Jewelry engineering

Simplified geometric forms, zigzag lines,  intricate twisted shapes, complex 3D structures. Without doubt architecture has influenced and inspired jewelers and jewelry design transforming their work into “urban landscapes” and miniature technical costructions.

Already in the early 1960s British Modernist jewelry designers, inspired both by natural forms, architecture and abstract art, created new contemporary jewelry experimenting with shape and texture. American born, London based jeweller, Charles De Temple influenced a lot the contemporary jewelry movement during the 1960s and 70s. In his pieces simple clean lines and surface remind brutalist architecture which often unveiled its construction through unfinished surfaces and molds imprints.

The harmonious union of jewelry art and architectural approach is clearly visible in sensuous curves and free-flowing fluidity of jewelry pieces designed by the Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid.  Her signature style is immediately identifiable, her sinuous designs are often coloured bright white with frequent use of glass and aluminum. 

The Korean-born New York-based jewelry artist Jee Hye Kwon demonstrates the power of geometry. Her works are inspired by under construction buildings. “For me,” said the designer, “all the details and elements that go into making a building are beautiful—including the reinforcing rod, ferroconcrete, and “skeletal” wood beams. Working with multiple gauges of gold, silver, and Shakudo wire and sheets in varied tones, I bring this mix of structure and spirituality into my own pieces, creating “see-through spaces.”

Using 3D printing technology and CAD-software, architect Thomas Mrokon (Monomer) creates intricate pieces unthinkable in traditional goldsmithing. 

Strong clean lines and geometric elements, modern architecture such as bridges and stadiums influenced the works of the UK jewelry designer Jennifer Saker.
She explains: “I love how buildings and structures are held together – the Millennium Bridge’s cable anchors are a good example of being able to see this with uninterrupted lines, they are so strong, most people just walk past them to take in the view from the bridge – I think they are just as fascinating as the view of the city.”

Greek born London based jeweler Daphne Krinos is known for her architectural designs. She combines geometric forms, angular shapes with stones and black oxidised silver.

Over the years, she found inspiration in the photography of Bernd and Hilla Becher and has always been attracted by urban structures. “I take many photos of building sites, and these images somehow crop up in many of my pieces. Street art is often a source of inspiration, although this is not directly evident in my work”. (from the interview with the artist by Bonnie Levine for ArtJewelryForum).

Fine engineering and proportions are perfect in these 18kt yellow gold bracelet by Florence born New York based jeweler Paolo Costagli. Its clean geometry is inspired by Italian architectural details as venetians motifs and patterns. Look at the floor of the St. Marcs Basilica of Venice. 

This Hollein ring in platinum with 1ctw color-treated diamonds by Tucson, Arizona based jewelry designer Erik Stewart was named in honor of the contemporary architect Hans Hollein and inspired by his architectural design project of the famous Juwelier Schullin store in Vienna.

The jewelry of self-taught English jewellery designer Sarah Herriot is destinguished by simle forms and balanced design. It seems that she knows about angles and parallels more than anyone else. Each her piece has an individual style with dominant graphic lines and play of light and shadow.

This bespoke gold-plated silver bangle inset with 185ct topaz was created by the artist using CAD. The design is based on the structure of a crane. 

American jeweler Valeria Jo Coulson creates incredible jewelry finding her inspiration in architecture and art history. One bracelet with beautiful stone inlay presents an interpretation of the iconic octagonal roof structure of the Battistero di San Giovanni.  Another one illustrates the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, a major architectural masterpiece ahead of its time, created by Fillippo Brunelleschi who was a trained goldsmith and had never built anything in his life before building the masterpiece that astonishingly still stands today. 


Personally I adore architectural jewellery. I think that it reflects a lot our time, state of mind and way of thinking. This is my first but not last article dedicated to architectural inspirations in jewelry art. So…



3 Responses

  1. Wonderful article. Thank you so very much for sharing your knowledge. I love Sarah Herriot’s work too.

    • Lostinjewels says:

      Isabelle, thank you very much for your feedback! I’m happy you liked it.

    • Eleni says:

      Totally. These are some fancy models. Never thought jewlery engineering can get so deep lol. Always thought it’s simply “melt metal, create form”.

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