This project came about through a chance discussion at our external ‘meeting room A’, that is the Forge and Co in Shoreditch. Architects don’t normally design glasses let alone glasses for pop bands. However Han’s Hollein 1968 manifesto’Everything is Architecture’ underlines our own position: by asking “‘what’?, everything becomes discourse!” Ask Jack Self recently wrote in the AR: “In April 1968 the Austrian architect Hans Hollein published his seminal polemic text ‘Everything is Architecture’ in the avant-garde magazine Bau. Predominantly through captioned images, the article attempted to redefine architecture beyond the conventional discipline. In reaction to the suffocating po-faced pragmatism of postwar planning and policy, Hollein pushed the boat all the way out: illustrated with such diverse objects as lipstick, pill capsules, space suits and photographs of Che Guevera, Hollein labelled everything as architecture.”
‘If architecture is spatial practice, then anything with a consequence for our physical environment could be architecture’
So…an architect designing ‘sunnies’ was as legitimate a spatial practice as that of an architect designing buildings. At the Forge and Co, Riki Lindsey, one half of In Valiant Color, asked us to get busy with the spectacle of his album cover.
In general, a face is symmetric. Two eyes stride a nose above a mouth. If you’re lucky, two ears frame there ensemble. In detail, however, the face is asymmetric. The history of optical glasses denies this subtle divergence and the character of asymmetry. With ‘BadAssymmetry’ glasses, we saw asymmetry as the spectacles of the future. In this sense we (lazily) don’t have to design anything: Rayban Wayfarers could be increasingly reconfigured by merely shifting the ‘badassymmetry’ crossfader.