Former student of St George Christian School wins Specsavers Young Innovator Design Competition

Clever stint for winning tints: burraneer's Pearson Bulmer, a former student of St George Christian School, is now an award-winning designer.
Clever stint for winning tints: burraneer's Pearson Bulmer, a former student of St George Christian School, is now an award-winning designer.

In the four years since Burraneer's Pearson Bulmer, 21, graduated from St George Christian School, Hurstville, he has steadily seen a clear path for himself in the world of design.

His latest accolade, as winner of the Specsavers Young Innovator Design Competition 2019 will leave people in no doubt of his talent.

Held at Melbourne Fashion Week, he competed alongside some fashion designers eyeing the end prize.

The brief required designers to create new cutting-edge eyewear. With the increase in popularity of clear-framed glasses, he turned his mind to how he could extend the concept to a broader demographic for everyday wear.

It was this that caught the judges' attention - including fashion designer Alex Perry, who is of course well-known for his frocks as well as his head specs.

"He liked the fact I was also from Sydney," Mr Bulmer said.

"I'm not a fashion designer but I was up against some pretty fancy Melbourne fashion designers. I approached it with a different point of view - more practical."

Innovation: Pearson Bulmer's Memphis Range he designed for Specsavers.

Innovation: Pearson Bulmer's Memphis Range he designed for Specsavers.

He was drawn to the Memphis Movement of the 1980s. Launched by Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, this was known for its geometric lines, bold colours and unusual aesthetics.

Mr Bulmer's designs harness the key features of the movement while being inspired by the colours of a millennial palette. The resulting frames are quirky, youthful and distinct. Ideal for any person who values individualism, he says.

As a student, he was certainly known for his individualism. In his final year of high school, he created a sophisticated collection of handcrafted men's accessories in timber. This led to him being a HSC Distinguished Achiever and nominated for NESA's DesignTECH (now known as SHAPE).

Mr Bulmer went on to study a Bachelor of Integrated Product Design at the University of Technology, Sydney, graduating in 2018.

Since then, as an innovation designer, he has been involved in developing strategically led product innovations for big name brands including Johnny Walker, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Vodafone.

He is currently working on innovative safety product designs for the construction industry.

"The Specsavers Young Innovator Design Competition offers a platform for young designers to submit their work and gain exposure in the design world. It is such a huge opportunity for me to see one of my designs come to life as a real product to be one day sold commercially," he said.

"It's pretty cool to see something you've made that I pulled together in a few weeks over some late nights, on the shelves soon.

The Memphis Collection hits Specsavers stores in late 2020.

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