Highway Overpass Meets Contemporary Necklace: A New Line of Eyewear Is Born


Contemporary Jewelry:  Sleek, modern, textured, bold, eye-catching, innovative, whimsical.

Road Architecture:  Strong, functional, textured, utilitarian, monochromatic, plain, sometimes ugly.

What do the two have in common?  Look closely.  It’s all about texture.  And  Jacqueline Lung found an incredibly innovative way to bring these two media together.

The Steinar frame is made of steel and real concrete, yet it's light enough to wear.  Photo by Patrick Han.

Lung’s Steinar frame is made of real concrete, yet it’s light enough to wear. Photo by Patrick Han (cargocollective.com/patrickhan).

The Ludwig frame celebrates industrial I-beams as both structure and decor.  Photo by Patrick Han (cargocollective.com/patrickhan).

The Ludwig frame celebrates industrial I-beams as both structure and decor. Photo by Patrick Han.

It all started in Lung’s freshman year at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), when she fell in love with metalworking, particularly fine details, which add texture to smooth metallic surfaces.  Lung initially worked on jewelry and tableware designs.  And then something strange and wonderful happened:  She discovered eyewear as the nexus of jewelry and function – an accessory that serves a necessity and also conveys the personality of the wearer.  Lung explains:

I believe that … eyewear acts as a symbol of a persona … The relationship between eyewear and its wearer is symbiotic. On one hand the wearer desires the personality of the materials embodied in the eyewear, and on the other hand, the personality of the materials calls for activation by the wearer.

For her RISD Degree Project, Lung took a bold step.  She decided to incorporate boring industrial materials — such as steel, concrete and even duct tape — into her eyewear designs to elevate their status and challenge eyeglass wearers to think about these materials in a new way.  In her handmade line of eyewear, Industrial Spectacles, Lung brings out the hidden beauty in these materials.  Says Lung:

Gunta, 2016. Polycabonate, duct tape

“Shiny, ugly duct tape transforms into a soft, velvety, grey textile. Concrete presents itself as delicate graphic elements, rather than as massive spacious structures in which we reside. Parts of screws that are normally hidden below the surface are displayed, remaining functional while destabilizing the expectation of how they could be used. The hidden character of these materials are given agency as they rise to the surface and become accessible in the format of eyewear.”

Each frame in Lung’s new collection bears a name that reflects its featured material.

Archytas playfully showcases screws as a design element. Photo by Patrick Han

Archytas playfully showcases screws as a design element. Photo by Patrick Han

– Archytas: named after Archytas of Tarentum, an ancient Greek mathematician who is often credited as the inventor of screws

– Steinar: a Scandinavian name that combines “stone” and “warrior, referencing concrete and  its origins

– Ludwig: named after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, paying homage to his extensive use of I beams in architecture as both structural and decorative elements

Akira blends steel and  duct tape into sleek shape with velvety texture.  Photo by Patrick Han.

Akira blends steel and duct tape into sleek shape with velvety texture. Photo by Patrick Han.

– Akira: named after Akira Yoshizawa, a Japanese origami master, reflecting the foldable structure created by steel and duct tape in this piece

– Gunta: named after Gunta Stölzl, who was a Bauhaus weaving master, in reference to the duct tape weave structure.

Lung’s Archytas spectacles with mirror sun lenses are available at RISD Works store and  at www.jacquelinelung.com
Dare to see yourself – and these materials – differently!


Archytas, 2016. Steel

OpticMag, June 2016 Jackie Lung

Special feature in “ОПТИЧЕСКИЙ Magazine” (OPTICmag), Moscow, Russia JUNE 2016 Публикация в журнале “ОПТИЧЕСКИЙ Magazine”, июнь 2016

And the Winner Is…

Providence Optical’s Onega with Lucas de Staël showing off his Silmo d’Or trophy

The fashion-conscious French know that accessories are as important as clothing.  They underscore this point each year in October with the annual Silmo d’Or awards – eyewear equivalent of the Oscars – celebrating the latest innovations in optical fashion and function.  For 2012, Lucas de Staël took first prize in the Optical Frame category for his “Once Upon a Time” collection.  De Staël is known for his use of organic materials, such as wood and leather, and his passion for color.  He blends these with a sleek yet edgy style that gets attention with a delicate ease.

De Staël’s winning optical frame

Perhaps that sense of color is genetic.  De Staël’s grandfather, Nicholas de Staël, enjoyed enormous success as a painter during the 1940s and 1950s.  Inspired by masters such as Matisse, Picasso and Rembrandt, Grandpa de Staël became known for his use of primary colors and other vivid hues – a forerunner of what would become the Field of Color movement in art of the 1960s and a theme echoed in his grandson’s eyewear design.

An example of de Staël’s exciting color options

Providence Optical is pleased to offer eyeglass frames from de Staël’s Undostrial collection – the original line that brought him international recognition.  This innovative design does away with hinges and those annoying little screws that keep falling out.  The frame fronts – available in either brushed silver or black — are cut from Swedish surgical steel, which has extraordinary flexibility and shape memory. The temples (or side pieces) are made of a soft eco-friendly plastic that hugs your head without the pressure and discomfort of a rigid plastic.  The temples come in a wide variety of colors from understated tones of black, white and gray to eye-popping shades of red, orange, pink, purple and electric blue.  If you’re really adventurous, you can even opt for subtle polka dots.  Come on in and try them on just for fun.