Renowned architect Kengo Kuma designs biobased sunglasses

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In Japan, eyewear brand Vava has launched two sunglass designs that use material made from castor beans. Famed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma—known for many buildings, including a stadium for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games—collaborated on the design  of the 3-D printed frames.  

“The collection manifests many of Kuma’s architectural imaginings, especially the architect’s tendency of recovering and reinterpreting the traditions of Japanese architecture to fit seamlessly into the 21st-century world,” Vava tells Dezeen. 

One of the two designs was meant to reflect Kuma’s understanding that architecture is essentially the interweaving of different materials, while the other invokes the Japanese wood architecture that he is known for, Vava adds. “These approaches have been explored by Kuma for his wooden structures, which arise from a simple pattern of assembly, building on different intersections and angles to generate a complex whole.”

The castor beans were acquired from Indian farms and used to make thermoplastic polymer polyamide 11. Vava says the material is strong and does not fade from sun exposure.