⟨ Misc ⟩

The OneDollarGlasses

The foreseeable future

Text / Ron Lam
Translation / Iris Heung

患上近視或遠視便到眼鏡店配一副眼鏡,聽來理所當然,但對於全球其中一億五千萬人口,卻是天方夜談。衰弱的視力甚至影響了他們學習或工作,然而他們卻無法負擔一副眼鏡的費用,而The OneDollarGlasses計劃的誕生,便為他們帶來了喜訊。

People with vision conditions like short-sightedness or long-sightedness would usually get themselves a pair of glasses in an optical shop. This sounds like a pretty straightforward answer to most people, but the truth is, more than 150 million people worldwide would need a pair of glasses that they cannot afford at all. Their eye disorders could even hinder them from learning or working. The OneDollarGlasses campaign is perhaps one of the best solutions to help these people.

The OneDollarGlasses,顧名思義就是價值一美元的眼鏡的計劃,發起人Martin Aufmuth希望讓貧困地區的人士能夠以正常人的視力觀看世界,增加他們上學及就業的機會,另一方面,亦希望透過The OneDollarGlasses,就為當地居民提供新的收入來源。

協助Martin Aufmuth的,是來自德國的設計團隊Haus Otto。Haus Otto最大的課題,除了要將眼鏡的成本價減至低於一美元,還必須是易於生產的,即使不是久經訓練的工匠、在沒有任何電力供應的地區裡,人們仍能順利製作。Haus Otto實驗了各種廉價物料,最終以纖細的不鏽鋼絲、不鏽鋼的彈簧、塑膠鏡片等作為主要材料,而用來製作眼鏡框的工具,全收到一呎見方的盒子,盒子上裝設了用來折曲不鏽鋼絲的器材。The OneDollarGlasses的團隊帶著這個簡單的工具盒,以及所有材料,走訪各個交通不久的城鎮,教授當地人製作OneDollarGlasses的技術,而整個課程只需14天。一副眼鏡的成本低於一元,而售價則約為二美元至七美元。學徒完成課程後,就能獨自生產,服務居民外,也能賺取生活費。而且因為工具簡便、不佔空間,就算是當地忙於照顧小孩的婦女們,也能邊完成日常的家務作業,邊在家裡工作。

The OneDollarGlasses,一副廉價的眼鏡,為貧困地區的人們帶來無價的希望。

OneDollarGlasses is a campaign founded by Martin Aufmuth. With glasses that cost approximately US$ 1 a pair, he hopes to let the underprivileged be able to see the world without difficulties and to elevate their living standard. Their better eyesight can bring them better opportunities for education and career; the production of OneDollarGlasses can as well create job opportunities for the locals in the developing areas.

Martin Aufmuth has teamed up with the German-based studio Haus Otto to design the low-cost glasses. The first requirement of the design was for sure to keep the production cost to below US$1, and another great challenge was to make the manufacturing process very simple. It has to be made as easy as possible, so the inexperienced local workers can produce the glasses even without electricity supply. After experimenting with various low-cost materials, Haus Otto has decided to go for using stainless steel wire and spring and polycarbonate lenses. The OneDollarGlasses crew travels through many inconveniently located towns to teach the locals to make the glasses. The locals only need essential toolbox, materials for making the glasses, and 14 days of learning before they can produce the OneDollarGlasses. While the cost is below US$ 1, the actual retail price can be around US$ 2 to 7. The locals who finished the training are not only given a chance to help people in the neighborhood with vision problems, but they can also engage in this money earning business. The production process is simple and does not take up much space, even women who normally stay home can make the glasses while handling the house chore and taking care of their children.

Through a pair of low-cost glasses, the OneDollarGlasses campaign brings to the underprivileged hope that is priceless.