Kintsugi, literally "golden joinery", is an ancient Japanese practice that consists in carefully fixing broken objects, in particular pottery, using gold, silver or lacquer dusted with powdered gold to mend fragments enhancing, in this way, the fractures and cracks that form when the object breaks. Each repaired piece becomes unique and unrepeatable, almost an art piece with a new story to tell.
This ancient Japanese art suggests an important symbolic lesson: the value of breakages, respect for what is damaged and imperfect and the importance of enhancing wounds and fragility, which can be turned into strengths.
It is this ancient practice that inspired Chiara Riccò, a new graduate of IED, European Institute of Design in Turin, for the realization of a cochlear implant for the deaf who is able to combine medical performance with aesthetic characteristics that make it a real jewel, a modern, young accessory to show.
Chiara has chosen to use Mazzucchelli cellulose acetate for this important project which, due to its technical characteristics, its lightness and its hypoallergenic properties, has proved to be the most suitable material to make this appliance. An implant with an almost futuristic design whose elongated shape perfectly adapts to the ear, remembering the appearance of a precious earring.
In this way Chiara managed to turn a medical instrument into a real fashion accessory, allowing to overcome those social and psychological barriers that, even today, push people to hide fragility and, very often, even disability. The goal of his project was precisely to clear the embarrassment that too often accompanies the use of a prosthesis, making it a colorful, fun and modern design object that can be exhibited like a jewel.
In this way, just like kintsugi, a new perfection is born from a fragility, a unique beauty with a new story to tell, a renewed strength and not a lack to hide, a scar to show proudly because it makes us what that we are.
The contribution of those who courageously explore new areas becomes essential because it is thanks to it that new beauty parameters are rediscovered, a reality where medical aids that have been until recently hidden are exhibited today with pride. A clear example of this are glasses that today are no longer considered only a corrective tool for sight but have become a real fashion accessory and, like Chiara Riccò's device, remind us that "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.