sugar frames experimental food tech by giffin'termeer
original content
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

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