Smaranda VOICAN about a post-consumerist era dominated by virtual wearable jewellery

Smaranda VOICAN about a post-consumerist era dominated by virtual wearable jewellery

Smaranda VOICAN about a post-consumerist era dominated by virtual wearable jewellery 1920 2560 Dautor

Smaranda Voican

She holds a BA in Jewellery Design from UAL Central Saint Martins and lives and works in London, UK. Smaranda Voican is the AUTOR x CSM Award winner of 2020, with the Aide-memoire collection.

Hi, Smaranda! How are things? Tell us a little bit about your graduation collection, the one that got you the  AUTOR Award〤 CSM in 2020, the one that the Bucharest public will discover it at the AUTOR Fair on the 28th and 29th of May at the Oscar Maugsch Palace.

Hello, AUTOR. Things are well, still living and working in London, where I have been for the past seven years.

My graduate collection was heavily inspired by several of my interests combined, from sustainability to speculative design. Being a part of the Extinction Rebellion Central Saint Martins assembly, my main focus was to develop a body of work that speaks about the implications of design in the context of global warming and climate emergency, focussing on creating a circular economy system that produces as less waste as possible. Using a fully digital approach, I designed a mixed-reality collection with a narrative exploring the progression of glacier-melt. It’s composed of a series of ephemeral sculptural body pieces, 3D printed in a water-soluble, biodegradable material, combined with life-size augmented reality jewellery and complementary Instagram filters.

The aim in creating this narrative was to reflect and respond to the current situation on several levels and to further imagine a potential future role of the physical object, in a speculative, post-consumerist era fully dominated by virtual wearable jewellery. Which frankly, as Black Mirror as it may sound, feels like a future we are slowly heading towards to, considering the rapid growth of technology and the extreme environmental issues we’re facing. I wanted the cloud and water life-size virtual necklaces projected onto a wearer to act as a reminder of our current situation and oblivious approach in protecting our natural environment.

❑ Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you ever bought for yourself? What attracted you to it?

I don’t specifically remember it because I very rarely wear jewellery. The only piece that is always with me and that’s got a big sentimental value is a small golden hoop earring from my grandmother which I’ve been wearing as a ring for many years. Funnily enough, I lost its pair and my sister has only got one from her pair also, so between the two of us we can say we own a pair of earrings from our grandparents, ha!

If we were to compare the Romanian approach toward contemporary jewelry to the English one, in which way do you think these two creative landscapes are different?

They are different mainly in how jewellery is understood. The UK scene is very experimental, allowing jewellery to have all sorts of interdisciplinary twists. Here there is a strong conceptual approach which allows it to blend with sculpture, performance and so on, with art jewellery developed as an art practice of its own. There’s quite a developed market around it as well, from jewellery galleries to fairs, concept stores and private collectors. I haven’t been active on the Romanian scene but from how I perceive it, although it’s got a very strong voice on the European market and a quite impressive number of rising designers, the public’s understanding of contemporary jewellery there is a bit more traditional and design-oriented and the scene is still developing in having galleries specifically dedicated to contemporary jewellery.

Pick a jewelry piece you feel should not be the underdog. Mine is definitely a brooch, I even see these are making a comeback. In Romania at least.

Brooches are definitely making a comeback everywhere and they are such beautiful and delicate pieces, I couldn’t agree more. But I’ll have to say face jewellery (and masks). There’s something about face adornments that evokes elegance, mystery and femininity that I feel the world could benefit more from. At the other end of the spectrum, knuckle duster rings. They are big, bold and stylish as hell!

What inspires you for the future/what’s your main inspiration source?

Life is always the biggest source of inspiration. My mind is always curious and in search of knowledge from all sorts of fields like science, technology, art, history, and so on, which most of the time centres my work around poetic narratives. I like challenges so I almost always find myself working on a project that is close to impossible to produce in theory, which can be good, but also bad. Solving these issues and making these almost impossible ideas come to life fuels my interest and makes me keep pushing the boundaries of whatever I’m doing.


Smaranda Voican / links