Design TO Festival - Window Exhibition Asymmetric




Not identical on both sides of a central line; unsymmetrical; lacking symmetry.

Micheline Roi, Canada
The Minimalist, ring II, 2018
Sterling silver, powder coating

Life—like design—walks a narrow ledge between balance and imbalance, symmetry and asymmetry. What at a single moment may be perceived to be in perfect balance or symmetrical can, with a shift of perspective appear to be asymmetrical.

In The Minimalist, ring II, I use the hemisphere to explore changing perspectives between symmetry and asymmetry. Two hemispheres of different sizes are arranged on the ring so they lay on the finger asymmetrically but with a slight rotation of the ring wearer’s hand, you can draw an imaginary line through the centre of both circles and the ring appears as a symmetrical object. Both symmetry and asymmetry exist simultaneously but dependent on the wearer’s perspective—Micheline Roi


Hoi Yi Lai, Canada
Orbits, earrings 2018
Sterling silver, 117mm X 25mm X 12mm

In this piece, Orbits, I was inspired by the idea of how movement creates asymmetry. Although, orbits are symmetrical in the shape of a circle or an oval, the movement of the stars/planets eliminate the balance and create asymmetry within. Using orbits and stars as the theme, this pair of earrings contains four components: two studs that are asymmetrical with the additional star on one side; and two add-on back pieces that are also asymmetrical. This piece aims to allow the wearer to have a variety of ways to wear the earrings and have a little fun with the idea of mix and match. With all the parts being asymmetric to one another, there are more than ten ways of wearing them. —Hoi Yi Lai


Shafiq Sawari, Afghanistan
Untitled, earrings, 2018
Sterling silver, 56.5mm X 15.6mm X 1.5mm

The word filigree comes from the Latin word for thread or seed. This delicate and intricate technique involves twisting extremely fine strands of a metal—usually gold or silver—to form a pattern. One of the most important characteristics of filigree is the use of sweeping, spiralling designs. Filigree can be use across the whole piece or just to emphasize key features. The reason I chose to make a filigree piece is that it reminds one of my famous collections after graduating from school. —Shafiq Sawari


Gillian E. Batcher, Canada
Moss, necklace, 2018
Sterling silver, opalized root, opalized wood, sapphire, ruby, 45cm X 6.3cm  X .6 cm

The eye is drawn to symmetry and the creation of it around us in the built world. Although we as people tend to favour it—the natural world does not. Petals on a flower do not grow along symmetrical lines and leaves on a tree do not sprout out at even intervals on a defined axis. Nature instead favours balance.

Moss necklace is my interpretation of embracing balance rather than symmetry in my work and life.  Trying to live a life of symmetry that reflects perfection is not sustainable. Subtle shifts are allowing me to reach for an equilibrium I admire in others and with that I achieve a greater sense inner peace.  —Gillian E. Batcher


Zef Radi, Croatia
Amethyst Mismatched Earrings, earrings, 2018
Sterling silver, 18 karat yellow gold, purple amethyst, 37.5mm X 17.8mm  X 4 mm

Nature’s playfulness, asymmetry, and art. This design indicates how nature—and a lot of things in life—are quite similar, but again they slightly differ. Every flower, or being is unique in its beauty. —Zef Radi


Mauricio Franco, Colombia
Catalyst, earrings, 2018
Sterling silver, purple cubic zirconia, 75mm X 26.3mm X 4.7mm

Track I, rings, 2018
Sterling silver, enamel, 24 karat yellow gold dust, ring I: 21.2mm X 5.7mm X 1mm, ring II: 21.2mm X 7mm X 1mm

Track II, earrings, 2018
Sterling silver, enamel and 24 karat yellow gold dust, 17.4mm X 4.4mm X 11mm


Asymmetry can be found all around us, nature is in itself perfectly asymmetrical, and there is nothing in nature that when cut in half will cast a perfect reflection of itself. Take our bodies for example, they might seem symmetrical, but on close inspection, one of our arms is shorter, one of our hands will be slightly bigger, and our heart, the motor of the body, is slightly leaning to one side.

Asymmetry doesn’t have to be obvious to exist, it can also reside in the slightest details, one measurement, one missing piece; but it also can be given, a perfectly round and symmetrical circle and be made asymmetric with a crack, a smudge or a scratch.

These pieces represent a progression of asymmetry in what could have been perfectly symmetrical. First, Catalyst consists of two triangles with similar details and construction, but the configuration of the parts and the placement of a few finishes make the pieces stand apart from each other. The second series, Track I and Track II are an exercise in asymmetrical exploration using the deconstruction and reconstruction of a symmetrical object, thereby developing two asymmetrical parts.  —Mauricio Franco


Jerell Reichert, Canada
O-love / Olive, earrings, 2018
Sterling silver, 42.6mm X 8mm X 3 mm

I studied jewellery design at George Brown College. A strong emphasis was placed on making jewellery that was technically perfect and absolutely symmetrical—quite like urban metal structures.

Our brains interpret what we see.  We are very good at subliminally knowing when there is something off in what we are seeing.  It could be the smallest thing, yet it is identifiable and creates a level of tension or anxiety.  So, in the absence of perfect symmetry, asymmetrical forms are often more pleasing to the eye and brain.

The olive-shaped earrings are part of an O-love / Olive series that are drawn freehand.  The earrings are designed so that the wearer can wear them in multiple ways and combinations.  Also they don’t have to stress if you can’t find a perfectly matched pair. The earrings are designed to emphasize the organic, asymmetrical shapes found in nature and the human body. —Jerell Reichert


Helena Perez Lafaurie, Colombia
Untitled, brooch, 2018
Sterling silver, white cubic zirconia, 57.6mm  X 56mm  X 4.4 mm

Making an asymmetric piece is complicated. Trying to reach design balance on my brooch was the magic in-between, three stones are placed to make the piece equally weighted, offsetting elements create some movement and at the same time add different focus, that made the whole piece cohesive. The way it shines makes me think of a lovely night full of stars. —Helena Perez Lafaurie


Alexis Kostuk, Canada
Coral Growth I, earrings, 2018
Sterling silver, 14 karat rose gold, turquoise, andalusite, 37.2mm X 11.4mm X 7.4mm

Coral Growth II, earrings, 2018
Sterling silver, turquoise, carnelian, 50mm X 28mm X 11mm


Nature’s quiet building blocks serve as a metaphor for creative instinct. I allow my materials to determine the shape and construction of each piece building upon them as I create.

This is similar to the growth of coral polyp colonies. Every colony arranges itself in distinct formations. Patterns and shapes emerge as coral grows—corals growing side by side will have the same patterns, but will grow to form distinct shapes.

Each earring began with a pair of asymmetrical turquoise stones as the substrate for “Coral Growths;” shaping how each is attached and creating similar patterns with noticeable likeness but ultimately forming asymmetrical pairs. —Alexis Kostuk

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