We were approached by Warby Parker with a unique prompt: to transform the hand mirror. A design initiative meant to reimagine this classic typology, material and fabrication were up to us, the only constraint being that the mirror remain functional and lightweight enough for everyday use. We’re excited to share the final product, which utilizes material, physics, and craft to create a functional and sculptural object.
We sought to make a piece that was both useful in the hand and interesting on the table, and honored our practice of creating conversation around material and process. We started exploring materials that had reflective properties and were drawn to folded sheet metal for its thinness and for the beauty and structure that can be created through its folds.
A love of math and a reference to eyeglass lenses drew us to the super ellipse as the pattern for the the flat form. Working with both mirror-polished aluminum and brass, we designed a mirror which highlights the physical properties of the materials and celebrates the method of manufacture.
Through a series of folds, a handle was created in the brass sheet which invites the hand and provides satisfying heft, while also allowing the mirror to rest in multiple orientations. While prototyping, we discovered a lovely moment where the mirror balances along the fold, seeming to defy gravity, in harmony with itself. We were able to preserve this dynamism in the final piece, and it remains one of our favorite details.
THE MAKING OF MIRROR, MIRROR
Production and prototyping took place in our Studio shop. Physical prototyping is an important part of our approach, and allows the inherent properties of each material to inform the finished product. Watch as Hannah connects the dots between the machines - from the drill press to the jump shear - to create our mirror, which relies on every part to create a coherent, balanced whole. Watch the whole video here.
The mirrors are being put to the test in Warby
Parker’s New York and Los Angeles stores
through November 11th, and will be auctioned
off to support Free Arts, which offers free arts
education to underserved kids and teens in
Visit our mirror in person or bid on it via Paddle8.