About the designer

CANTEMIR GHEORGHIU

Cantemir Gheorghiu was born in 1982 in Bucharest, Romania. After the fall of the wall in Germany and the accompanying promise of freedom his mother, the author Carmen Francesca Banciu and his two siblings moved to Berlin. 

Gheorghiu was raised on Leipziger Straße overlooking Checkpoint Charlie. His mother described the checkpoint as “a metaphor for absurdity, an expression of the division of Germany. The division of the world”, words from her Berlin book classic "Berlin is my Paris" published in 2002. Gheorghiu became a social observer, neither an analyst or an economist, instead, an intrinsically artistic eyewitness. This manifested itself less in terms of political orientation but rather in the way he acts and thinks which has accompanied him ever since. He believes the humour of communism is quite evident in his work for Pappbrille paper glasses. He is also deeply rooted in the environmental movement in Berlin-Kreuzberg where he went to school and later established his studio & place of work. During his communication design studies he excelled in the field of advertising. His artistic power lies in the visual and the joke. He has written storyboards for commercials although he grew up in Berlin too without a TV. Gheorghiu's non conformism was appreciated because he was different and particularly characterised by a desire for sustainability. 

“Inner freedom is the foundation of every good idea” he says today. His independence is important to him even though a global distribution network for his products has been established. This freedom is the basis of the individual and the foundation of his PAPP UV sunglasses. Although the Zeitgeist likes to represent the idea that everything that can be has already been done and said, the PAPP UV sunglasses seem to scream the opposite, “Nothing has been developed to the end, nothing has been thought through to its conclusion!” They use the pressure of environmental pollution and ignorance towards climate change to contradict the existing status-quo. And they do this whilst being a fashion accessory of the kind that everyone

notices instantly when worn – glasses. Sunglasses are one of the greatest statement carriers we have. If you run into someone wearing sunglasses, this accessory always receives the most attention. Gheorghiu asks, “Why should a pair of sunglasses not also carry philosophical value”. In fact, the PAPP UV go a step further and make the wearer a pioneer of consciousness in fashion. As for a well-tried consumer product that is owned by everybody, PAPP UV offer not only a re-imagined and redesigned from the roots perspective but the pursuit of true sustainability. “Our aim is not to re-educate the people, but we need to offer them a good product,” Gheorghiu says. People fall in love with the concept, regardless of whether they are ecologically conscious or not. 

The PAPP UV's are also not 100% complete. Gheorghiu is currently working on a recycling system that will build the individual parts of the sunglasses separately in such a way that they are fully recyclable. The frame can be completely disposed of as waste paper, the excess shavings as wood industry waste, all made from 100% cellulose. The eyelets of iron and the aluminium sheets to adjust the glasses to the head shape are valuable materials that are completely recyclable when disassembled. Toxic adhesives that would otherwise keep the items together and hinder the recycling process are not even used. Gheorghiu already considers what happens to his products after they will be no longer used during the initial product development. If a merchandising company places an order of 10,000 of his cardboard glasses with their own logo and design on them then he remains with a clear conscience as they are not pens or other plastic products frequently used as give-aways which significantly harm the environment. Consumption is not the problem in itself, but awareness of the nature of this consumption. Critics say the cost of consistently sustainable product development is too expensive. Cantemir Gheorghiu sees the benefits only. Also for his little daughter who inspired him to make PAPP UV sunglasses for children and therefore the next generation.