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was a 3D printer printing out Nokia Lumia covers using a special type of plastic material.  3D printing in the luxury industry is a technology still yet to take off.  It’s interesting because on one side there is the argument of 3D printing democratising manufacturing but there is also scope for the luxury industry in terms of bespoke products and personalisation.

3D Printing and the Luxury Industry

A mini demo I saw in action at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was a 3D printer printing out Nokia Lumia covers using a special type of plastic material.  3D printing in the luxury industry is a technology still yet to take off.  It’s interesting because on one side there is the argument of 3D printing democratising manufacturing but there is also scope for the luxury industry in terms of bespoke products and personalisation.

Paris Art + Design was an interesting mix of gallerists specialising in jewellery, antiques, sculpture, and furniture.  One of my standouts was Priveekollektie Contemporary Art | Design from the Netherlands.  One of their items on show (not pictured above) was a touch-sensitive technology using large LCD screens hooked up to sensors with a computer running bespoke software behind the scenes.  I’ve seen something similar in action but was a large commissioned public work using Xbox Kinect technology.  
Human to machine interaction encapsulated in beauty and curiosity - could this be the future of luxe interior decorating?

Paris Art + Design was an interesting mix of gallerists specialising in jewellery, antiques, sculpture, and furniture.  One of my standouts was Priveekollektie Contemporary Art | Design from the Netherlands.  One of their items on show (not pictured above) was a touch-sensitive technology using large LCD screens hooked up to sensors with a computer running bespoke software behind the scenes.  I’ve seen something similar in action but was a large commissioned public work using Xbox Kinect technology.  

Human to machine interaction encapsulated in beauty and curiosity - could this be the future of luxe interior decorating?

Luxe Pack Monaco 2012

It has been a couple of months since I attended one day of Luxe Pack Monaco.  My reaction to the event itself is mixed - it was branded as a creative packaging event yet I found that the event do not hold much appeal to ‘creatives’ but is rather a marketing/branding/product innovation/commercial-creative design.   I gave up on trying to find digital cross-overs (as a customer experience, not as a process) and instead focused on the tangible.

The event was also very appealing to those in the luxury industry working in the areas of product, packaging, marketing, branding and even business development yet there was not much (to my expectation anyway) to offer in terms of inspiration.  It was more of a trade showcase of products, a business to business affair.

I confess that I have no relation to the luxury industry nor would I be here to “do business”  and even just focusing on purely being there for inspiration was a daunting affair for me.  I have attended other events where I could conduct business-to-business exchanges and it grew tiresome having to endure the same exchanges repeated over and over again:

  • Who are you?
  • What is your position in the company?
  • Are you the main decision maker?
In the instances where I engaged in meaningful conversations with other Luxe Pack Monaco delegates, the exchanges were a window of perception into a certain segment of the luxury industry.
One of the highlights was Korsnäs (see image below) which specialises in the actual material of packaging.  The End-User Manager, Jörg Storneke, went through the intricacies of the production process in relation to the designers, creatives, the brand owners, marketers, printers and so on.  I thought it was a very fascinating insight into this area.

Various examples of packaging can be seen below but many of the examples on display grew boring and tiresome after just an afternoon…

…until I came across this packaging example (below) by Ningbo Rainbow International.  The branding and design not only drew me in but the unique natural material prompted me to visit the company representatives.  Wendy Zhou, the General Manager, was on hand with my questions about the material, who their clients were and provided a pack including a mini CD for me to peruse for further information.

There were a number of companies specialising across a multitude of different layers - those who specialise in ribbons, textiles for packaging, paper innovation, chemical cutting, bottle forms and more.   I gave up trying to look for companies with examples of digital crossovers but, deciding that this event is not the type that I was after, ended up widening my horizons in terms of the ‘first’ tangible experience of a product.

Nonetheless the event had some pleasant surprises to it but it needs to look broader and into the horizons of the edge in innovation and creativity.  What is creative packaging? What is luxury?  

Sanderson Hotel, London

I attended an entrepreneur networking night hosted by Founders Card in London.  It was held at the Sanderson Hotel and while the event venue gleaned not much comment from I, the hotel’s artisanal and curious choice of various sitting ‘devices’ - chairs, lounges, even the deprivation chamber (top, Birdskull 1996 by Atelier Van Lieshout in Rotterdam).