You couldn't make it up: a Portland, Oregon-based design duo just launched a crowdfunding campaign to launch a mason jar-based product, designed expressly to brew one of the two beverages that the City of Roses is famous for.
Besides its rugged good looks, it so happens that the mason jar is more durable than the traditional carafe; bedecked in a wool sleeve for insulation and topped off with a maple lid (with a press), the Portland Press is a crafty take on the iconic coffee brewing apparatus (footnote: the origin of the French press is unclear, but the modern version was patented in Italy in 1929; today, it's typically associated with Bodum of Denmark).
I chose the name LOHOCLA, backwards for Alcohol, for this project in order to suggest that my new design inherits the past by incorporating it into a modern object. It is a redesign of the growler, a reusable vessel to carry beer from the pub or store to your home, commonly used in the USA but also used in Australia and Canada.
I investigated the history of the growler and based a new design on the product's forms from the past so the reinterpretation has an aspect of 'design memory.' Growlers in USA circa 1800's we actually repurposed metal buckets. During the 50's and 60's people would reuse packaging and food containers as growlers, including waxed cardboard containers and plastic storage products. Half-gallon jugs became popular in the 80's, though those glass jugs were also re-purposed (apple) cider or moonshine jugs. The design of the growler shifted to closed containers once refrigeration became standard in American homes.
It was important to me that the redesign of the growler keep an aesthetic of other preexisting objects in some way. The overall shape still looks like the cider jug but I have created a handle that is reminiscent of the bucket handles from the 1800's, as well as the look of a common pitcher.
I investigated ergonomics from the point of view of the common user, bartender, waiters, user trends, consumption habits at home, in restaurants, and pubs. I then decided to ensure that the shape of this growler could also be used as a decanter / pitcher as well, so it can be used for serving in a pub if the user decides to stay. This growler is smaller in size, contrary to high American consumption habits. Existing designs are notoriously difficult to clean; thus, I made the top wider to facilitate this process, as well as for pouring. To reduce the material used on the cap, the cap now screws on to the inside of the glass wall and is also hollow to reduce weight. I added texture to the bottom of the growler so that the bartender can grip it and fill it up easier. There is also a bubble marking system on the outer surface of the glass, marking every half pint and indicating exactly how much to fill the jug with an extruded line on the surface of the jug. It is intended to be filled very close to the top, near the lid, in order to reduce airspace in the growler so the beer stays fresher.
Although some growlers are now being made out of aluminum, people complain about not being able to see the beer, particularly when someone is serving them from a growler. The interior of the growler has a helix that circulates the beer as it is being poured to keep it circulating and equally fresh throughout the drinking experience—the user will not get the bitter butt of the beer that is sometimes discarded altogether. That large inner helix clearly is the driving differentiating element applied.
We're talking about food now more than ever—so much so that food-centered innovation isn't just taking place in the kitchen anymore. Interest in our edibles has officially made the leap from plate to apartment. Sure, you've seen a sleeping bag in the style of a pizza slice and a scarf painted like strips of bacon, but recently we've spotted furniture that takes subtler cues from the kitchen. The end result is infinitely more palatable.
How do you stand out among a group of 120-odd young international designers all trying to capture the attention of customers and buyers? During Milan's recent SaloneSatellite, Francesco Barbi and Guido Bottazzo of Italy's Bicube Design created a line of furniture inspired by their country's national cuisine: pasta.
Before chocolate transforms into a topping or a candy bar, it's poured. The action has been reproduced over and over in commercials and advertisements to whet our palates. Designers Vinta Toshitaka Nakamura and Kohei Okamoto captured that same liquid quality—and our attention—in their Chocolite lamp.
It's not quite design, but seeing as Evangelia Koutsovoulou of Daphnis and Chloe is one of our esteemed jury members for the Food Design category of this year's Core77 Design Awards, let's just say it's a chance to get to know her a little better. (Our awards team is busy reviewing the entries and preparing to send them to the jury teams at the moment; we'll be announcing the live broadcast schedule shortly.)
The video, illustrated by Oscar Bolton Green, is a winsome example of visual storytelling—in fact, both the art direction for the company and the Kickstarter campaign are superbly well-executed
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously embarked on a mission to only eat meat that he'd killed himself—an achievable goal when you're a dot-com millionaire and have the resources to set up the logistics. Brooklyn-based designer Martina Fugazzotto, however, is a woman of more humble means who set a slightly different quest for herself: She would grow her own food. First on a balcony, then in a concrete backyard in Brooklyn.
Though she's a designer, Coroflotter Fugazzoto is one of our brethren in Graphics/Web/Digital rather than Industrial; that being the case, she doesn't have that closet some of us ID'ers have to keep physical objects we've worked on. And though she enjoys her 2D design work, "At the end of the day, there's nothing that physically exists that I've made," she explains.
Feeling that void led her to start a garden, where she could exchange physical toil for the reward of bringing something three-dimensional into existence. "I needed something more tangible, something that was so much more real in the world," she says. Working out of a tiny concrete plot behind her Brooklyn building, Fugazzotto soon branched out (pun! Sweet!) from houseplants into vegetables.
The dark, fantastical room inside the Saatchi Gallery was a far cry from the cold, wet streets of London. A large golden tree held flutes of champagne, while projections of flowers and bubbles effervesced up the walls. In celebration of spring, Tord Boontje and Perrier-Jouët launched their recent collaboration, The Enchanting Tree. Building on the brand's Art Nouveau heritage, Dutch designer Boontje has designed a champagne service inspired by the changing of the seasons and the champagne moment.
Photo by Angela Moore
At the appointed hour, handsome waiters carried out tabletop versions of the room's centerpiece and placed them on white plinths. Adorned with the brand's signature anemones, each of the twisting golden trees holds six champagne flutes above bottles nestled in ice buckets. An elegant turn of the glass—familiar to all wine drinkers—releases it from the hand-worked metal branch. Boontje's contemporary aesthetic in collaboration with the craftsmen responsible for the individually soldered leaves and white lacquered anemones continues Perrier- Jouët's aesthetic tradition. Although the large tree is headed to the brand's house of all things Art Nouveau, Maison Belle Epoque, the champagne service will be available at Selfridge's and premium hotels.
Designer Alexander Lervik is pleased to present Lumière au Chocolate, his latest project in the Lervik 100 collection, which he is presenting at this very moment in his current home of Stockholm, Sweden (the opening is tonight, February 4th, from 6–10PM at Galleri Kleerup). Produced by Scandinavian LED specialists SAAS Instruments, the uncanny chocolate ark belies a latent luminosity:
The Poetry of Light chocolate lamp, unlike other lamps, is completely dark when you first turn it on, mimicking light spreading along the horizon at sunrise. The heat from the lamp causes the chocolate to begin melting, and it takes several minutes for the first rays of light to penetrate. Holes soon form and as the light grows the chocolate melts. The material and structure of the lamp are the result of pure curiosity. Alexander Lervik wanted to explore the possibility of creating a contrast to light, i.e. dark. The shape of the lamp has been devised based on extensive testing involving the melting process.
The curse of the designer: You sit at the bar quaffing your favorite brew after a long day at the studio, then the light hits the stein just right... and you start wondering what the C, M, Y and K numbers are of this particular beer. Well, wonder no more—the Beertone color reference guide aims to do for beer what Pantone has done for everything else in the world: Assign it a specific color value.
For now the Swiss-based venture has only quantified Swiss-made brews, but they've got plans to expand beyond their borders and are taking suggestions. There's no word on when the 200-plus swatch booklet will begin shipping, but they're taking pre-orders right here.
When it comes to kitchenware with a sense of humor, Qualy Design is something like Alessi, except they're based in Thailand. Their take on seasoning shakers is something like a spice jar mixed with a snow globe: Clear domes contain whatever spice you load them up with, surrounding a small model of an animal or plant. Invert it and the spice evacuates through a hole in the top.
I do wish that they had a greater variety of plant models more specifically matched to particular spices; loading the cactus model up with mesquite is a no-brainer, but I can't think of a spice evocative of a polar bear. If you've got a MakerBot (or another personal 3D printer of choice), of course, you could probably 3D print your own inserts.
Come New Year's Eve the champagne will start flowing, and Milan-based Marco Dragotta's designed a better alternative to the silver ice bucket that turns bottles into a sopping mess.
Dragotta's Galaxy champagne bucket is "designed to glorify the bottles, keeping them in the ideal position to [best display] the labels..."
...but there are also ergonomic/functional improvements over a bucket: The design replaces ice cubes with ice packs, which are inserted inside the ABS housing to keep the bottles cool (and absent melting ice, dry). The entire thing spins on a circular bearing in the base, letting your guests pick their poison.
A veritable holy grail... photo by Mark Lampert for NPR
It ain't design, but a monastic lesson, of sorts, for modern artisans: any beer connoisseur worth his or her salt—or hops, as it were—knows that the trappist brew Westvleteren (pronounced as it's spelled: WEST-v'letter'n) is widely considered to be the rarest beer in the world. As the coveted product of one of six Trappist breweries—legally sanctioned abbeys in Belgium—Westvleteren is considerably more obscure than widely available bottles from Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort and Westmalle, mostly because the monks at St. Sixtus Abbey don't distribute their ambrosial libation at all.
Instead, intrepid beer drinkers must make the pilgrimage to the Belgian hinterlands and schedule a visit via phone. The reclusive monks are notoriously difficult to contact, and availability remains limited to what is available at the time (there are three styles, a blonde and two bottle-conditioned ales numbered 8 and 12); rumor has it that they'll give you a time and date and ask for a license plate number to coordinate pickup.
So yes, American seasonal one-offs notwithstanding, Westvleteren is indeed the rarest beer in the world, and while you can find similar flavors in Rochefort's formidable brews, Westvleteren's sheer unattainability is part of its appeal: lucky drinkers are sure to savor every last drop. The current generation of microbreweries can come up with marketing gimmicks as they please, but (as the story goes), the monks at St. Sixtus have been at it since 1838, and even though they didn't start selling the beer until nearly a century later, their business model still predates the dawn of American craft brewing by about half a century.
Of course, it's also worth mentioning that the production is limited to what the monks need to sell to support the Abbey and nothing more, roughly 3,800 U.S. barrels per year. While it goes without saying that scarcity is part of the myth, the supply-side restrictions have not obviated a secondary market for the premium brew. On the contrary, your humble editor was able to track it down—years ago, while studying abroad in Europe—at a beer store in Amsterdam for the altogether reasonable price of 10€ for a Westvleteren 12. It's as delicious as you might expect, definitely worth the money if not a journey to the Low Countries (not one to squander the opportunity, I picked up several bottles at the time, and I have no intention of drinking the remaining Westies, which are currently aging in an undisclosed cellar, any time soon).
But here's the kicker: in what might be the limited-time-only special offer to end all holiday deals, the Trappist monks have made the beer available Stateside for one day only... 12/12/12. NPR reports that the abbey needed to raise funds for a recent renovation—spokesman Mark Bode says it will likely be the last public sale of the beer—and I highly recommend listening to the story, which aired on Morning Edition today.
Unfortunately, I imagine that the entire shipment has been long sold out as of press time; the Whole Foods on Bowery reported that many customers wound up emptyhanded, as they only had 24 of the gift packs in stock. The six-packs were priced at $85 (I expect that individual bottles might resell for upwards of half that) at select retailers nationwide.
So it's not quite a teachable moment: Etsy sellers and Kickstarter aspirants have nothing on the ascetic artisans of St. Sixtus... which just goes to show that a little storytelling can go a long way. That and 174 years of heritage.
This video is interesting on a couple levels, but I won't ruin it:
According to the sign in the closing shot of the video, the cotton candy flower costs five yuan, or about 80 cents at the current exchange rate. Upon a bit of research, I was interested to learn that the treat debuted at the 1904 World's Fair for the hefty sum of 25 cents a box—the equivalent of about $6.00 today. Confectioner John C. Wharton filed a patent for the first cotton candy machine in 1899 with the help of dentist William J. Morrison (irony aside, there is at least one research paper dedicated to the life and times of the sometime lawyer, author and inventor). In any case, the Nashville-based team sold nearly 70,000 boxes of "Fairy Floss," as it was called back then—a second dentist, Joseph Lascaux of New Orleans, LA, devised a similar machine in 1921, when he coined the term 'cotton candy' (no word on whether infringement was an issue back then).
As for the gauzy treat itself, cotton candy is essentially melted sugar that is rapidly cooled in a centrifuge as gossamer strands are collected along the edges of the bowl. Here's a short and sweet vid of the 'traditional' way of making it:
With Back to the Roots, a company that supplies Whole Foods with gourmet mushrooms grown in spent coffee grinds, Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez figured out how to turn other people's garbage into money. For the entrepreneurial duo's next effort they've got a more product-design based offering, but one that still neatly fits their passion for growing your own food.
The Aquaponics Garden is a small-scale, low-hassle food growing system—or a fishtank that cleans itself, depending on how you look at it. The fish poop that fouls ordinary tanks is pumped up to the plants above, which are growing in nothing more than little pails full of pebbles; the fish excretion provides the nutrients. As a result, the user gets fresh spinach, baby greens, oregano, beans, basil, mint, parsley, thyme et cetera, no green thumb necessary.
Buy-in for a complete set-up starts at a measly $50 on Kickstarter, where Arora and Velez are trying to raise 100 large for tooling. The duo sound like they could use a little ID help—although they'd raised $75,000 at press time with three weeks left to go, they're still deciding whether to go with injection molding or sonic welding. (If you've got an opinion on which route is better, their comments section is open for business.)
Yesterday, we saw a 'retirement home for chickens'; today we have yet another urban agriculture project by a group of students from New Zealand. "Pod" is a household 'fogponics' gardening concept by a quartet of second-year Industrial Design students (Adam Ben-Dror, Nick Johnston, Casey Lin and Robert Skenea) at Victoria University of Wellington, who have adopted the name Greenfingers for the recent term project.
They researched several other options for a nutrient/watering system before arriving at fogponics, a variation of aeroponics, which differs from hydroponics in that it doesn't require a growing medium.
The fogponic system is similar to aeroponics in that the nutrient solution is vapourised, allowing it to be more efficiently absorbed by the roots of the plant. In fogponics an ultrasonic fogger to create an extremely fine mist. The optimum particle absorption range for plant roots is between 1 and 25 microns in size, and ultrasonic foggers typically create mist from 5 to 10 microns.
Fogponics require little maintenance to the system, with the primary thing being refilling the nutrient solution as it is absorbed by the plant, as well as periodically cleaning the ultrasonic fogger as a build up of salts can occur. Between crops the growing medium that is supporting the plant also needs to be replaced to remove all traces of the previous crops. The typical lifespan of a ultrasonic fogger is around 6000 hours, meaning it would need to be replaced 2-3 times a year, if continuously active.
Ok, not quite—the aluminum frame for the Sky Greens innovative planting system tops out at about nine meters, or about three stories. But considering that the farm yields some five to ten times more than conventional methods, the metaphor stands at least as tall as the pulley-equipped towers: according to their website, "the A-Go-Gro system uses patented low carbon hydraulic green technology to power the rotation of the tower at very low energy costs, while still allowing the plants to get more than adequate sunlight."
Channel NewsAsia reports that the Singapore-based company has been supplying local supermarket chain FairPrice Finest with locally-grown produce. The veggies have been a hit, selling out despite the nominal 10–20-cent markup—as fast as the farm can grow 'em, at a rate of roughly half a tonne daily. The goal is to expand from 120 towers to 300 by 2013 at a cost of S$27m (~$22m in USD), which is projected to quadruple the output to two tonnes per day.
[Note: for those of you who have not (for whatever reason) heard the news, last night marked a major event for those of us here in the States; not to make light of President Obama (and Nate Silver's) historic achievement, but this post has nothing to do with that.]
For her graduation project at Stuttgart State Academy of Arts, Johanna Kleinert hopes "to reveal the relevance of old food preservation techniques, that nowadays are gaining interest again."
The young designer drew inspiration from traditional WECK jars, an iconic food preservation vessel that is itself a cousin to the popular Ball mason jar here in the States. Thus, Kleinert has updated the drinking glass-like form factor with a new sealing mechanism, "based on an O-ring, which has several advantages compared to the conventional flat gasket." This makes it both easier to open vacuum-sealed jars and allows for dry storage, sans vacuum.
As with fellow design student Larisa Daiga's "Interactive Modular Set," the handsome vessels can be labeled time and again for ease of reuse: "the upper part of the lid is not glazed, so that it can be labeled directly with a water-soluble pen."
Similarly, the vessels vary in color and size, where the lower section of each lid can be glazed in a different color. The borosilicat glass, which comes in five proposed sizes, from 155mL to 1L, can be tinted gray or left clear.
Devastation notwithstanding, Hurricane Sandy has been occasion for an uncanny respite from the otherwise unstoppable hustle and bustle of the city that Core calls home... and more than one of my friends has confessed to not-so-secretly enjoying the compulsory staycation. (Meanwhile, I've been diligently typing away at my kitchen table thanks to mostly-reliable broadband.) In fact, I couldn't help but think of one friend's remark, "I feel like I'm becoming a lush"—after three days off, no less—when Tatabi Studio's Enkaja cocktail mixer turned up in the inbox.
Don't be fooled by the fact that it looks like an inkwell or shampoo bottle (maybe it has to do with the "200 mL" on the label): the Enkaja is expressly designed to wet your whistle as well as your local mustachioed barkeep, even if you think Angostura refers to a quasi-atheistic belief system. In fact, especially if you don't know the first thing about mixology: the mix-and-match concept is essentially 'Drinks for Dummies,' with pre-measured bottles... something like a Keurig approach to a cocktail shaker—plug-and-play inebriation instead of caffeination.
While the product itself is certainly thoughtfully-designed, the visual identity—another of Tatabi's many services—is perhaps even more noteworthy.
Every now and again, we see a concept bike that incorporates a hubless wheel, typically a bicycle, which is invariably met with backlash such as: "the hubless wheel is a hallmark of naïvety." Yet idealistic designers continue to pursue the void—hell, we've even seen a prototype of a bicycle with a hubless wheel—and there's no denying that it's a striking form factor. It seems that the judges of the Red Dot Award concur, noting that the hubless wheel "captivates due to its exceptional ergonomics."
Of course, they're not referring to a vehicle but a rather more mundane (or, conversely, practical) object: the Rösle Pizza Wheel.
Thanks to the innovative, patent construction with a rounded, free-running blade, the pizza wheel glides quickly through the fresh pizza, without causing the topping[s] to displace. The stable, stainless steel blade is sharpened on both sides and assures exact and effortless work. The pizza wheel can be easily dismantled for cleaning.
The Pizza Wheel turned up in our forums (in a thread about "Good design you love to have," no less) where member mo-i notes that a pair of Americans—Jessica Moreland & Chris Hawker of Trident Design—came up with the design for the German kitchenware company. Although the hubless blade goes by a different moniker on the Columbus, OH-based consultancy's website, it didn't require much digging to learn more about the Pitzo: Moreland and Hawker are duly proud of the recognition they've received, and the backstory is available on the microsite:
The Pitzo Pizza Cutter was conceived in 2009 by Jessica Moreland, an industrial designer working at Trident Design, LLC, a product design and invention development lab... While on a scouting trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond with Chris Hawker, president of Trident, it was noted that the pizza cutter was a product that could use some fresh eyes.
The plastic version is available at Walmart, among other retailers
As a Butcher in Portland Rob Roy revels in the ability to visit the farms where the animals are raised, to witness the growing of nourishing foods, and to advocate for local farmers. He works to create an important connection between the farmers and the patrons of the restaurant by responsibly butchering the animals we consume.
Rob will be butchering a hog and discussing why it is beneficial for the farmer and the consumer to buy and use the whole animal from nose to tail. You will learn where different cuts of pork come from, how to break them down, and how to prepare them for the table. What part of the hog needs to be eaten first, what should be brined, cured, frozen, made into sausage? He will talk about curing ham, pancetta, guanciale, lardo, making of delicious charcuterie, and more on food preservation. Rob will inform you on the benefits of lard and bone stock and the many ways to cook up a pig head. He will hand out recipes so you can have a breakdown party yourself, then feed your family for months. Come learn how all the parts fit together and how to be responsible with the whole thing.
For one of the Passionswege projects of Vienna Design Week, London-based designer Mathias Hahn was assigned to work with Staud's, a Viennese producer of fine vegetable and fruit preserves.
Hahn created an intriguing installation in which he approached the world of Staud's by poetically addressing color, material and the meaning of preserving for winter time. Each of the various vessels on display seemed to capture all the good stuff that summer has to offer; almost like a time capsule, recallable during a long, cold winter.
When Lin Lin, co-founder of the Chinese design consultancy Jellymon says something, people usually listen. Her tiny frame conceals a ebullient personality and creative energy that has propelled Jellymon's unique graphic branding vocabulary into an insider's language of what's fun and cool in youth-oriented China.
At this year's Beijing Design Week, Lin Lin took over five rooms in a DashilarHutong to present her latest creative projects to the public—accessories and furniture, a new food endeavor and a sneaker branding concept.
Triple X Ohhh! Sauce from Jellymon's Spoonfull of Sugar Cafe
GFG is a personal project from Lin Lin that is an exercise of her passion for product design. The debut collection includes a range of accessories, furniture and tableware. I love the punchout DIY nipple tassles (after the jump) that are packaged in a beautifully designed paper envelope, perfect for gifting. A small group of linked, overlapping "Top Me" rings are an obvious nod to Vivienne Westwood's Knuckledusters but display a delicacy and femininity in the details.
A video of a hot new popcorn delivery system has been popping up on blogosphere and we'd be remiss not to share Popcorn Indiana's voice-activated snack-launching apparatus. Details are scant, but word on the street is that the Popinator is the real deal. Watch:
The Englewood, NJ-based popcorn purveyor (all of their corn is grown in Indiana) has purportedly developed the Popinator because the current popcorn consumption paradigm is bogged down by grubby hands and crinkly bags. A little bird tells us that the engineer, identified only as Ted, is multidisciplinary designer Ted Hayes, and his portfolio affirms his past experience with interactive technology: he's been interested in the Internet of Things since his ITP days, when he made the BubbleViz, "an internet-enabled toy bubble gun that uses an Arduino, XBee and ConnectPort to poll a PHP script and check an IMAP server for new messages, upon which the device showers you with a delightful cascade of bubbles."
For anyone who was old enough to understand irony in the 90's, Seinfeld was one of those cultural touchstones that has arguably jumped the shark: the infamous Kramer print wasn't quite as ubiquitous as the Tarantino film poster as a dorm room decoration, but its one of the countless ur-memes from the seminal sitcom.
It's been a minute since we last checked in on Bompas & Parr, but rest assured that the jellymongers / food architects have been as busy as ever. In short, the longtime friends create "spectacular experiences, [often] on an architectural scale with cutting edge technology... [exploring] how the taste of food is altered by synaesthesia, performance and setting."
If the earlier video by Gestalten is a nice, thorough introduction to their work—short of consuming it, of course—we're glad to get a taste of their latest work, courtesy of the Avant/Garde Diaries. While the Olympics all but dominated their hometown over the summer, they designed a recreational activity for the less athletically-inclined among us: a mini-golf course made of cake... on the roof of Selfridges, no less.
The Avant/Garde Diaries, who have brought us stories from the likes of Konstantin Grcic and, most recently, Ton Matton, have invited the dynamic duo to curate their London Design Week event.
Together with the multidisciplinary collective Jason Bruges Studio, they designed a temporary drive-thru restaurant called—drum roll, please—"Mercedes Drive-Thru"! From September 14–16, guests can enjoy an extraordinary art and dining experience, featuring a spectacular mix of food, light, and fashion. The formerly humdrum act of deciding which size soft drink to guzzle while going 90kmh will morph into an exciting, delicious and signaturely awesome sensory experience.
The event, which kicks off tomorrow and runs through the weekend, is currently sold out, but the website notes that a "limited number of tickets will be held at the venue." Find more details here.
Parallel to the growing appreciation of food, we're seeing more and more designers tackle the issue of how and what we eat, from product design to intensive research to enviable interiors. In this spirit of food-related creativity, a new London-based publication called The Gourmand offers a highly visual yet brilliantly understated journal of food and culture, something like Apartamento's foodie cousin. "The Gourmand was born as a means to share this exciting cultural shift and to celebrate food as a catalyst for creativity."
Our friends at Sight Unseen highlighted perhaps the most relevant feature from the debut issue, which is available now: the collaboration between art director Jamie Brown and photographer Luke Kirwan. Brown's expository text for "A 20th Century Palate" complements the compelling imagery to a tee: "There are few things that rival my insatiable hunger for colour and pattern, my appetite for food is one. Combining the two would surely go down well."
The concept was born—to represent design movements of the 20th century through specially arranged plates of appropriate foods, finished with hand cut patterned paper table cloth backgrounds.
The revival of classic cocktail bars has coincided with a similar upswing in interest in bar tools—those magical instruments of muddling, swizzling, shaking and spritzing yore. So when chef Grant Achatz, of Chicago's Alinea restaurant, opened The Aviary cocktail bar in 2010 promising the, "same attention to detail as a four-star restaurant; where bartenders are trained as chefs; where the produce and herbs are carefully sourced and procured fresh daily," there was cause for celebration amongst design lovers.
From the beginning, Achatz and his business partner Nick Kokonas have worked with the designer Martin Kastner to create unique servingware that highlights the avant garde textures and flavors of the food coming out of the Alinea kitchen. For The Aviary, the design details of creating and serving cocktails were taken just as seriously. Kastner was tasked with creating an object that would embody the methods, ingredients and delight of "fast-infusion" cocktails—cocktails evolving during the course of the time it takes to serve them. As Kastner tells it, "it occurred to me that what we're really looking for is a window into another world, space, and time. An image of the submarine porthole in Karel Zeman's 1958 movie 'The Fabulous World of Jules Verne' came to my mind and the design direction was set."