The Swarovski Conscious Design Hub is the product of the brand's inaugural Conscious Design programme delivered in collaboration with Jewellery, Textiles and Materials programme at Central Saint Martins. It is intended to be a lasting, free resource for designers from across a range of disciplines and to champion the transformational power of education and collaboration.
Documenting the creative outcomes of the partnership, the Hub serves as an online platform which offers insight into sustainable design through case studies, lectures and other resources.
What is conscious design?
Conscious design means adopting principles that directly respond to issues relating to social and environmental sustainability. It means inspiring future generations of talented creatives and business leaders to transform those principles into practice.
Swarovski works with established and emerging designers and academic institutions to catalyse change, challenging them to reconsider waste as a resource whilst raising awareness on the importance of sustainability. Through their reignited crustal program the company donates unused crystals to schools and designers across the world allowing them another chance to be adored, not letting a precious resource go to waste.
For many years Swarovski has donated reignited crystals to Central Saint Martins for use in student projects to support the next generation of creatives and designers in engaging in sustainable practice. Having previously partnered with BA Jewellery, in 2019 Swarovski extended its partnership to include the entire Jewellery, Textiles and Materials Programme at Central Saint Martins.
In 2022 Swarovski invited BA Jewellery students to collaborate on a project that explored the creative potential of their reignited crystal to communicate new ideas, make statements and explore opportunities. Using the Swarovski Sustainability Report as a focus, students were challenged to design statement jewellery inspired by social and environmental challenges.
Five winners were selected who excelled in the categories of: best innovation, best statement, best concept, best design and overall winner.
Saravich Sungtrakankul created a bracelet influenced by traditional Japanese packaging. He explored solutions around packaging waste, a prominent issue in the jewellery industry, and used wood off-cuts, silk cord, copper and Swarovski reignited crystals to design a piece of statement jewellery that has both a natural packaging function and, once unrolled, becomes a bracelet.
Imane Boutgueray's creation puts a spotlight on lung disease affecting mining workers through dust inhalation in the wider jewellery supply chain (a challenge that exists beyond Swarovski's production of man-made crystals). The piece resembles a large pair of lungs, one side representing a healthy lung and the other, created using 50 jet black crystals, representing a diseased lung.
Zoe Zhang's creation is a nod to the blurred lines and precarious balancing of freedom of speech. Made of recycled silver and Swarovski reignited crystals, her ring depicts a bird carefully balancing on its beak. Zoe calls it an obedient bird - "if it is your jewellery, it remains in its beauty. Allow it to fall, if it is your liberation'.
Hana Mulaku's research was based on the ocean and how important reefs help heal the sea. Her work is a celebration of the oyster's function in the eco-0system and its beauty. Hana created earrings made of oyster shell waste taken from restaurants; the jewellery item is modular and can be worn as a whole piece of only the stud, allowing choice and encouraging sustainability.
Nina Srdanovic was inspired by the key themes in Swarovski's Sustainability Report of 'supply chain', 'closed production loop' and 'circular models'. Referencing these terms, Nina used a chainmail structure made from ring loops which held together circular clay balls embedded in Swarovski reignited crystals. The colours of the balls are of the 5 UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals which Swarovski are contributing to.
The conscious design toolkit
Find out more about conscious design and how you can use it.
- Conscious design reading list [pdf 60kb] compiled by academics from Jewellery, Textiles and Materials
- Read our Jewellery, Textiles and Materials Programme Manifesto [pdf 30kb]
A series of lectures were delivered to our students by key academics and designers - you can view these below:
- Caitlin Hinshelwood, Joint Course Leader BA Textile Design
- Giles Last, Course Leader BA Jewellery Design
- Kieren Jones, Course Leader, MA Material Futures
- Katie-May Boyd (MA Material Futures graduate, Central Saint Martins)
- Panel Discussion
Dax Lovegrove (Global Vice President Corporate Sustainability & Social Responsibility, Swarovski)
Wilson Oryema (artist and poet)
Dr Greg Vallerio MBE (agrarian, artisan and mining activist)
Katie-May Boyd (MA Material Futures graduate)