University researcher desgins range of ‘interactive’ jewellery

A recent graduate-turned-researcher at Edinburgh Napier University has designed her own range of ‘interactive jewellery’.

Katharina Vones has produced a range of pendants that alter in colour and appearance in response to certain changes in light, temperature and movement.

The researcher, who has just completed her PhD studies in the use of smart materials for interactive craft, has developed her ‘HyperHive’ series of pendants with a view to producing “playful pieces that will appeal to both children and adults”.

Taking inspiration from microcosmic images of natural items such as shells and moss, the casings for the pendants have been 3D-printed in biodegradable PLA, and are embellished with thermochromic silicone shapes that change colour in relation to temperature.

The range itself – which includes the HyperLight, the HyperTilt and the HyperTouch Pendants – incorporates technology such as light, touch and movement sensors that help the jewellery come “alive when worn”, Vones said.

The three pieces react automatically in different environments – with changes in light, movement and even from hot temperatures to colder temperatures triggering the pendants to morph into a different colour.

Vones said: “I have done work in the past with more traditional materials but I’ve always been fascinated with 3D design and the idea of adding a sense of playfulness to jewellery and the way it can be designed.

“There are three main pieces, each of which react to the body and environment in different ways. Touch, light and movement are all important factors in determining how the pendants will appear – there really is a sense of magic when the pieces being to automatically change.”

She added jewellery and fashion is “often chastised for taking itself a bit too seriously” and she hopes to change that by being “innovative and different”.

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