Parametric Dreams is a new space we've opened specifically for early entrepreneurs and students to share their stories and projects involving Parametric Design. Every world-renowned designer was once a student and we believe every student dream deserves to be heard!
For our first episode we interviewed Annapaola Vacanti. She's a student from Italy who needed a platform to present her latest idea: Parametric Eyewear.
- Hi Annapaolla! Thank you for agreeing to this interview. How old are you and what's your background?
Hello! Thank you for having me here! I'm 25 years old and I have a Bachelor's Degree in Design at the University of Genoa, Italy. I'm currently concluding my Master in Product and Event Design and this configurator (embedded down below) is actually part of my final Thesis.
- Who inspired you to study Design?
In my family tree no one was really working in the field of design or architecture, but I remember that my mom had a really creative personality, which probably influenced me in wanting to express my own creativity through my work.
When I had to choose a course of studies though, I was very confused and even started Law School for a year! But I soon realized it wasn't the career I wanted for me and decided to follow my instincts and go for Design. I haven't regretted a moment ever since.
- Tell us about these frames. What need or problem do you try to address with them?
I used to need eyeglasses while I was growing up and I always felt ugly and uncomfortable while wearing them. My idea here is to give users a tool to create their own eyewear and feel good about it!
Mass customization is the future of design, there's no doubt about it, but the Eyewear Industry is mostly still based in old paradigms and ways of thinking. Frames are objects that are tightly connected to a person's identity and I think that choosing and wearing them should be more fun!
- When did you come up with this idea? How long have you been working on it?
Last year I spent a semester in Finland with the Erasmus+ Program and by chance I took a class where we had to design and manufacture a pair of acetate frames. When I went back home I was really fascinated by eyewear design and decided that it would be the topic of my Master Thesis. After that I developed the idea of a modular frame and was introduced to Grasshopper by one of my University mentors.
- Could you briefly explain how you created this Grasshopper model?
Sure! Creating a fully working model that could be shared with every type of user was quite challenging and I really have to thank my mentor Andrea Quartara for helping me through this whole process.
We worked on just half of the frame, and then we went and mirrored the other side. The model is built around the center of one lens, using three arches of 120 degrees. On one of these we built the bridge, the two others are the custom components.
The custom curves are imported and internalized into curve components and then we created a definition to be able to scale them with the object. The frame is basically made of simple extrusions to which details are added later, such as the nose pads, the lens bevel and the joints.