Strukt Design is Joana Aloise, an Italian-Brazilian product designer based in Glasgow. She creates innovative, lightweight, 3D-printed nylon rings and bracelets.

During her degree in industrial and product design in Brazil, Joana embarked on a year-long exchange program at Caledonian University in Glasgow. There, she was introduced to 3D printing technology and became instantly hooked “I was fascinated by the fact that I could make any imaginable form with those machines, so precisely and without any human error” she says. 

After graduating in 2016, Joana moved from Brazil to Glasgow, and founded Strukt Design (Strukt is a stylised abbreviation of the word “structure”), combining her passion for product design, new technologies and jewellery. 

Joana’s mother is an architect, and her father an engineer; and her childhood was spent drawing and creating. She was interested in jewellery from an early age and recalls how it felt upon making her first “proper” piece of jewellery – a ring – following a silversmithing course;  “it felt great to hold something I had made in my hands” she says.

She cites neo-futuristic architecture as an inspiration, an idealistic design movement focused on bettering the future through technology and alternative energy sources; using innovative, sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials, as exemplified by architect Zaha Hadid.

The 3D printing process and its infinite possibilities motivate and excite Joana. It enables forms and shapes that would be impossible to achieve with traditional manufacturing methods to be achieved; designs can be modified easily (difficult by hand) and repeatedly; zero waste is produced; a wide range of materials can be used, from plastic to metal; and many biodegradable materials usable by the method are in development. 

Joana sketches her ideas on paper and then models them with Rhino and Solidworks software. She creates several prototypes and models (using a simple machine that prints in PLA); and tests their ergonomics, weight, flow and movement. “I have a great deal of freedom to create a concept and experiment with the technology”. Final products are outsourced for printing, using a selective laser sintering machine which produces the parts from nylon powder. Each piece is printed in whole.

Her go-to material is nylon for its accessibility and robust nature; but she also enjoys working with metals, rose gold in particular.

Joana is currently exhibiting her work at various design fairs and exhibitions across Europe – indeed Arlette Gold came across her work this summer at the New Designers Exhibition in London, a design event which brings together 3,000 of the most promising graduate talents from the UK’s leading design courses – the next generation of designers.

Joana’s work is fresh thinking, innovative and creative. Her pieces feel so light you almost forget you are wearing them, but they’re anything but fragile; nylon is a strong material, perfect for busy day-to-day life!

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