Dezeen Magazine

Unsustainable by Greetje van Helmond

RCA summer show: Design Products graduate Greetje van Helmond has created a range of jewellery using sugar crystals, which she "grows" directly onto cord suspended in sugary solution.


Called Unsustainable, the project deals with issues of durability and resource consumption, deliberately using a basic material to create precious, but extremely fragile, objects.


Unsustainable is on show at the Royal College of Art summer show, which continues until 28 June.

Update 27/06/07: we have some new, better photos of this project here.

Below is van Helmond's statement about the project:


Greetje van Helmond
Design Products, Platform 2


In present day life we can say that we consume a lot. Durable materials are often used for the production of goods that are typically replaced or thrown away quickly.

Contrary to this I use everyday, basic materials to create products that appear valuable and sustainable. Because of the materials I use, the products won’t last long, but long enough to stay “new".

In one project, I create jewellery out of sugar. Sugar has the quality of growing into crystals under special circumstances. By controlling the process I allow crystals to grow around strings to form accessories.

In a second project I create a set of accessories from quilted paper. With a lot of time and effort I believe one can make apparently banal and cheap materials into something beautiful.