The Amber Idea

When speaking with our group, it was clear that we liked the idea of focusing on a new Rome. That being said I really liked the idea of paying homage to old Rome. As tourism is a massive part of the Rome’s income; we can’t just take away a history’s worth of architecture without provide the city a means of making a living. Using something to capture Rome even if each just a fragment of the old city could be really interesting to play in terms of contrast.

At home I have a necklace I got from my trip to Poland a number of years ago, it was a piece of decorative amber. At some point this came into my head and connection were made. The question of how do you capture Rome whilst living in a new one, without taking away Rome’s main export was solved.

So what is Amber? How is it made? Instead of myself explaining I feel like David Attenborough should do it. It is his job!

The Amber Time Machine- Natural World

In my own words; amber is originally a sticky residue found on trees; insects and others organisms would get trapped in the residue then time  passes an amber is formed. Amber has been documented by palaeontologists as evidence of what existed millions of years ago as it keeps insects and organism in their original state. Remembering a conversation from Gianni, the architecture in Rome is constantly being refurbished due to the demand from the Public to see these buildings in their original forms. By embalming in amber it could resolve Rome’s problems of:

  • Having to constantly monitor and repair tourism points
  • Spending money to refurbish tourism points
  • Having an appropriate homage to Ancient Rome

A main concern is how to tie amber to Rome. If it is a centre piece of a part of the city’s structure it should have some connection so the design doesn’t take away from the city’s statistics. Luckily Amber and Rome do have a Connection!

“During the reign of emperor Nero (A.D. 64-86), a young Roman serving as the agent of the merchant Julianus undertook a trading expedition to the Baltic… This route lead northward up the valley of the March, through the Moravian Gates, and into the German plain. From the upper Oder, the trail proceeded towards Kalisz in upper Poland where it reached the lower Vistula and the famous “Amber Coast” of the Baltic.” – Drummond, Steven K, and Lynn H Nelson. The Western Frontiers Of Imperial Rome. Armonk, pg 101, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1994. Print.

“The young Roman trailblazer’s adventures were well publicised however a large amount of amber he brought back helped to focus Roman attention on this and other products of the North.” – Drummond, Steven K, and Lynn H Nelson. The Western Frontiers Of Imperial Rome. Armonk, pg 101, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1994. Print.

“Amber was in the height of fashion in Rome” –Baltic Countries (Estonia Latvia Lithuania) Mineral Industry Handbook Volume 1 Strategic Information And Regulations. 2015:, 2015. Print.

It’s nice to know that ideas and history are coming together. With this information I know it was fashionable and used for Political Agenda and Amber did have a part to play in Rome’s history. i’m gonna try and make a few designs and present them to the group so then it makes more sense!


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