Sugar wonders

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Master’s Programme in Contemporary Design
This work has sugar at its core. Sugar is nowadays an omnipresent substance in processed food due to its taste enhancing qualities. We can find sugar in food items that we would not consider sugary; for instance, soups, bread, and packed nuts among many others. Excessive consumption of added sugar may lead to many health and well-being problems. The most known condition associated with sugar consumption is diabetes, the ninth leading cause of death in the world. When at a young age, the author was diagnosed with diabetes, so minding sugar consumption became an essential aspect of his life. Initially, this was a personal concern, which afterwards, served as a motivation for his artistic persona. This MA thesis is a gathering of personal considerations that are reasoned on empirical experiences and facts. It concerns social awareness in the context of sugar consumption and diabetes. In order to convey these considerations, a series of objects which have sugar as their main medium, were produced. The conception of these objects was enhanced by a combination of theoretical research and material exploration. The theoretical research assembled notions from the fields of social psychology (with a focus on empathy) and speculative design. The material exploration consisted of exploring sugar as a building material by applying it to conventional craft methods and digitalized manufacturing methods. Through the lens of material development, these material explorations confirmed the potential of sugar as a building material. From a narrative perspective, what better medium than sugar itself, to expand on the problem of its consumption and to bring awareness about diabetes. Furthermore, SUGAR WONDERS allowed the author to find new branch topics, such as Diabetia, the country, which expands on the idea of a country made of diabetics and the notion of belonging for a person with a condition.
Lohmann, Julia
Thesis advisor
Best, Andrew
Van Der Lei, Anna-Marie
diabetes, empathy, social awareness, sugar, speculative design, material exploration
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