Toronto-Based Jewelry Startup Combines Architecture and 3D Printing

The combination of technology, jewelry and architecture has given rise to a new and innovative way to craft accessories. At Joseph Nogucci, founders and brothers, Mario Christian and Luca Daniel Lavorato, have embraced 3D printing to produce a unique line of bracelets.

Inspired by Japanese-American artist and designer Isamu Noguchi, the two year-old company was named Joseph Nogucci to represent a design collective rather than an actual person. Like Noguchi, the startup looks to push the boundaries of design to create “wearable architecture.”

Joseph Nogucci offers a full line of 3D printed jewelry with pieces ranging from $69 to $1,400. Drawing on their architecture and structural engineering backgrounds, Creative Director Heng Tang and the brothers, design each and every piece in their Morfolgi collection at their Toronto office, while manufacturing takes place in the United States.

Mario and Heng, are both graduates of the University of Toronto’s Masters of Architecture (M.Arch) program, and bring accompanying degrees in Art and Biochemistry. Luca on the other hand holds a degree from the University of Waterloo with a concentration in Material Sciences and a certificate in Structural Engineering.  

From designing buildings to bracelets, the trio is using their non-traditional backgrounds to shake up the accessories industry. 3D print technology allows the team to cross-pollinate sketched out design ideas with architectural modeling software and 3D digital manufacturing technology.

“Once we create the design in the modeling software, we move on to prototyping the piece in plastic to test its tolerance,” says Mario Christian Lovorato, founder of Joseph Nogucci. “When that stage is complete, we prototype the jewelry in metal using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS).”

After DMLS, the team decides to either keep the jewelry in the material that it is printed in, or create a cast and manufacture the pieces in sterling silver, which can be later plated in gold, rose gold or rhodium. 

Adamant about retaining complete ownership, the founders are bootstrapping and have no intention of pursuing VC funding. Predominantly focused on e-commerce at the moment, Lovorato and his team are intent on infiltrating retail stores like Macy’s next year.

“Except for small pieces picked up my Neiman Marcus – there is yet to be a full line of 3D jewelry out there – we’d like to be the first ones out the gate, and get it out into the mass market,” adds Lovorato.  “Our goal is to take 3D jewelry above and beyond the small group of designers and architects who are working on it now.”