Verbien Augen Optics

"See Better to Learn Better" is a free eyeglasses program in partnership with the Mexican government and Augen Optics. A collection of customizable and iconic corrective eyewear that is specifically designed for students, ages 6-18 years old.

“Ver Bien Para Aprender Mejor” (see better to learn better) is a program started by lens manufacturer Augen and the Mexican government. It’s goal is to provide prescription eyewear to schoolchildren who can not afford glasses, yet cannot read from the chalkboard in class without them. Although the effort was largely successful, disappointment with the cheap and fragile imported frames they were donating brought Augen to fuseproject in search of a better design solution.

Talking to schoolchildren, opticians and teachers helped us identify the pain points with the current frames, and the range of user needs and desires. Based on our research and insights, we created a pragmatic foundational strategy that focused on durability and customization.

Durability was essential given the inevitable bumps, scrapes and drops that kids glasses receive regularly. Research into materials and construction methods led us to identify a class of polymers that are rugged, shockproof, and nearly unbreakable.

Customization was another core tenet, to address the picky tastes of youth (who won’t wear it if they don’t like it), accommodate a broad range of facial shapes, and reduce the social stigma that could come from a singular style. Together these points yielded a product that is long-lasting, and that the children were proud to wear.

An audit of the full product experience (from eye exam to delivery of the finished eyeglasses to the child) also led to the design of an innovative flip-book, that streamlines the process of customization in the field, saving time and reducing effort.

Similar to the OLPC philosophy, we wanted to design products that are suited to the children’s specific needs, life and environment. The children receiving these glasses need frames that are durable, ergonomic and have key customization elements like shape and color that make wearing the glasses fun and personal.

The children receiving these glasses need frames that are durable, ergonomic and have key customization elements like shape and color that make wearing the glasses fun and personal. The glasses are designed to be worn beyond the classrooms utilizing materials, advanced Gilamid plastic, with its hyper-flexible property, making them practically indestructible. Some fun in the soccer field? no problem.

The children receiving these glasses need frames that are durable, ergonomic and have key customization elements like shape and color that make wearing the glasses fun and personal. At every school, we encourage students to create their very own pair of glasses with their favorite styles, size and color combinations. All this can be done through the special options catalogue, a fun and interactive way for kids to first encounter and chose their glasses.

Recognition

  • IDEA Award, Silver, Strategy, 2011
  • AIGA (Re)Design Awards, Third Place, Social Responsibility, 2011