Rethinking relationships through augmented jewellery
A research through design project that investigates the relationship between dynamic forms of jewellery and the wearer.
Situated within the broader area of wearable technology, this study is part of my master thesis where I explored the role that qualities of dynamic jewellery play in supporting (or not) engaging experiences in the early stages of wearer-object relationships. Inspired by the contemporary jewellery practice, which proactively encourages the use of unexpected materials, I designed four explorative prototypes and given to four participants. A necklace made from tea bags with flour that leaves traces on the wearer’s body and clothing, a bracelet of clay whose material is consciously morphed by the wearer, a bracelet that hosts living organisms, and a bracelet with integrated stamps which can be printed onto the skin.
In order to gain deeper insights relating to material transformations and wearers’ reflections on their experiences, I conducted a self-documentation study and a follow-up workshop.
Analysis of participants’ responses revealed themes such as the degree of control over the interaction, the symbiotic relationship between object – wearer and issues of personal adornment are aspects that can influence the relationship with a particular piece of jewellery. There is the potential for the physically augmented forms to be carriers of emotional information for the wearer. We reveal that the explorative prototypes trigger new experiences drawing on the wearer’s imagination, curiosity and creativity and become objects with an ability to augment a wearers’ perception of themselves and relationship with significant others over time.