In a world were science and engineering is developing faster and faster, new technologies allow to mimick nature and develop materials artificially. Based on the latest researches on high-tech material, I developed a way to create the closest man-made nacre, the material pearls are made of. This new material is not only beautiful, it has also the incredible properties of nacre: a huge toughness while very light. Applied to usual objects, this new process can coat any shape and can harden fragile pieces, as well as protect them. I consider that taking high-tech material and develop them in other contexts is one of the task of the designer of this new century.
The way I got interested in nacre comes from a growing movement: Slow Design. We are currently living in a world where everything tends to be instantaneous: informations, but also production and conception. But when we can get everything as soon as we can, do we still want it? Is there a point were slowness would become a value by itself? The principle of nacre is to be slow and my mimicking process is, thus, slow too. As a consequence, I created a machine as a show in itself. Like an grandfather’s clock or an aquarium, the growth of the coated objects becomes a sort of comodity, a slow process which gain from the fact that it produces precious objects as a show.
Of course, the question of value is here questioned: do artificial pearls have the same value as real pearls? Does value come from the material properties? From availability? From the time it takes to make them? From the oyster? Pearls are not limited in shape anymore. With the help of science, we can now create new shapes and uses.
Director / Camera / Editing : Boris De Visscher
Chief of Photography : Yves Dimant
Music: Robot Koch - Patience
taken from the album songs for trees and cyborgs, released on project mooncircle