“It’s the first pair of glasses that is one component”

Dezeen and MINI World Tour: designer Ron Arad launched a range of 3D printed eyewear in Milan earlier this month. In this movie he discusses his pioneering 3D printing experiments in 1999 and his views on the technology today.

The glasses feature one-piece frames of printed polyamide with flexible joints instead of hinges. “It’s the first pair of glasses that I know about that is one component,” says Arad. “It’s monolithic.”

"It's the first pair of glasses that is one component"

The frames are the latest concept designed by Arad for new brand pq eyewear, of which he is co-founder. Yet he says the fact that they’re printed is uninteresting: “Who cares?” he says. “What we care about is does it work well? Does [printing] give you freedom to do things you can’t in other techniques? Not the fact that it’s printed.”

Arad was an early pioneer of 3D printing as a way of making finished products rather than prototypes. His 1999 show Not Made by Hand, Not Made in China, which featured lights, jewellery and vases, was several years ahead of other designers’ experiments in with a technology that at the time was called “rapid prototyping”.

"It's the first pair of glasses that is one component"

“There was a lot of excitement in the technology,” says Arad. “It was obvious that it would be embraced by lots of people, and then that technology would be less exciting. You could do more exciting things but the technology would be, and should be, taken for granted.”

Arad compares the one-piece construction of the printed eyewear with the multi-component, hand-assembled A-Frame glasses he recently designed for pq.

"It's the first pair of glasses that is one component"

“If you ask my studio to send you a movie of how say [the A-Frame] glasses are made you’ll see there’s so much manual work around it and so much fiddling,” says Arad, explaining that the glasses require a skilled workforce to assemble. “I don’t want to take the jobs from these people, but [printing] is a different way of doing something.”

Arad helped come up with the pq logo and brand name, which refers to the spectacle-like forms of the letters p and q. “It’s a new brand that we started from the ground up,” Arad explains. “We had to invent a name for a brand of eyewear, we had to do the logo. [It’s called] pq because when you write p and q you draw glasses, and they are palindromic, so you can look at it from [the other side].”

"It's the first pair of glasses that is one component"

The glasses are featured in Print Shift, our one-off, print-on-demand magazine about 3D printing.

The products were launched at luxury eyewear store Punto Ottico in Milan during Milan design week. We travelled to the opening in our MINI Cooper S Paceman. See more Dezeen and MINI World Tour reports from Milan.

The music featured is a track called Where are Your People? by We Have Band, a UK-based electronic act who played at the MINI Paceman Garage in Milan.

The post “It’s the first pair of glasses
that is one component”
appeared first on Dezeen.

Travelteq Pocchiali: Protect your glasses with a reversible silk sleeve that doubles as a pocket square

Travelteq Pocchiali

Just because the weather is warming up spring is no time to let your style start slacking. If you’re suiting up this season ditch the proper pocket square and kill two birds with one stone with the…

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Shwood – The Stone Collection

Après Skateboard Shades, la marque de lunettes Shwood nous propose cette superbe vidéo « The Stone Collection » démontrant toutes les étapes amenant à la construction de la paire incroyable limitée à 200 exemplaires. Une création réalisée par Joe Stevens à découvrir dans la suite.

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Thomas Fuchs Creative: Murano glass creations inspired by the natural world

Thomas Fuchs Creative

by Stephen Pulvirent Back in 2011, after serving as global creative director of Donghia—a brand best known for textiles—designer Thomas Fuchs met Michou Mahtani, then global brand director for Remy Martin Louis XIII. The encounter marked the perfect opportunity to bring to life Fuchs’ love of Murano glass, which was…

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Google Glass

Google a dévoilé aujourd’hui une nouvelle vidéo de présentation de ses lunettes intelligentes. Proposant une multitude de possibilités qui font rêver comme visioconférence, GPS, recherches internet, traduction ou enregistrement vidéo. Ce projet incroyable Google Glass annoncé depuis avril 2012 est à découvrir en vidéo.

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Brooklyn Spectacles: Faux wood etched eyewear offering the durability of acetate with a natural look

Brooklyn Spectacles

In recent years a wave of wooden eyewear has swept through the fashion world, introducing brands like Herrlicht and Drift, as well as the more accessible Shwood. Novel? Yes. But durable? Not necessarily. Addressing that important part of the equation is Brooklyn Spectacles, makers of faux wood acetate frames….

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Damir Doma for Mykita: Horn-rimmed glasses from an international collaboration

Damir Doma for Mykita

Croatian-born, Paris-based designer Damir Doma started the buzz around the DD01, a sunglass model for eyewear manufacturer Mykita, when they starred in the Spring/Summer 2013 runway show earlier this year. Sporting three colorways for men and women, the glasses are a luxe, reportedly indestructible take on the style popularized…

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Shades Noone Else Can Have But You!

Because most of us wear the same pair every day, we often have a deeper attachment to our sunglasses than other fashion accessories. They’re a really a good indicator of someone’s personality! That’s why the customizable Crafty glasses are so great- finally, you can create your own design to express your unique individuality! The material is prepped to take common paint and markers and each side of the lenses are covered with a protective film that can be removed when you’re done! Get ‘em here!

Designer: Del Rey & Co.

CRAFTY DIY SUNGLASSES from del rey & Co. on Vimeo.

Yanko Design
Timeless Designs – Explore wonderful concepts from around the world!
Yanko Design Store – We are about more than just concepts. See what’s hot at the YD Store!
(Shades Noone Else Can Have But You! was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Here are some photos of the latest collection of Sire spectacle frames, which are made of water buffalo horn.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Designed by Zurich studio Aekae and manufactured by Swisshorn, the frames are made by hand from thin laminated layers of horn.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Aekae showed the first six Sire frames on Dezeen back in 2009 and have since expanded the range to 18 frames for sunglasses and correctional lenses, all with the same distinctive gap between the lenses at the nose bridge.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Check out our top ten stories about spectacles and shades here.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Stills are by Sandra Kennel. Portraits are by Nadine Ottawa.

Here are some more details from Aekae:

SIRE – handcrafted natural horn eyewear


A Sire was a Gentleman of rank, a Nobleman of certain esteem. He was a man of authority, a Cavalier, a Knight. It was from the 13th century on that Sire was used as a title to address someone of high regard.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

And as such, a Sire had the ambition to only wear what was of refined quality and unique appearance, whereat he would always find it made by the hands of the best craftsmen.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

At SIRE we aim to pursue those traditions and cater to them with craftsmanship, sharp designs, and fine materials – to be worn by Noblemen and Gentlewomen.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn


Each single piece of SIRE eyewear is handcrafted out of natural horn in collaboration between Aekae and Swisshorn.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

A small manufacturing company in the midlands of Switzerland, Swisshorn has been working with the high-value material for years. It produced numerous prototypes of SIRE spectacles before the first line had been launched.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Designing the eyewear, Aekae builds on the tradition of using natural horn as a working material for premium objects. The spectacles’ open part just above the nose has made for a capturing feature ever since the first pieces.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

By bringing together their respective skills and impressions, Aekae and Swisshorn create something truly noble and unique.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Natural Horn

SIRE spectacles are hand crafted into exquisite eyewear from water buffalo horn. This mighty animal is South-East Asia’s most common livestock and can grow horns up to two meters in length. And once a water buffalo has deceased its horns can be used in creating long lasting products.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Swisshorn hand selects every single piece of horn used in manufacturing SIRE spectacles. Because it is a natural material, each piece of horn differs in color and pattern – and therefore makes each frame unique.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn


Take something rough and turn it into something smooth and elegant. This is what happens in the process of making SIRE eyewear. And it happens in numerous steps, almost entirely by hand.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Initially thin layers of horn are laminated to plates from which the frame of the spectacle is cut out of. In several steps the frame and its earpieces are crafted and polished. After they’ve been brought into perfect shape the separate pieces are put together. With the use of a laser each frame then receives its individual number of reference that is unique to every single SIRE frame.

Sire by Aekae and Swisshorn

Finally, the lenses are inserted. Here the open nose part takes advantage of the material’s natural flexibility. To secure the glass, a special thread is pulled through the opening at the nose.

Google Glasses Project

Google décide de franchir un cap et de passer à l’étape de la réalité augmentée avec cette vidéo d’anticipation du projet Google Glasses. La marque dévoile une présentation des possibilités et les fonctionnalités d’une paire de lunettes permettant de naviguer et communiquer.





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