About Material Potencyby Nurit Koniak | 25.09.15
Today’s consumerism isn’t just about seeking integrity and truth, it’s about seeking the ultimate potency – a certain kind of richness and depth of the materials that surround us.
The more the product’s material is untreated, needless to say – engineered, the more likely it is to be sought after in the market. But lately it seems that people are seeking to awaken their senses, so much so – that they are inclined to choose potent scents and tastes to quench this thirst.
Although the change is felt in many fields, it is most noticeable in cosmetics. After years of mild scents, heavily diluted in water – today’s shoppers are looking for a strong & potent content. Make way Eau de Toilette(!), Parfum is making a comeback – stronger, sharper & closer to its sources. Popular scents are Oud, Vetiver, Cedar and Tonka – all carrying a certain earthy quality, reminiscent of raw earth. Deep Sweeter tones are replacing the airy minty aroma, which was popular almost a decade ago.
All of these indicate the search for a sense of gravity, a distinct choice of commodities that don’t apologize for their high-resolution presence. In the consumer’s mind, material potency is a valuable asset that is associated not only with the active ingredient found in the product, but also with a reduced visual identity. When a product is so potent, why over design ? simple colors and lines will do.
An extension of this philosophy has found its path to the packaging business recognized as merely functional, certainly not decorative. Materials such as terra cota, concrete, ply wood and craft paper are at their prime – often mixed with subtle hints of luxury, such as embellishments of silver and gold foil.
It seems like essentialism is the spiritual father of the search for potency, laying out a simple truth – that if you leave the materials untreated, they will speak their own language. let’s try to listen to them.
Photography : Nurit Koniak