Philippe Starck biotech eyewear using forged carbon is inspired by nature in more ways than one

There is finally fashionable eyewear that not only lets you see better but also makes you feel better about the environment.

Eyewear, especially eyeglasses, seem to embody complete opposites. They are one of the most utilitarian accessories we put on our bodies, yet they also need to be the most elegant because they’re always on our faces for everyone to see. Many people depend on them in order to even function properly, and yet these glasses are sometimes broken too easily and replaced too often. It seems, however, that famed designer Philippe Starck has found a way to solve this puzzle, and, like many good designs, he only needed to look to nature and the human body for the answers.

Designer: Philippe Starck in collaboration with Luxottica

If there wasn’t yet a study on the material waste created by discarded eyewear frames, there probably should be one. Made from a mix of metal and plastic, these eyeglasses might not be the most sustainable accessories we put on our bodies and faces. True to his vision of democratic design, Mr. Starck has created the BIOTECH PARIS collection that solves two eyewear design problems in one go.

Philippe Starck and Luxottica collaborated on this new STARCK BIOTECH PARIS collection to bring stylish eyewear that’s both more ergonomic and more sustainable as well. The PARIS eyewear collection uses forged carbon, a material renowned for its lightweight yet highly resistant properties and employed in automotive and aeronautic industries. The difference that Starck makes is that the frames use fiber models and bio-based acetate, the latter of which is 67% made from renewable resources. As a bonus, chopped carbon fiber creates a random pattern that adds some character to the minimalist frames.

The material meets the designer’s vision of using science and technology to minimize waste by actually using fewer materials. This design philosophy is perhaps best expressed by Philippe Starck himself. “Technology is one of the greatest symptoms of human intelligence. Even when we use the highest technologies, we are still working as craftsmen. This is my definition of Honesty.”

The eyeglasses also take inspiration from the human shoulder in order to deliver the comfort and flexibility that escapes most eyewear. Dubbing it BIOLINK, the mechanism offers 360-degree multidirectional freedom of movement, just like human shoulders, for a comfortable fit, no matter the wearer’s head shape or preferences. There is also a SPHERE type of eyewear with a screw-less articulation that makes the movement feel more organic and reduces the overall weight of the frame.