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Quartz Era explores the possibility of utilizing quartz crystal as a raw material to propose a systemic solution driven by contemporary production and consumption issues. Quartz, SiO4, is one of the most abundant minerals on our planet. It can be found anywhere on Earth, such as in sand, rock, and glass. Its atoms are arranged in a highly ordered structure, rendering its modular and unique external form. Furthermore, the production of quartz can be generated via recycled quartz pieces, a possibility of sustainability.

Dimension / 7"*1.5"*1"
Designer / Jia-Sheng Chen
Year / 2021

Human Behavior Research

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Modularization is a solution exploited at all levels of the systemic architecture. Such as Operational structure, product structure, mechanical hardware, electronics packaging, microelectronics, software … etc. Design strategy modularity appears timeless: The Pyramids of Egypt, The Aqueducts of Rome, The Great Wall of China

Benefits: Quick Integration, fast and easy reconfiguration for rapid diverse capabilities, ease of maintenance, the performance of the building blocks Intuitive assembly,  emergent capabilities

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The Contradiction of Contemporary Modularity

According to my research, modularity should bring humans a more standard and longevity development, but a well-rounded modular design is not an easy goal to achieve. In human society, the concept of modularity can be found everywhere, but people still cause large amounts of waste even though products are modular. 
By analyzing the elements, I speculate that the interaction between the two disciplines, internal and external, often causes waste without a well-rounded solution to ensure everything we create is sustainable. 


Human individuality

Human Nature can lead to human differences. Even identical twins reared in the same home differ in personality and behavior.

Judith Rich Harris,  2011, No Two Alike

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Nature’s Modularity

Growing material

The approach of nature constructs itself follows a certain pattern of rules, such as weather, temperature, and atmosphere, etc. Through evolution, these approaches of growth have already developed into modular patterns. Trees, fungus, and coral, all follow a particular way to reproduce and grow. If we view these phenomena from a microscopic angle, the way they grow can be considered modular approaches without a doubt.


Nature’s individuality

The external shape of nature's creations reveals its differentiation. Although a certain substance or organism forms by the same factors from nature, their constitute appear unique. Such as quartz's crystalization was constructed by the same structure of silica and oxygen. However, its external shape shows diversity, affected by the environment.

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One of the most abundant minerals on Earth. It has been widely used over thousands of years, and we can see its application across small daily items to mass industrial production.

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Simple Constitution

Quartz is a mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen tetrahedra, rendering it a simpler and cleaner application.


Recyclable and Reusable

The production of synthetic quartz renders it a possibility for sustainability. Based on its commercial production, imagining in the future humans are able to use a cleaner material, instead of plastic.


Natural quartz

Nature quartz forms in either igneous rocks or environments with geothermal waters. Quartz crystal is a solid material whose components are arranged in a highly ordered structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions.


Synthetic quartz

Synthetic quartz is hydrothermally grown under pressure and at medium temperature. Pure silicon dioxide or crushed natural quartz can be used as a starting material.

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  • Can be dyed into different colors

  • a seam line, seed, at the center

  • grow in a particular direction


The growth of quartz requires large amounts of energy. The thickness increases by half a millimeter every day, Inside the cauldron which blocks out impurities. It slowly develops during the course of about half a year.

Growth speed: 0.5 mm/ Day

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What if quartz crystals could merge with our daily lives to create a circular economy?

What will happen if we utilize a relatively simple constitution material, not plastic, but quartz as our daily objects? 


Experiment I

Experiment II

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