Photo: @margarita_tsk


An on-trend and technically proficient design for a pair of glasses has landed a University student first place in an international competition, and an internship with a top German manufacturer.

Sarah Boot, a second year BA (Hons) 3D Design student, won the OWP International Eyewear Design Competition 2018 with a unique pair of steel-framed glasses with removable lenses.

The glasses, manufactured by Connor Bridie, who graduated from the same programme in 2018, were put on display at the OPTI 2019 trade fair in Munich last weekend. Sarah attended to see her creations alongside the latest designs, and meet for the first time representatives of OWP, with who she will be working for four weeks this summer – having chosen the internship over a £2,000 cash prize.

Thanks to computer-aided design (CAD) skills learnt on her course, Sarah was able to draw up detailed plans for the glasses, but when it came to developing a prototype, she needed help. So she got in touch with Connor, who now uses his engineering and manufacturing expertise to help designers transform their vision into reality. The two spent a day in Connor’s workshop and formed a prize-winning partnership, with both Sarah and Connor full of praise for the other’s skill. 

Sarah said:

“I wanted to improve my CAD skills over the summer, so I found a competition with a brief I liked, and entered. We use CAD quite a bit as part of the course and we are really pushed to do so, to acquire the skills that we can transfer to industry.

“It was fantastic to work with Connor, he really understood my design and took the time to get it right. There were plenty of times where a simpler solution was available, but we always went with what looked best, however difficult it was to achieve.”

Connor said:

“I massively underestimated how complex and difficult the glasses would be to make, but I wanted to represent Sarah’s design as best I could. In the end, we made a few changes but nothing major, there were very few tweaks needed. The design was always at the forefront, but I had to make some mechanical decisions too. We wanted them to look great, but work as well.”

As a graduate who has remained in Plymouth post-university, Connor thinks the city can nurture talent like his, and offer opportunities to young creative practitioners. 

He added:

“I think Plymouth has a much underrated arts scene, and there are a lot of talented people here, from artists and photographers to designers. There is a good buzz around the creative industries, although they perhaps don’t have the profile they deserve, and particularly if you are someone who is inspired by nature, this is a great place to be.”

See Sarah’s Instagram for more of her work, or contact her. Get in touch with Connor.

Sarah Boot with OWP Head
of Design Dagmar Hagen at the OPTI 2019 trade fair in Munich
Sarah with OWP Head of Design Dagmar Hagen
Sarah Boot's glasses prototype 2
Sarah Boot's prototype glasses, modelled by

Sarah's glasses modelled by
Sarah Boot's prototype glasses 1
Student looks at drawing boards at Arts Degree show.