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Brands | January 30, 2019

Towards new directions

The incredible journey of Freisicht, an artisanal company, which has its roots in the world of musical instruments and is aiming straight for the future, thanks to a high degree of technological know-how. Displaying an ergonomic solid wood heart

words Emma Noir

There are many brands in the world of eyewear that come from similar sectors and have used their tradition to create state-of-the-art frames. Among them is the German company Freisicht, which has capitalised on its 75 years’ expertise in making wooden musical instruments to move into our sector. A rather atypical transition, which deserves a closer look for several reasons. But let’s start from the beginning. Three quarters of a century ago, the Frank family created a small factory producing handmade wooden musical instruments. They even had the composer Carl Orff to endorse their ambitious project. Bolstered by this indisputable know-how, the brand made its debut in the world of eyewear a few years ago, with one specific idea: to create sustainable glasses by using natural materials, without any limits in terms of form and function. During a conference on renewable energy at the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences, Freisicht’s founders – Sebastian Wittmann and Linus Frank – reflected on how natural wood could be used to produce eyewear. After plenty of research and experiments, visits and interviews with opticians, the pair were able to show that the wooden glasses on the market had plenty of room for improvement. The most common problems were the risk of breaking the lenses, limiting the possibility of adapting them to the ergonomics of individual faces, and models that were too bulky. The next step was meeting with the designer Jan Thomas Winter, who became part of the team.

The research continued, and the first solid wooden glasses, easily adjustable and with a green spirit, came into being. In the trio’s words: “We wanted to show that sustainability today no longer means a loss of quality, but on the contrary is synonymous with quality and progress, as confirmed by our Green Product Award nomination.” And, subsequently, by winning this prestigious prize in 2017. The glasses, all rigorously handmade in Freising (Germany), are the first solid wooden frames on the market which can be ergonomically adjusted. In fact, thanks to a simple heater, the optician can adapt the glasses to the wearer’s individual geometry. The wood can then be deformed as desired, and solidified again as soon as it cools. And the innovations do not end there. A special locking system ensures that the lenses do not break during assembly. Opening and locking are very easy: a flat-head screwdriver is sufficient to carry out both operations. When the lenses are inserted, the gap is almost invisible. As well as the function, the aesthetics also reach new levels thanks to a biomorphic design and special colors. All contained in a small masterpiece made of solid wood.