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The future of eyewear is here, thanks to UC design students

Elly Mackay

14 October 2021: Locally made and hyper-personalised eyewear could be the way of the future under a new University of Canberra design initiative known as ID7.

The project, which is a collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and Design and the Faculty of Health, has seen Bachelor of Design students design the frames for a pair of glasses – and the University of Canberra Optometry Clinic fit the prescription lenses.

Setting the eyewear apart from traditional glasses is the connection between users and designers – consumers are directly involved in the design process for their eyewear.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design Professor Jason Bainbridge said the collaboration was an example of what can be achieved when distinct areas of expertise are brought together.

“The ID7 project shows just how exciting the creative outcomes can be when students from different disciplines work together,” Professor Bainbridge said.

“UC is the home of creativity in Canberra, and this project further showcases that. This is one of the first projects in Australia – if not the world – of its kind.”

The project began during Semester One of this year, with students conceptualising the products before manufacturing them with 3D printers.

The process combines bespoke 3D models based on the wearer’s specific facial dimensions, which eliminates the need for molds or tooling. It enables frame designs to fit the wearer down to the millimetre.

The glasses also utilise a unique hinge design, removing the traditional screws and replacing them with a ball bearing and spring.

“It’s really incredible the way the design students have thought outside of the box and created a totally new eyewear prototype,” Professor Bainbridge said.

“The future of eyewear just may have been created right here at UC!”