Claustra is the French word for breeze blocks, the patterned concrete blocks covering the sides of buildings or stacked to form walls. Growing up between Kuwait and Lebanon, I often heard my architect father use the word in reference to a common design element of our local urban fabric.

These fascinating blocks are not only aesthetic elements, they’re an important component of Mid-Century Modern design. Breeze blocks provide shade, circulation, protection, and privacy. They can be used to separate and define a space while still retaining a feeling of openness. They are popular in warm-weather climates, where they reduce heat and glare from the sun while allowing the breeze to circulate.

Since I draw much inspiration from architecture in my surroundings, I noticed how abundant the use of Claustra was in my city. I’ve always been fond of this modular architectural phenomenon and wanted to depict it in my jewelry. This collection uses deconstructed elements from a selection of block designs. The pieces follow in the modular stackable system that I began in my previous collection, Tiled.