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Contemporary ceramic conversation pieces for dinner table


Contemporary ceramic conversation pieces for dinner table

02/05/ — 31/10/2022

Ineke Hans — Professor Design & Social Context
Maciej Chmara — Assistant

Social Design
Critical Thinking
Design of Porcelain & Ceramics


Design & Social Context UdK Berlin 
Project Excursion Report 
Student Project Details
More Exhibition Views at Kunstgewerbemuseum 



300 years ago ceramic figurines were on the tables of kings and queens as conversation pieces for topics that people understood and could ‘read’ at the time. Manufacturers were often connected to the courts and developed their own themes and specialties. For example, August the Strong of Dresden, who is considered the inventor of porcelain in Europe, also had technically groundbreaking giant animals made of porcelain.

Nowadays our topics and discussions are different. Figurines also made their way to the houses of ordinary people as charming decoration, but their meaning has faded.

How to attract a Fridays for Future generation and discount focussed society to ceramic figurines in the 21st century?

In the summer semeser of 2022 Product Design Students of the UdK Berlin explored the many faces of ceramic: 3D printing of clay, casting, or sculpting and historical, cultural, social aspects in design, such as:

• Functionality of objects

• Craft versus machine

• High & Low culture (kitsch)

• History & storytelling

• Meaning & Zeitgeist