Brutalism in eyewear? A Sirius issue

 
Within Brutalism, what you see, is what you get — there are no mysteries, no romanticism, and no obscurities about function and circulation.

When starting the design process for our new collections we always begin with a search for inspiration within areas of design that are as far removed from eyewear as possible. By reaching out beyond the confines of traditional eyewear design, we aim to find new and exciting shapes that we hope to adapt and mold into inspiring new frames. One of the more interesting and controversial structures we have come across is the Sirius building located at The Rocks in Sydney, Australia.

Born from an era of design that evolved from Modernism, the Sirius building is the result of the Brutalist design movement that was popular between the 1950s and 1980s. A form of design that aims to expose a building’s original and intended purpose, within Brutalism, what you see, is what you get — there are no mysteries, no romanticism, and no obscurities about function and circulation. In its simple and utilitarian approach, Brutalist design is often labeled as ‘ugly’ by many.

The Sirius building has had its own fair share of criticism, and it is no secret that many locals have found the building ugly, however, one has to also admit that there is a certain charm to it — one that is especially hard to deny. Maybe it is because the Brutalist approach is not one that is chosen as a result of being cheap or easy: its emphasis on the use of raw concrete take craftsmanship, and money, to achieve the special textures and effects wanted. Or maybe it simply comes from finding something that is truly functional.

What we do know is that through the roughness and no-nonsense design of Brutalism that is often hard to find, we think we may have found something that we can take away and use to inspire our next range. As designers we often try to convince ourselves that form should always follow function — with Brutalist design, maybe that can finally be true.

 
 The Sirius building is currently at risk of being demolished. Photo by  Nikki To .

The Sirius building is currently at risk of being demolished. Photo by Nikki To.

 The interior details of the Sirius building are simply breathtaking. Photo by  Barton Taylor .

The interior details of the Sirius building are simply breathtaking. Photo by Barton Taylor.

 A game of Tetris. Photo by  Daniel Tuck .

A game of Tetris. Photo by Daniel Tuck.

  There is a certain delicateness to the interior of this Brutalist structure. Photo by   Barton Taylor  .

There is a certain delicateness to the interior of this Brutalist structure. Photo by Barton Taylor.

 

 
 An original marketing illustration for Sirius, as seen in a pamphlet for the NSW Housing Commission in the 1980s’.

An original marketing illustration for Sirius, as seen in a pamphlet for the NSW Housing Commission in the 1980s’.