ioana lupascu

Wasted Joules are perishable jewellery made from humble materials. This anti-collection's value is derived not from durability but from the pleasure of making, wearing and returning these festive pieces to the earth. An effective misuse of excess energy.

Our society's dependence on high energy consumption and economic growth demands that any excess energy is reinvested into monetised economic projects. Since endless growth is not an option on a finite planet, excess energy should instead be expended on projects that focus on social and cultural enrichment.

Drawn to the tactile and ephemeral nature of materials I looked for opportunities to further develop my curiosity in this arena. In June I was selected as one of twenty designers to participate in the MaDe* (Material Designers) workshop in Barcelona where I explored the concept of social objects made from biodegradable materials.

During the workshop I chose to work with a limited number of elements, a low energy process and an intuitive way of making. I settled on using dough made from water, salt, flour and crystals from starch, water and salt. To add colour, I used natural dyes such as beetroot powder, turmeric, and paprika; to create texture, I added dry used tea. The process is slow, the pieces often dry in the sun and change shape under their own weight. The results can be delightfully unexpected.

The intention was to create temporary pieces from vulnerable materials. By relieving the pressure of existing in a distant future, the pieces can talk about the now without harming that future. The value in jewellery is often distorted by demanding it is durable in order to safeguard its potential use as capital. This colours the way it is valued, used and enjoyed. Rather than storing value, these jewels biodegrade in compost and loop back into the ecosystem. Their value is in the making process and the conversations they can generate.

The anti-collection will be launched at London Design Fair along with a series of workshops and honest conversations about the role designers should play in the environmental crisis. The pieces will be available for temporary wear, only to be brought back and composted at the end of the day.


Jewellery design and making by Ioana Lupascu.


Photoshoot in collaboration with art director Katie Fotis, photographer, Richard Round Turner and hand model, Noemi Gunea and Farid Fakhre. 

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