Kengo Kuma has designed an eyewear collection inspired by his own buildings
In celebration of the imminent Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, the acclaimed Japanese architect has collaborated with eyewear brand Vava in producing a sustainable, 3D-printed collection of frames made from castor beans.
- Ayla Angelos
- 28 June 2021
In celebration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games taking place this year, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has collaborated with eyewear brand Vava in producing a capsule collection of sustainable and 3D-printed frames.
Kuma is widely acclaimed for his contemporary masterpieces built in sync with the natural world – some of his recent works include the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Centre in Tokyo, plus the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum. He was also one of the designers behind the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo, which is one of the main venues in the upcoming Olympic Games. So to hear the news that one of the most significant Japanese figures in architecture has launched a collection of eyewear might come as a surprise to some. Or perhaps not, as we’ve seen various incarnations of eyewear collaborations arise of late, like that of Stefan Sagmeister who designed a collection inspired by Frida Kahlo’s eyebrows.
Currently available in a limited edited of 100 numbered pieces, the collection, named Vava x Kengo Kuma, is sustainable, 3D-printed and inspired by the natural materials and structures found in Kuma’s iconic works. Wood, bamboo, sheet rock, paper, glass and bricks are the sorts of materials often found in his creations, and he’s also become known for working with geographical elements such as air and light. For the release of the eyewear collection, Kuma and Vava have used 3D-printed technology – specifically a high quality polyamide bio-based powder – to create the frames. The powder is named Rilsan® Invent by Arkema, and is a natural polyamide 11 fine powder devised entirely from renewable castor beans. That of which is sourced from a cooperative of certified farmers in the Gujarat region of India.
By working with 3D technology, the frames are able to take on more complex forms and features, all the while using a minimum amount of materials. There are two styles of frame – the CL0013 and CL0015 – and eight available colours for each. The collection is hitting the shops on 16 July, the day before the opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Vava x Kengo Kuma: CL0015 (Copyright © Vava x Kengo Kuma, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.