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A photo of the red Chalmers glasses design by Holly Munro against a white background

Third-year ECA Jewellery and Silversmithing student Holly Munro was selected to design a unique pair of glasses inspired by the city of Edinburgh for spectacle brand, Cubitts. Her winning frame design, inspired by a stormy day in Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland, is now on sale in Cubitts’ Edinburgh Old Town store. 

The design was the result of a collaboration between ECA’s Jewellery and Silversmithing department and Cubitts to celebrate the opening of the brand’s two new Edinburgh stores. Holly’s design, the Chalmers, was selected by Cubitts to go forward to production and sale. 

The project was supported by ECA’s Jennifer Gray, Programme Director for Jewellery and Silversmithing. All students in Year 3 of the programme developed and pitched designs to the Cubitts team.  

Inspiration for the Chalmers 

Holly’s design was inspired by gazing at passing clouds through the National Museum of Scotland’s Grand Gallery’s birdcage roof construction on a stormy day in Edinburgh. 

Holly described her inspiration: “I visited the National Museum of Scotland, as the brief asked for our designs to be inspired by Edinburgh. The day I visited was abnormally stormy for Edinburgh and there was dramatic lighting across the city with golden reflections painted on buildings, stark against the grey horizon. 

“The clouds were moving quickly across the surface of the glass roof of the museum. I recorded and followed their movement amongst the geometric shapes within the glass roof. I tend to be drawn to organic shapes found within nature and I was fascinated by these cloud formations in contrast with the mathematical components of the roof.” 

Holly continued: “My design process is very fluid - I am constantly evolving and finding new methods of design research and development that work for me.” 

A photo of Holly presenting ideas on a projector. Image: ECA

A live client brief 

On working on a live brief for a client, Holly said: “I had never designed eyewear before, however as a Jewellery student, I always design with the body closely in mind. As part of the brief, I had to develop a highly refined technical CAD render of my design, which required patience. Working on this live brief was exciting and challenging.” 

Jennifer Gray, Programme Director for Jewellery and Silversmithing, said: "The Cubitts collaboration was an invaluable live industry experience for our whole year three group. They all succeeded in applying Jewellery discipline knowledge to eyewear." 

Holly’s design, the Chalmers, has joined Cubitts’ Edinburgh Old Town store collection and is now available to buy exclusively in-store.

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