Human Work Project, by Emanuela Bergonzoni
Wood, plexiglass, metal, leather, fur, not to mention bolts, studs and wire. These are the humble materials that designer Emanuela Bergonzoni used for her Human Work Project collection of twenty eyewear prototypes, which, having been made by hand, are the synthesis of an important experimentation of form and materials in eyewear design.
The exhibit catalog was presented on February 1st at Pieve di Cadore’s Eyewear Museum during an event that was attended by a delegation from Divel Italia.
Bergonzoni’s artistic concept was born out of a personal reflection on the value of human labor today and looking back at something millions of people use every day: eyewear. This meticulous introspection and reflection led the designer to reconsider form, materials, and the production process in her work.
It is in this view of eyewear as a work of art and creativity that the museum has decided to host this collection of Emanuela Bergonzoni, artist and instructor, who curated the exhibit Glasses Are the New Jewels, which came to a close last autumn.
The Human Work Project includes 20 prototypes that are almost primordial in their construction and aesthetic, yet elegant and stunning at the same time.
The prototypes also sport Divel Italia lenses.
“I like to call myself an ‘artidesigner’. The culture of visual arts, the culture of materials, and the design of everyday objects are what characterize my career and my creative background. Jewelry design polarized my designer energies for quite some time, but experimentation in the world of eyewear has been a priority of mine in recent years” says Emanuela Bergonzoni.
“Eyes of the Future”, by Emanuela Bergonzoni
Alongside this project came another supported entirely by Divel Italia: Eyes of the Future. This collaboration between Emanuela and Divel Italia came about in late November 2019.
Out of a shared interest in environmental sustainability came an opportunity for Emanuela to take a look at defective lenses discarded by Divel in an attempt to figure out how they could be used to create objects of design.
Inspired by Divel’s Green Line project and by her experiments with this material that was so new to her, this talented designer came up with her work “Eyes of the Future” by bringing art to eyewear design.
The work looks to a future that is totally submersed in plastic, as reflected in the glasses that block the wearer’s view. This eyewear is purposely designed to be dangerously sharp so as to underscore the hazard of waste and of plastic. But all is not lost. By activating the third eye, and with the wisdom that results, we can imagine a future rich in virtuous behavior—reduction, reuse, recycling, and reclamation.
The work is topped off with a large jewel, a sort of breastplate of theatrical flair calling out for this much-desired future.
Matter and technique
Relying on a decade of experience working with metal, Emanuela has made Eyes of the Future by hand. She shaped and assembled the copper wire for welding, and the frames have a galvanic rhodium finish. Sunglass lenses made of CR39 have been broken into tiny shards and meticulously glued on.
For the large, central jewel, nylon lenses have been used. Taking advantage of the elasticity of this polymer, Emanuela has been able to achieve geometric shapes, dot them with holes, and assemble them for sewing.
A number of HWP prototypes and Eyes of the Future are on display at Divel Italia’s MIDO 2020 Pavilion (Hall 3 Booth C01 D12)