Yves Béhar and his team at fuseproject have launched a new programme, See Better to Learn Better, with the Mexican government to design and give away free eyeglasses to disadvantaged children in the states of Mexico.
See Better to Learn Better is in response to research indicating the link between poor performance in the classroom and the inability to see. Up to 11% of learners in the classroom cannot see the blackboard clearly.
Spice it up
The eyeglass frames come in a range of funky designs. It’s part of the attempt to also change the perception that wearing glasses is a handicap. Something that is a very real stigma in Mexico. There are five different frames options in three different sizes and in seven different colours. Being able to choose their own shapes and colours makes it more fun and personal for the children. There is also the option of choosing a two-colour frame. The frames are durable and ergonomic, made from advanced plastics that are almost unbreakable.
“I want to design products that are suited to children’s specific needs, life and environment,” says Béhar.
The glasses are a tool that help children to learn better and also to express themselves. “When kids choose for themselves what fits and looks unique to them, it completely changes the stigma of wearing glasses, they receive custom glasses that they feel they have designed and are truly personal to them,” he goes on.
The glasses are distributed by local and visiting optometrists that test the children’s eyes and then place an order with the factory. A few weeks later the glasses are delivered to the schools, totally free.
For the greater good
Béhar believes: “This project follows our philosophy that design should continue to make a difference beyond the commercial world. Design can make a tremendous difference and we believe this is a responsibility that the industrial profession carries: to bring transformative solutions.”
Discussions are taking place about the possibility of expanding the project to other countries in need.