Zinginarri rubescens is a new hybrid species designed to ignite regenerative transformation.
A zero-phase amulet from which a new way of thinking emerges.


A cuboctahedron is an Archimedean solid with eight triangular faces and six square faces.


Uno de los amuletos más usados por las mujeres en el pueblo vasco es el llamado zingiñari. Es un vidrio rojizo, de forma poliédrica, cuyas facetas son cuadradas. Le atraviesa por el centro un orificio destinado para la cuerda. Por medio de ésta se cuelga del cuello.

José Miguel de Barandiarán, Algunos amuletos del pueblo vasco, 1927.

The Amulet of Archimedes

An amulet is an object believed to confer protection against evil, danger, or disease. The word "amulet" comes from the Latin word amuletum, which Pliny's Natural History describes as "an object that protects a person from trouble". One of the most common amulets used by women in the Basque Country is the Zinginarri.


Carlina acaulis - Eguzkilore.
In Basque culture it was traditionally used as symbol of good fortune.

Zinginarri rubescens

Inspired by this enigmatic amulet, SUGAAR STUDIO has created Zinginarri rubescens, a new hybrid species designed to ignite regenerative transformation. An amulet that comes from the shell of an imaginary species of snail that inhabits virtual immersive environments. This snail does not have a spiral shell, but a geometric exoskeleton in the shape of a cuboctahedron.


Ragazzo mio, io sono una Lumaca, e le Lumache non hanno mai fretta.

Carlo Collodi, Le avventure di Pinocchio. Storia di un burattino, 1883.

The Snail's Cuboctahedron

Carlos Alonso Pascual, creative explorer at SUGAAR STUDIO, tells us about the genesis and evolution of this unique amulet.

How did the idea of designing an amulet come about?

Amulets were most probably the first symbolic objects designed by our hominid ancestors. In an uncertain and daunting environment, having an object that could offer some kind of protection against threats made us increasingly curious, more courageous and also more innovative. Designing an artefact that can drive creativity today is a fascinating challenge for any designer. During a creative research on amulets in the Basque Country, we came across an exclusively feminine object that fascinated us from the very first moment, the Zinginarri, and we soon started to transform it into a new symbolic object.

Zinginarri rubescens
Zinginarri rubescens
What is a Zinginarri?

The word Zinginarri can be translated as "blood stone". The renowned anthropologist José Miguel de Barandiarán, who was my professor at the Universidad de Navarra, describes it as «a reddish glass, polyhedral in shape, with square facets».

A polyhedron with square faces? Barandiarán seems to be talking about a regular hexahedron, a cube, right?

I don't think so. Barandiarán was extremely careful in his descriptions. His publications still form the backbone of our understanding of traditional Basque culture. If the Zinginarri had been cube-shaped, I don't think the professor would have wasted his time with circumlocutions. We think that Barandiarán was drawing a much more complex and enigmatic polyhedron, known as cuboctahedron.

Zinginarri rubescens
Zinginarri rubescens
A cuboctahedron is an Archimedean solid, isn't it?

Yes, indeed. Unlike the regular hexahedron or the octahedron, which are Platonic solids, the cuboctahedron is an Archimedean solid, since it was this Greek philosopher and mathematician who was the first to study this strange polyhedron. The cuboctahedron has, like the cube, six square faces, but in addition, like the octahedron, it has eight faces that are equilateral triangles: 14 faces in total. Its main characteristic is that the distance from the central point of the figure to any of its vertices is equal to the length of each edge. This enigmatic polyhedron has fascinated many designers and architects of extraordinary relevance. Richard Buckminster Fuller called it Vector Equilibrium, as it is the only geometric form wherein all of the vectors are of equal length.

Zinginarri rubescens
A polyhedron that is the shell of a snail... Sounds pretty cool.

Snails have been part of the human diet for millennia and their shells have been used as body ornaments by many human groups. To drive the regenerative transformation of our planet we must understand that it is necessary to design for all species. That is why we have created a geometric amulet that has a biological origin, it is the exoskeleton of an imaginary species of snail, the Zinginarri rubescens.

You said that this amulet was used mainly by women.

Yes, the Zinginarri is an exclusively female amulet, linked to fertility and given by Mari, the Goddess who represents mother earth in Basque mythology. Most probably, the first amulets were natural objects found. The best known Basque amulet, the Eguzkilore, is the flower of the Carlina acaulis, a species of wild thistle that grows in the surrounding mountains. Our ancestors distinguished this flower as a solar symbol and gave it meaning and purpose: to ward off evil spirits and protect the home.

Zinginarri rubescens

Zinginarri rubescens is a new symbolic tool that can help us rethink the way we design and build our environment to improve the resilience of communities, restore planetary health and regenerate ecological systems.

Vector Equilibrium

If you want to change how someone thinks, give up; you cannot change how another thinks. Give them a tool, the use of which will lead them to think differently.

Richard Buckminster Fuller, as quoted in Ehrenfeld, John, Sustainability by Design, 2008.
Vector Flexor

The Vector Flexor of Bucky Fuller

Richard Buckminster Fuller was an American architect, systems theorist, writer, designer, inventor, and futurist. Fuller developed numerous designs, and popularized the widely known geodesic dome. His designs aimed to explore the order, harmony and proportion of the universe both on micro and macro level. Vector Flexor, also known as Jitterbug, is one of his ingenious designs.

Bucky’s Vector Flexor is an educational geometric toy in the shape of a cuboctahedron. The push on the shape collapses its vectors to form an icosahedron, octahedron, or a tetrahedron. This surprising tool represents the ultimate and perfect condition wherein the movement of energy comes to a state of absolute equilibrium. As Fuller states, because of this it is the zero-phase from which all other forms emerge, as well as all dynamic energy events.

Zinginarri rubescens

#design #hybridreality #sensemaking #biophilia #inspiredbynature #bioinspiration #regenerativedesign #liminality #liminalspaces #liminalobjects #amulet #BasqueCountry #metaverse #NFT #NFTproject

Get In Touch.

Are you looking for new possibilities? Share your vision with us. We want to meet you!

Error boy
Your message was sent, thank you!