From the future-forward aesthetic and unique manufacturing processes of Mykita eyewear to the sustainable ‘buy-one-give-one’ business model that is Warby Parker, we’ve seen quite the gamut of what’s possible for eyewear design and manufacturing in the past few years. Belgian industrial designer Frédéric Gooris has expanded that bubble by a few more breaths with his Kompas Sunglass Collection for the iconic Alessi brand that uses magnets rather than screws or clever material folds to create a ‘floating hinge’.
‘The Floating Hinge’
Consisting of eight frame styles and a wide range of color options, the Kompas collection was inspired by the ‘simplicity and brilliance of a compass’ according to designer Frédéric Gooris. The thin embedded magnets located at the hinges aren’t just for looks either; these floating hinges also allow you to unfold the frame one-handed with a simple gesture using the magnetic orientation the same way a compass needle always points North. Additionally, the floating hinge allows much more flexibility in adjusting frames for different face sizes and the absence of screws means less maintenance-related problems. The frames themselves are made from both handmade acetate and hypo-allergenic titanium:
Having graduated from Hogeschool Antwerpen in 1998, designer Frédéric Gooris spent the next 5 years working for Philippe Starck and Stefano Giovannoni on a wide range of projects for companies ranging from Target to Lavazza and Nissan to Siemens. In 2004 he founded Studio Gooris in Milan doing product design and concept design work for companies ranging from Alessi to Ferrero and Levis to JCPenny. Currently, he is residing in Hong Kong where he describes his new home as “one of the most dynamic cities in the world and located at the doorstep of the factory of the world”.