Themes & Trends
THE GERMAN PORCELAIN INDUSTRY 1989-2014
In the pat 25 years, the German porcelain industry has explored various new directions in terms of form, colour and lifestyle. Dynamic, creative and innovative ideas have been essential during this phase of industry restructuring. Porcelain manufacturers have stayed true to their traditions, while at the same time creating new luxury goods, inventing functional designs and embracing environmentally friendly production principles.
“Themes & Trends” is a new department that traces the fate of porcelain during the past 25 years in various theme areas representing the main trends: We come in much closer contact with different lifestyles today – whether opulent, purist, classic, functional or modern – also as a result of migration. People from other continents have become part of society; different people meet, exchange ideas and work together. This cultural diversity is a source of inspiration and is reflected in the design of individual products as well as the product lines as such.
Europe also faces other social developments that call for a new way of thinking. Demographic change is one of these. The ageing population places other and additional demands on the product. Integration and inclusion of people with disabilities are challenges that the porcelain industry also accepts with great sensitivity. These present-day issues are of a new, almost urgent nature and ones that demand innovation in utility without neglecting the visual quality.
Conserving and using resources in the best possible way means rediscovering porcelain as a material that is natural, sustainable and absolutely biocompatible while at the same time – by searching for new ways to improve body compositions – adding properties that create an optimized, yet authentic symbiosis of ecology, economy and design.
The last decades have seen dramatic changes in the German porcelain industry, also in terms of the economy. Many long-established firms and well-known brand names have vanished altogether or have been swallowed up by larger companies. This is the result of factors that greatly affect international trade such as foreign competition, product piracy, financial crises and currency fluctuations. The industry responds to these changes not only by using more advanced production processes and intelligent product concepts but also by creating new sales structures and marketing strategies. This is how the German porcelain industry is able to stay competitive both nationally and internationally.