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Article

Could Black Be the New Gold? Design-Driven Challenges in New Sustainable Luxury Materials for Jewelry †

1
Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino, Viale Mattioli 39, 10125 Torino, Italy
2
Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The present article is derived from the conference proceeding “Sustainable luxury: The new black gold. Materials, coatings and processes for sustainable jewels”, presented at The Value of Design Research—11th European Academy of Design Conference (Paris, France, 22–24 April 2015).
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010002
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Materials)
Is there a new material for use in jewelry, matching gold and precious stones, capable of maintaining the same perception of “preciousness” but that is also more sustainable, ethical, and inexpensive? This article deals with a case study within the European EcoDesign Network research project, aimed at investigating how sustainable design can help prestigious companies pinpoint new materials for the creation of jewelry, focusing on new and environmentally friendly opportunities while preserving their market position and target audience. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed. Adopting the exploring design path, a jewelry background analysis pointed out both stereotypes and possible innovations in the jewelry field: an analysis was carried out on the perception of jewels by a panel guided by a cognitive ergonomics specialist, also using the eye-tracking machine to examine participants’ reactions to the jewelry involved in the study, and to establish paradigms of sustainability, preciousness, and innovation. Several meta-project proposals regarding innovations in materials and finishing were hypothesized and tested, following the main guidelines and principles of ecodesign. Lastly, a prototyping phase and some mechanical tests were implemented to verify the hypotheses of innovation. The results allowed the creation of a first set of sustainable jewelry, currently on the market. View Full-Text
Keywords: materials for sustainability; sustainable luxury eco-innovation; ethical jewelry; goldsmith companies; material experience; materials for behavioral change materials for sustainability; sustainable luxury eco-innovation; ethical jewelry; goldsmith companies; material experience; materials for behavioral change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lerma, B.; Dal Palù, D.; Actis Grande, M.; De Giorgi, C. Could Black Be the New Gold? Design-Driven Challenges in New Sustainable Luxury Materials for Jewelry. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010002

AMA Style

Lerma B, Dal Palù D, Actis Grande M, De Giorgi C. Could Black Be the New Gold? Design-Driven Challenges in New Sustainable Luxury Materials for Jewelry. Sustainability. 2018; 10(1):2. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010002

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lerma, Beatrice, Doriana Dal Palù, Marco Actis Grande, and Claudia De Giorgi. 2018. "Could Black Be the New Gold? Design-Driven Challenges in New Sustainable Luxury Materials for Jewelry" Sustainability 10, no. 1: 2. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010002

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