Diamonds in Space


Diamonds in Space

Eleni Papantoniou

Humans have been fascinated by diamonds since ancient times, yet very few have access to them due to their rarity and, therefore, price. Although diamonds on earth are rare, it is proven that there is an infinite number of extra-terrestrial ones out in the universe. Given the hypothesis that in the future diamonds will be sourced from outer space in larger dimensions and quantities, this research project investigates how they could be translated into spatial ornaments accessible to everyone.



Since ancient times humans have admired stone. Our relationship with it is so ancient and intimate that we have named the beginning of human history Stone Age. The diamond as a mineral has equally been celebrated and desired, as the purest form of stone that comes from the great depths of the earth. Because of its hardness, the diamond is considered to exist forever and it therefore symbolises eternity.

Since the rise of modernism, architects like Adolf Loos condemned the use of ornamentation on structural elements, encouraging designers to eliminate details from columns, stairs and doors in search of purity in form. However, history has proven that the dichotomy between passing charms and pure forms is more complex. Interior design and decoration are more than sartorial additions that cover an engineered structure.



Thinking about the wider context of interiority, materiality is always a key aspect that impacts our spatial experience significantly. A combination of natural and man-made materials is what we usually witness on our day-to-day reality in different proportions, textures and colours. Diamond is a natural material which also happens to be the hardest one on earth. The more I tried to imagine it in a spatial context the more I started questioning which materials it would be combined well with.



Through a series of speculative experiments with exaggerated collages and model-making this study attempts to link the diamond’s materiality with theories on interiority, object and kitsch. In combination with observations on its interaction with light, the experiments set an aesthetical context which explores the stone’s impact on human psyche. This collection of data is eventually represented as a series of illustrated spatial explorations using archetypical forms and basic geometries, paradoxical and unexpected, yet familiar and appealing.



Through a narrative design approach, this proposal challenges the current notions on the dichotomy between decorations and structures in interior design, and expands on the versatility of the diamond as a material beyond its man-made interpretation. By using their eyes and imagination, the viewers are invited to immerse in abstract spaces of beauty and spirituality, scintillation and continuity, eternity and wonder, to connect with their inner selves and celebrate the most desired stone on earth.

The outcome is a comment on history as we know it and an opportunity to imagine a potential alternative reality if diamonds were more present on earth. Would the diamond’s abundance have informed their designer’s creative decision-making? The objects can be described as an exaggerated version of themselves, perhaps on the verge of kitsch – but who is to tell? If we take as a given that beauty is subjective, my eyes only see objects-ornaments of pure aesthetical value.




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