SHADE FOR 2030: Igor Bragado and Miles Gertler Imagine the Prosthetics of the Future

As the concerns of the decade grow to the planetary scale, this season we’ve designed a collection of that most cosmic of prosthetics: sunglasses. Shades have always performed a double duty, the simultaneous management of solar and sartorial concerns requiring a high-performance piece of wearable technology. As 2030 approaches, the environment in which they’re worn continues to morph, demanding new layers of utility from even the most fetching frames.

The ecological and the enigmatic, the technical and the trendy, the cosmetic and the cosmic seem now to be more entangled than ever. Battery level is the new tan; biome is brand; and CPU? We love to see it. It’s no surprise, then, that the sunglasses we’ve designed for the 2030s unreservedly take on this new terrain. Never before has UV looked so QT.

Venetian Blinds model. Courtesy Common Accounts. Taken from PIN-UP 28, Spring Summer 2020.

In designing for a decade still to come, we’ve had to operate on a speculative brief for our would-be shoppers. How will their needs and appetites transform between now and 2030? We’ve consulted today’s oracular intelligence — bots, trend forecasters, and mercenary futurists — to get a clear picture of our prospective consumer. And what have we found? Existential uncertainty produces a new aesthetic: anxiety takes command. Placebo and the acerbic become mood-board mainstays. Utility is cute, but make it fashion. 

So, without further ado, we present our VISIONARY EYEWEAR COLLECTION. It’s largely due to the priority of eyesight in the human sensorium that glasses in the 2030s are so enmeshed with performance. To counteract the precarity of the planet in the new decade, many are opting to clip on an arsenal of tools for expansive new forms of function. Such is the draw of a technological sugar pill. You never know when your metabolism’s going to dip, when the magnetic field might flip, or when you’ll need to re-print your lenses to a new prescription. Anything could happen! For concerns of this category, we propose the CMD+SHIFT+P shades. In a world where material abundance is increasingly in question, reuse and reform the same stock of synthetic peptides and super-salts with sunglasses that double as a portable, poly-material 3D printer. We know, we know — 3D printing, so 2018! Same, but different. In 2030 you can download an .obj and print what you need on the go. Anyone have a multi-vitamin? A magnetizing crystal? A contact lens for my astigmatism? There’s a file for that. Add to cart.

In 2030 you’ll receive so many texts, ads, emails, and ether; send out such a volume of geotags, likes, emo-pings, and webdings; and process so constant a deluge of info-blips, clickbait, and keychain checks that anyone with an iPhone 32X will need an IRL battery source as a contingency for the sudden draw on power you’re liable to encounter at any given moment. We designed a pair of OCULAR SOLAR CELLS to yield the giga-wattage you need to power through Spring Summer for those days when you hit zero percent early. Sport these and produce energy through the translucent thin-film baked into their lenses. You may not want to deal with the spam-iverse of 2030, but you’d still rather not run out of juice.

With the prospect of 24-hour media oversharing, facial recognition, and social-credit reports, emotional geo-spoofing will emerge as a vital tactic to evade unwanted suspicion, detection, and categorization. If feelings are fact, feel good knowing that we have crafted a pair of sunglasses designed to never give away your real emotions: the POLARIZED EMO-SPOOF X. In 2030, infrared and LED light arrays firing off a symphony of erratic signals can confuse surveillance systems and even the brain’s fusiform-­gyrus functions to mystify the world around you. And thank goodness for that. Emotions are an improvisation in the best of cases. Best not to get caught off guard!

Emo-Spoof model. Courtesy Common Accounts.

Polarized Emo-Spoof model for dark environments. Courtesy Common Accounts.

While many new sunglasses flaunt a gizmo, others prefer to de-quip. Our IV MODEL comes loaded with an endorphin-packed solution to simulate the brain’s reward-triggered serotonin glands. Take a minute to relax on your next business trip through the lower stratosphere. Clip these on and release the drip to amplify your amino streams and recharge before the shuttle lands. The fluid pouches settle over your eyes, providing a soothing blur filter between you and your environment. 

Analogue technologies and retrograde aesthetics come back into play in a big way for those exhausted by today’s vanguard tech. Keep an eye out for our new line featuring ocular blinds, curtains, shutters, and awnings that block out blue, red, UV, and, well, all light. These 20th-century tactics, incorporated into our series of VENETIAN SCREENS, should help you cool down as the planet heats up.

Text by Igor Bragado and Miles Gertler / Common Accounts.

All images courtesy Common Accounts.

Common Accounts is a design practice founded by Igor Bragado and Miles Gertler which operates between Madrid, Toronto, and Seoul. They’ve exhibited work at the Istanbul Design Biennial, the Seoul International Biennale on Architecture and Urbanism, the National Museum of Modern, and Contemporary Art of Korea, and Academia de España in Rome.

Video directed, edited, and graphics by Andrew Gilbride.

Text taken from PIN-UP 28, Spring Summer 2020.