Do you ever wonder how spectacle frames are designed? Students at the Royal College of Art have a chance to take part in an exciting design competition each year, and the winning frames are displayed at the eyewear industry’s trade show, 100% Optical. Read on to meet one of this year’s finalists.
What encouraged you to enter the competition and design your first glasses?
The competition and brief allowed us to experiment with materials and processes new to us. For me, it seemed like a really great way to challenge my practice and learn new skills that could inform my work across fashion womenswear and accessories. I also spend a lot of time interviewing people and the public about their experiences with clothes, so the opportunity to do this in a new context was very exciting.
What were the challenges of designing a pair of specs?
The challenges were predominantly in production. Learning some of the intricate ways in which eyewear can be produced took a lot of time and understanding. I ended up dying and sculpting some of the pieces at home and did break a lot in the process!
What did you enjoy about the process?
Again, having the opportunity to work creatively in a different field was really exciting. And, learning and spending time with the different technical teams at RCA was incredibly valuable.
Would you consider designing more frames in the future?
While learning about frames, their use and construction is daunting, I would love to continue experimenting with eyewear – particularly given its such an important design object and integral part of many people’s everyday.
Want to know more about courses that cover spectacle frame design? You can follow the RCA FAME course on Instagram.