Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Be the first to know all things jewellery here!

Phygital, an Image of Progress

Cover Story for New York City Jewelry Week Paper

Imagine a jewelry piece as a file downloaded to your computer. Suddenly, as a piece, it has infinite possibilities—to share it and to tweak it, dissecting and re-arranging, and then re-render and re-upload it. And while this reality might detract from the notion of its uniqueness, it also allows hundreds of people to be exposed to it for the first time, and perhaps differently every time. We can now, tangibly, experience the realm of the digital. Let’s call it the phygital. Physical + digital. Wear it to an online date.

The old-world ideas of materiality and craft don’t do justice to the rapidly expanding potential of the phygital. It relates to remix culture, where the lines between authorship, ownership, and appropriation get blurry. Iterations of the phygital can exist in the real-world, beyond the screen, but what we’re interested in for this edition of Current Obsession is the 2-D democratization of jewelry— file-sharing never looked so good.


Featuring Bastiaan de Nennie’s interpretations of the work of Oscar Heyman, Lulu Frost, Robert Baines, Verdura and Belperron.

Oscar Heyman. Gold/Plat Cab Ruby Emerald & Dia. Strawberry Brooch
Lulu Frost
Verdura, Pair of Emerald, Gold, Platinum and Diamond "Grape" Earclips

Bastiaan de Nennie (1990, the Netherlands) positions his practice at the intersection of the two ever-more intertwining worlds of the physical and the digital. He departs from a pre-digital reality and the world of things we have, mostly, experienced in their forms, colors, fragrances, and textures. Once they are selected, the objects are 3-D–scanned, the scans are dissected, and the components are used as building blocks for new digital creations. After a multifaceted computer-based creative process, they then reappear as a new blend of “phygital” presences materialized in the form of 3-D–printed sculptures—a new creational process that is the basis for sculptures comprising unfamiliar shapes and colors.


This article was first published in the #6 Current Obsession Paper for New York City Jewelry Week


GEM Z Join the Social Club