A method for using erosion in the design process

Erosion is a natural process that occurs over a long time which results in intricate landscapes and formations with unique shapes, textures, and colors. The visually interesting appearance together with the knowledge that it is a natural ongoing process driven by the elements, makes it fascinating to us humans. Intrigued by this concept, the objective of my project was to explore the possibility of incorporating the erosion process into a design process, thereby introducing an additional layer of visual interest. To achieve this, I recreated the erosion process using hardened sugar and running water.

The aim was to mimic different types of bedrock to recreate the same features found in real-life formations. This was made by modifying the sugar pieces with heat and embedding other materials. Sugar also dissolves fast in water, making it a suitable replacement for bedrock. To control the water flow I built an adjustable tripod construction. The result is ten organic-looking sugar pieces showing how it is possible to recreate the erosion process while still controlling the main features. Finally, the result from my replicated erosion process was applied to a d├ęcor lamp, designed to enhance the organic shape with straight hard surfaces and a semi-translucent material for the lamp shade itself.

Project info
Sarah Bertelsen