HIGH FOUR on materials: See it with your own eyes

Goggles made of fish scales - by Erik de Laurens
Glasses are basically made for vision correction or eye protection. But there is just much more to it. Glasses are no longer just glasses – and materials and technology play a huge role in this.

Of course glasses satisfy our needs to get a better vision and also protects us from damaging ray of lights – but to a great extend they also satisfy our wants. It is now important for us what we wear, how it looks, what story it tells, what image it gives us, if it is sustainable – and what the item is capable of…

In the following I have worked my way around some examples of glasses of today.

1. From fish to eyewear

The fishing industry generates several circumstances where many tons of fish scales are leftover. Using this waste as resources for the production of his fish-scale-plastic, Royal College of Art graduate Erik De Laurens has made swimming goggles and spectacles simply out of fish scales.

Glasses made of fish scales - by Erik de Laurens

Glasses made of fish scales – by Erik de Laurens

The scales get cleaned, dried and died and after this, processed – this step requires heat and pressure. During that process the fish scales release their own binding agent which when dried makes the material very hard.
de Laurens on the material: “The definition of plastic is quite blur and wide. A plastic is a material which can be molded under pressure and heat. In that sense my fish scale plastic is a plastic since I can mould it. Yet it is not a plastic in the sense that it is not a polymer. But polymer are nowadays made from oil which is the cause for a lot of pollution, the material I invented is made from by-product of the fishing industry which make it highly sustainable, Yet it has the appearance of an early bakelite or marble. Moreover, it is biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable. It has no added compound, no resin no added glue.”

The fish scale glasses ‘the fish feast’ are on display at the Hello Materials exhibition at the Danish Design Centre.

2. Wood just never goes out of fashion

Woodzee - pacific aviator wood sunglassesThere is not much material innovation in these following glasses – it is more or less ‘just’ going back to one of the basic materials on this earth – WOOD. Nevertheless, wearing these pleases our wants and says a lot about who we are. Save the world and look good doing it !

Woodzee Sunglasses
Based in Northern California Woodzee makes handmade sunglasses and adds that personal touch that just can’t be found in your typical factory made sunglasses. As a bonus they plant a tree for every pair of glasses sold.

Woodzee Zebrano Sunglasses

Woodzee Zebrano Sunglasses

With frames constructed from either dark wood, zebra wood, pear wood or bamboo and lenses made of recycled polycarbonate, the Woodzee glasses protects both you eyes and the environment. As Woodzee states: “Get noticed with some wood on your face. Wear them to the beach. Wear them at night. Pick a kind that fit’s your lifestyle, and tell yourself Wood Looks Good!”

PANDA SUNGLASSES - Style, Kennedy Natural

PANDA SUNGLASSES – Style, Kennedy Natural

Wear it like a panda
Tucked away in Georgetown, Washington, PANDA produces a line of luxury eco-friendly sunglasses handcrafted from sustainable bamboo and recycled polycarbonates. For every pair purchased PANDA will provide an eye or medical exam to a person in need and will also donate a pair of prescription glasses.

3. See better to Learn Better

A study showed that the percentage of children currently in need of glasses can be as high as 50% in some states in Mexico, and about 11% are not learning at all, simply because they cannot see. “See Better to Learn Better” is a program working on providing free eyeware for students in the age of 6-18.

See Better To Learn Better - flexible frames

See Better To Learn Better – flexible frames

Sponsored by the Mexican Government and Verbien/Augen Optics and designed by Yves Béhar/fuseproject the glasses come in seven different colors, five shapes and three sizes. The glasses are made out of advanced Gilamid plastic, with its hyper-flexible property, making them practically indestructible – thus they wont easily break into two on the soccer field.

In 2011 the “See Better to Learn Better” program won the INDEX: Award in the BODY Category.

4. 100% street coolness

Holloway EyewearThere is a clear tendency in the want of having one-off objects that makes us unique. More and more the individual wishes to be different and what we wear, buy or surround us with is an easy way to make a statement about who we actually are.
Taking old skateboards and handcrafting them into unique sunglasses with even artwork remnants from the board, Brisbane’s Holloway Eyewear‘s charter is to create while reducing.

Holloway Eyewear 4By doing so they create one-of-a-kind frames with a distinct antique finish.  Imagine all the places your shades might have been before they got to your face. Cool. For more pictures on Holloways Skateboard Glasses, don’t miss this beautiful photo series.

5. The future is already here – almost!

Technology has gotten to a point where it gives us a possibility to really turn our perception of glasses upside-down – furthermore it turns upside-down on how we see and interact with the world we live in.

Darpa AR contact lenses 2

Darpa AR contact lenses

Contact lenses that help enhance normal vision with megapixel 3D panoramic images can be yours already in 2014, states DARPA and Innovega. What makes Innovega’s iOptik system so clever is that it restructures your eyeballs to be able to focus on things that are close and things that are far away at the same time. When combined with a special set of glasses, it furthermore allows you to focus close and read a heads-up display projected on the glasses. Below Randall Sprague, CTO of Innovega explains how the device works:

Here a bonus movie on how regular contact lenses are made.

Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Source: Wikipedia

Google’s Project Glass
A Day Made of Glass
, showed Corning‘s expanded vision for the future of glass technologies. And referring to the DARPA AR contact lenses where when wearing them it will be possible to read a heads-up displays projected directly on the glass, now Google just unveiled their vision for their “Project Glass” – augmented reality eyewear.

However it is still only a concept and has therefore not at all hit the streets yet. It is presented as the future of augmented reality, wearable computing, and better integration of the Internet and technology in our everyday living. Designed to be as simple as a regular pair of glasses but as helpful as a smart phone, the glass itself has a minimalist design with a microphone and partly-transparent video screen that places information over the view from the users’ right eye. Google just released a concept video on Project Glass, giving us a brief glimpse into what such wearable technology might enable you to do:

One day, when Technology has taken another big step towards a true cyborg world and we’re all using retinal implants with built-in augmented reality tech, Google’s Project Glass will seem odd. But today, it’s the future. Sort of.

Share it at “RIGHT NOW on materials”

Every now and then we will post a ‘HIGH FIVE on materials’. If you got something to share with us – a theme or perhaps some interesting material case storey for another ‘HIGH FIVE’ post – then please do share it.
Find contact information here.

Maria HørmannAbout Maria Hørmann
Maria is editor of Hello Materials Blog and a Project Manager of the Danish Design Centre’s exhitibion team. She follows closely the development within the environmental area, and has a broad, professional knowledge of materials.

> More about Maria Hørmann

Hello Materials exhibitionAbout the Hello Materials exhibition
Experience fascinating examples of present and future materials and gain an insight into what they will mean to society and the individual. Visit the exhibition between the 2nd of April and the 21st of September 2012.

> Visit ddc.dk for more information about the Hello Materials exhibition

13 responses to “HIGH FOUR on materials: See it with your own eyes

  1. wonderful post, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector do not understand this.

    You must proceed your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a huge readers’
    base already!

  2. If you are going for best contents like I do, just pay a visit this site every day as it provides quality
    contents, thanks

  3. At this time I am going to do my breakfast, after
    having my breakfast coming yet again to read other news.

  4. Fortunately, that only lasted for 18 months. Now I could
    simply look at the news move around the account websites, because the
    majority of the -mess is finished. I am not seeking perfection from Yahoo Fund.
    It really is not bad enough that I can skip on the few leftover low-quality
    media sources. Best of all, that you do not
    need to create any funds so long as you proceed residing in that house, as well
    as your Social Protection and benefits won’t be suffering from the cash that you’re acquiring.

  5. My family members always say that I am killing my time here at net,
    however I know I am getting knowledge all the time by reading thes
    nice articles or reviews.

  6. naturally like your web-site however you have to take a look
    at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife
    with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome
    to tell the truth then again I will surely come back

  7. Article writing is also a fun, iif yyou be acquainted with afterward you can write if not it is
    complicated to write.

  8. It’s important to keep our transportation infrastructure
    up to speed. A� Your kids can use it both inside and
    outside your house. Many additional features and accessories
    can be purchased at a later date and fused with your current setup to accommodate a growing child and family.

  9. I am the witch Morgana, black magic witch, I’ve the reward of working with the

  10. Even if you cannot ride a motorcycle you may most likely grasp this twin wheeled electric scooter as it requires very
    little stability or input from the consumer to remain upright.

  11. If possible, keep your eyes closed for the first 2 to 4 hours after your procedure.

  12. D’une part, l’acide chlorogenique contenu dans le cafe vert freine l’absorption des
    sucres dans le tractus gastro-intestinal, ce qui oblige l’organisme a
    aller chercher des reserves de graisse et a bruler cette derniere afin de la transformer en energie.

  13. Solo horn comments resignedly on the concept, and clarinets wind the music down to its restful
    close. To a certain section of classical music fanatics, purchase of this new reissue will probably
    be a foregone action of some urgency.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s