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HomeminewsTomorrow’s Designers Showcased at New SA Hub Store

Tomorrow’s Designers Showcased at New SA Hub Store

Industrial design and jewellery students from the University of South Australia (UniSA) have presented their unique concepts for optical frames at a competition organised by UniSA and South Australia’s major health insurer, Health Partners.

The competing entries were displayed at Health Partner’s new flagship store in Pirie Street in Adelaide’s CBD, which was officially opened in October.

Marissa GalatisGeneral Manager, Optical & Provider Relations for Health Partners, said the exhibition was an ideal way to mark the opening of the insurer’s new “member hub”.

“Being a true South Australian organisation, we were proud to collaborate with another South Australian icon – the University of South Australia’s School of Art, Design and Architecture. We partnered on (the) design project to encourage the future designers of tomorrow and to give university students access to a commercial retail environment.”

After two months of developing a customer profile, sketching, design and prototype work, the industrial design and jewellery students presented 35 concepts to a four-person selection panel, who chose 12 as finalists.

Techniques used included 3-D printing and laser cutting and the students made their frames from plastics, wood and metals, incorporating concepts that included magnetic hinges, interchangeable fashion details, clip-on sunglasses and glow-in-the-dark printed nylon.

“The jewellery students took a more creative route including theatre-style glasses and a pair that could be worn as a head-band,” said Ms. Galatis, adding that the headband concept won the People’s Choice award.
“This year has been the first year of a really inspiring collaboration, which has provided the opportunity to assess the quality of the designs and workmanship, which was very impressive. It’s hoped that in future years, the potential for winning designs to be manufactured could be explored, with a partnership involving a local manufacturer,” she said.

“We are keen to seek opportunities with like-minded organisations that promote and add-value to the community in South Australia.”

More Space, More Frames

Health Partners has made a significant investment in its new hub, which has 20 per cent more space than the organisation’s previous store and four optometry rooms to cater for future growth. There is a dedicated kids’ area with iPad activities and a digital retinal camera room, which Ms. Galatis said will allow greater eye testing efficiency.

The store showcases more than 1,300 styles of commercially manufactured optical frames and sunglasses, however for the opening celebrations, it was the students concept eyewear that took front and centre stage in the store’s large shop front window display, generating plenty of interest from passers-by, many of whom wanted to try on the special collection.

“Health Partners Optical has been delighted with the enthusiasm with which the students and lecturers embraced the project and has been extremely impressed by the creative talent displayed. We’re in good hands if these are the future designers of tomorrow,” said Ms. Galatis.