A vision of a world built with integrity.
#38 VALUABLE TO ME - exploring value by repurposing meaning with Aniela Fidler, Ariana Chede and Clemence Grouin-Rigaux
Making diamonds from mum’s cake, recycling precious metal to forge new memories and turning discarded abattoir waste into something beautiful useful. Meet three contemporary designers who are exploring the concept of value by repurposing meaning.
What object do you value most?
Is it something that evokes a deep-rooted joyful memory?
Is it some we decide for ourselves, or are we led by narratives developed to sell a certain vision of luxury encapsulated?
What if you could form a diamond from anything and create a truly meaningful gift?
What if you could find ‘Hidden Beauty’ in discarded waste and lessen environmental impact at the same time, why wouldn’t you sit on a chair made from blood?
These are the questions and more we discuss as we explore our relationship with value and meaning together with Aniela Fidler, Ariana Chede and Clemence Grouin-Rigaux.
About our guests
Aniela Fidler is a London College of Fashion, MA Fashion Futures Graduate who was one of the four graduates who took part in the Radical Sustainabilities event as part of the Class of 2020 Graduate Showcase. Aniela’s work is concerned with fashion as an expression of emotion.
Aniela researches what humans wear to express collective and individual identities, as well as communicate and relate to each other. This is to better understand and map possibilities for more satisfactory futures. She investigates how environments, people, feelings, materials and products come together through storytelling by developing ideas gathered from multiple voices and uniting narratives. By employing an art and design aesthetic Aniela encourages us to reduce the fear of complexity and embrace its beauty.
Through her project Diamond Makers Aniela explores radical new future scenarios for fashion where, meaning, luxury and narratives take new forms. After spending more than a year finding out what people value the most, which objects are dear to them and why. Aniela has identified 100 things that her interviewees care about and would consider turning into a diamond. Which answers the intimate question; What diamond source would align with your values?
'Diamond Makers' is a hybrid between a lab and a tailor-made retail experience, creating custom diamonds composed of unexpected items which hold emotional significance for the customer.
Diamond Makers explores this area by exploiting the possibilities of already existing science, to fabricate lab-grown diamonds using a wide selection of surprising sources. Lab-grown diamonds grow under high temperature and pressure. They are formed from carbon which can be isolated from most types of organic ash. But maybe the diamond is in fact inconsequential or at least less significant than the meaning emerging from the source? What would be the value of the diamond made from the signature of the 'Diamonds Queen', Rihanna versus a diamond made from Notre Dame ash or your childhood teddy? What would those diamonds represent?' This focus on origin allows the customer of Diamond Makers to choose the meaning and emotional significance they want their diamond to have. The source is fully customisable and the selection process is designed to trigger personal reflection on values followed by desires.
Adriana Chede is half Brazilian half Lebanese was born in São Paulo and grew up in Brazil. Adriana completed a Product Design degree and courses in photography, fashion and goldsmith, before moving to Europe to study Jewellery Design at Parsons Paris and complete her Masters at the European Institute of Design in Rome.
While developing her own aesthetic, Adriana worked with jewellery design houses in Copenhagen, Milan, Rome and Paris. She moved to London to set up her eponymous fine jewellery brand in 2018.
For Ariana, jewellery has always represented a celebration of life. She discovered her passion for the craft in childhood when her father would give her mother a piece to celebrate the birth of each of their five children and special anniversaries.
Through her modern, delicate collection pieces and her bespoke service, Adriana focuses on sustainability within her work, using recycled materials and responsibly sourced stones. Every piece of jewellery is handmade in her atelier, using natural Brazilian gemstones, diamonds, solid gold from recycled sources and sterling silver. The Sustainability Circle initiative offers customers credit for the price of the metal and discount on their next purchase.
Clemence Grouin-Rigaux is a French-born material designer based in London with an academic background in industrial design and graduated from Central Saint Martins with an MA Material Futures in June 2019.
Clemence aims to change our perception of raw materials, re-engineer their qualities and eventually relocate them into new worlds. As a material designer, she challenges typical craft techniques and exploiting innovative manufacturing processes.
By crafting everyday functional objects from a material of unusual origin, Clemence’s Hidden Beauty project aims to not only practically reduce the mountain of waste we generate every day, but also help to change our perception of it, both as a valuable commodity but also culturally as something that doesn’t need to be discarded.
Every year in the UK approximately 2.6 million cattle, 10 million pigs, 14.5 million sheep and lambs, 80 million fish and 950 million birds are slaughtered for human consumption.
Globally, the combined total of chickens (19 billion), cows (1.5 billion), sheep (1 billion) and pigs (1 billion) living at any one time is three times higher than the number of people, according to The Economist. It’s estimated 1 billion people are involved in the rearing, processing, distribution and sale of livestock, with half of those reliant on livestock for their livelihood. Agriculture as a whole makes up approximately 3% of global GDP, with livestock contributing 40% of that. The livestock economy is particularly important for poor rural populations in low- and middle-income countries.
Animal remains present a constant and significant waste stream. Abattoir waste consists of blood, bone, fat, skin, hair, animal trimmings and urine, all of which can be hugely problematic to the environment by overwhelming natural eco-systems on our land, in our rivers and in our oceans.
Although abattoir waste doesn’t yet have the same appeal as ocean plastic, it’s incredible to think of such huge volumes of potentially valuable materials go to unused. Interestingly, Clemence is vegetarian and has really pushed her own boundaries as well as challenging us to reassess our relationship with consumption and use on a fundamental level. After all, if we eat meat, why not make something beautifully useful from the by-products.