"Historically, leaders in the worlds of materials and design have each led separate lives," says global chemicals company Eastman. "While engineers, chemists, and product designers have all made exciting and innovative advances, they have largely progressed independently of each other." To change that up, Eastman teamed up with Oregon-based design consultancy Ziba in a self-initiated Materials Design Challenge. One result is the flask you see above, called TOPO, which combines Eastman's Tritan copolyester material with Ziba's design skills.
The "Gentleman's Flask" is not tied to a specific product or brand, but is meant to be a demonstration of what the pairing can achieve. The Tritan material can be molded with a much more widely variable wall thickness (going from very thin to very thick) than plastic or glass, and this is made obvious to the viewer by the topographical relief embedded within the surface. An integrated funnel in the neck smoothens both the filling and pouring of liquids, and Tritan's ability to take a clean ultrasonic weld ensures watertightness. The top portion of the flask is frosted while the rest is glass-clear, demonstrating the variability of textures possible. Lastly, the durable flask is dishwasher friendly.
"By exploring material properties and design possibilities concurrently," explains Eastman's Dave Porter, "we were able to explore a wide range of ideas and develop a showcase product that would not have been realized by the processes typically used by Ziba or Eastman."