This project was done in collaboration with Austrian eyewear manufacturer Silhouette. It was about designing a product for an industry that´s in a change, focusing on sustainability. My take on sustainability during this project was about modularity and longevity.
Project: Umeå Institute of Design
Collaboration partner: Silhouette
Time span: 7 weeks
When: spring 2020
of Swedens population from the age 16 and older wear glasses, and a large proportion of these people are also active to varying degrees. The need for glasses is increasing and increasing, and people seem to be buying more pairs of glasses per purchase opportunity than before. Is it necessary to have a pair of glasses when reading, a pair when on the beach and a pair when exercising? From an environmental perspective it is certainly not.
How can I design a pair of glasses that, with their versatility, can replace a variety of glasses, thus reducing the impact on the environment?
The active person who is in need of glasses throughout the day and who on different occasions makes different demands on their glasses in terms of function and aesthetics.
A trend on the eyewear market that Hannes pointed out was that people tend to buy more than one per of glasses per purchase opportunity. Other companies, such as Smarteyes, has a marketing strategy were you get a pair of sunglasses when you buy a pair of regular sunglasses. Having a subscription were you frequently can change your glasses is also a common marketing strategy. Both of these strategies encourage consumption.
“Constantly switching between my regular glasses and my
sunglasses is an issue when going up and down form the darkness of the boat cabin”
“In an alpine environment it is good to have protection from light coming from the sides.”
“When I sit by the computer all day working with headphones,
my ears get really sore due to the temples”
“Before every summer I have to by a numerous amount of
glasses because I know I will lose them to the sea”
“Thanks to clip-ons I only have to use one pair of glasses -
simple as that!”
Glasses are quite a sensitive and delicate product; they sit right in your face and they say a lot about you as a person. Therefore it was very important to get the aesthetics right in this project. Silhouette has a distinct formlanguage and a careful attention to material, color and detail. The brand does currently not have any glasses that can transition from regular vision correction to activity glasses. How can I combine Silhouette´s formlanguage with a variety of functions in a beautiful aesthetic that works in ones face?
Thanks to previous experience in designing glasses I knew how to quickly and effectively iterate different variations with right proportions. I tested the iterations on different faces to see in which direction I would go. Concept 4 was the best combination of a square but rounded aviator inspired frame, that best would handle the transition from being regular vision correction to sun protection and finally an activity enhancement.
With a confidence in where I wanted to go with the functionality and aesthetics of the glasses it was now time to further develop the idea into a tangible concept. A used Rhino 3D thanks to its surface-modeling capabilities. During the modeling process new questions arose, mostly regarding functionality and real-time problem solving. I tackled this by combing 3D modeling with analog sketching for an effective process.
– Working with an international company
– Designing a functional lifestyle product
– Designing with a focus on the environment
The key learning from this project has been to work with an globally renowned company on distance (due to Covid-19), challenging ones skills regarding the design process. It has also been developing to work with eyewear, a sensetive product. Combining usefull functions and a lifestyle focus with an invironmental friendly goal.