Rivista: Sustainability – MDPI – 10,2
Autori: Beatrice Lerma, Doriana Dal Palù, Claudia De Giorgi, Marco Actis Grande
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.