sugar frames experimental food tech by giffin'termeer sugar frames experimental food tech by giffin'termeer
nov 17, 2011

sugar frames experimental food tech by giffin'termeer

‘sugar frames’ by giffin’termeer, on exhibition during tokyo designers week container exhibition 2011
image © designboom

studio giffin’termeer (jess griffin + jim termeer) has created a ‘sugar frames’ installation, shortlisted in a design competition hosted
by DA japan architects association in association with food guide publishers ZAGAT (and promoted by designboom) for
tokyo designers week container exhibition 2011. it is
an investigation into the growth of products through biological processes and
of the way we grow food. using sugar’s ability to crystallize itself onto a scaffold, the designers actually grow a series of consumer
products, taking the basic form of a camera, watch, bracelet, and eyeglasses.

to create the works, an open plastic structure is placed into a sugar solution, where crystals begin to form around the minimal frames.
over the course of the crystal’s growth, the object is intermittently taken and scanned with a 3D computer to create a digital model,
which can then be used to create products with a 3D printer. each time, the item is then placed back into the sugar mixture to continue
to grow, so that the designers in the end have a series of printable digital models that reflect a range of stages of the object’s creation.
at any of these steps, the products can be finished, painted and scaled to
different sizes to create new distinctive qualities
out this natural
formation process.

the beauty is watching each stage grow into different configurations, from the initial intricate frame to a thick and overgrown size.
the final products exhibited at tokyo designers week are printed plastic frames scanned from the crystallized sugar pieces.


plastic eyeglass frames printed from the scan of a crystallized form in its early stages of growth

image © designboom


initial scaffolding for the camera object

image © designboom


camera, after sugar crystallization

image © designboom


back left: wristband in mid-stages of crystallization; front right: the initial wristband scaffolding frame

image © designboom


final form of wristband

image © designboom


exhibition view

image © designboom


exhibition text, formed from the same plastic frames used as scaffolding for the crystal growth
image © designboom



designers jess griffin + jim termeer
image © designboom


user experience of frames

image © giffin’termeer


process diagram

image © giffin’termeer


possible sugar objects

image © giffin’termeer

  • dutch dutch dutch. it’s just so funny these days how utterly repetitive these designers have become. boring boring boring

    noted says:
  • Another example of designers trying to avoid doing any sort of real work. This is lazy. There is nothing extraordinary about growing crystals and then scanning into the computer. This technology is available for anyone who wants to utilize it.

    An impressive work would be programming the crystal growth from scratch. Creating it through algorithm. There is research…and actual real work.

    Not this sort of thing that is just basically pointless and easy.

    George says:
  • yummy!

    sweet_tooth says:
  • There was a kit for kids, when I was young, that did just that !!! O wow ! We can scan it now !!….so what ! Still looks like a crystal growing kit !

    Jean-Pierre Pérusse says:
  • Sometimes, design is not an end-in-itself. Sometimes, experimentation and rethinking convention is what’s important. Sometimes, just DOING is what’s important. I’m not advocating a completely lawless, ‘everything is great’ approach here. Judgement is a good and productive thing as long as you remember that it’s a subjective one.

    For instance… all of the techniques behind this project existed before (sugar growth, 3D scanning, 3D printing) and yet no one that I know of combined them together in this way before. I personally think it’s kind of interesting, but fine, that’s a personal opinion. What I can say is that there a lot of people who have never seen something like this, to whom these designers brought something new. What I can say is that there might be some artist or designer or even mathematician out there for whom seeing this photo of a sugary camera spurs some revelation that will lead to something really great.

    All right, sorry for the rant, but some of these comments are a bit tedious….

    Richard K. says:
  • There is something utterly gimmicky by the use of 3D scanning!
    Why? What does it bring?
    “Growing” things is great, there are a lot to discover and dream there. And a lot has been done.
    But simply 3d scan it and 3d print it, this is a real weakness in the concept. Is it only to make it manufactur-able? Then do art not design and inspire us with out function. But now this is not functionnal and it pretends to be (3d scan). Forced, not finished

    ++ says:

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