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Posted 07.12.18

Students design the ‘Untippable’ Martini Glass for Princess Yachts

By Phillip Buchan

In October, Princess Yachts welcomed a group of our students to receive a brief to design an ‘untippable’ martini glass.

Second-year BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts and BA (Hons) Product Design & Innovation students were given a tour of the luxury yacht manufacturer’s site in Plymouth to better understand the brand, its attention to detail, design, innovation and craftsmanship, followed by a presentation on the customer use and manufacture of the winning entry.

The winning design needed to demonstrate a clear solution to the brief considering practicality and usability, exceptional quality and craftsmanship both in the product and packaging, be commercially viable and designed with a luxury yacht customer in mind.

“It is clear to see that the very special ethos of Plymouth College of Art is shaping the next generation of creative and industrious minds."

– Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director at Princess Yachts

Princess will launch the bespoke set of glasses globally at boot Dusseldorf in January 2019 and it will then be produced as part of a special gift set for Princess customers.

Winning student Andres Boraita

Andres Boraita was chosen by Princess Yachts as the winner, from a shortlist of three students selected to pitch competitively at Princess’ headquarters in Stonehouse. The second-year Erasmus+ student is studying at Plymouth College of Art for a semester from Escuela Superior de Diseno de Madrid, Spain, and hopes to extend his study at the college for another semester to complete a full academic year with us.

“It is clear to see that the very special ethos of Plymouth College of Art is shaping the next generation of creative and industrious minds that firms such as ourselves here at Princess are eager to engage with. This challenging design task follows a series of successful projects between Princess and Plymouth College of Art, with each project forming part of the course curriculum, enabling students to work towards a proposal with a genuine industrial or manufacturing outlook, and with each project playing a part in Princess’ brand activation," said Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director at Princess Yachts.

Shortlisted students with Kiran Haslam, Marketing Director at Princess Yachts, Peter Barker, Head of School Design + Communication, Kevin Jenkins, BA (Hons) Product Design & Innovation Programme Leader, Gayle Matthias, BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts Programme Leader, and Nicola Cope, Head of Brand Marketing at Princess Yachts

"We were totally blown away with the entries, and feel truly fortunate to have the future leaders of industry in a unique talent pool, right here in Plymouth."

Seven designers presented their concepts to a wider audience at Princess Yachts in November, with three finalists selected. Runners-up from the final three were Jack Rogers and Jeannie Stroud, and the entry by Andres Boraita was selected as the winning design.

Gayle Matthias, BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts Programme Leader at Plymouth College of Art, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for our students to design for a luxury brand like Princess Yachts and could change the course of a student’s career. We place a real emphasis on working with industry in the second year of study, challenging students to work on commissions for external clients, helps them to learn how to pitch ideas and work outside of their comfort zone.”

Concept designs by Jeanie Stroud

Kevin Jenkins, BA (Hons) Product Design & Innovation Programme Leader, said: “This was a genuinely difficult brief and the students attempted to meet it in a wide variety of ways. Andres’ work on this project stood out immediately. Within a day of visiting Princess Yachts he had developed six different viable solutions to the problem of designing an ‘untippable’ glass. Andres developed new skills across almost every area of the college, learning wood-turning to create one of his moulds and learning metal-casting to create the pewter base."

“From sketching concepts digitally and designing prototypes for 3D printing in Fab Lab Plymouth, to working with technicians in the glass studios to blow hot glass into a plaster mould, every aspect of the design required a new skill and Andres collaborated with specialists in each area to get the job done.”

Concept designs by Andres Boraita

For Princess, this young art student achieved something spectacular that will soon find its way to luxury yacht owners all across the world.

Andres Boraita said: “It was a huge experience for me, working with Princess Yachts. It’s so exciting to have won! Knowing that there was a client I needed to convince with my designs made the process more challenging and much more rewarding. From drawing to prototyping, this project allowed me to do all the things that I love. I can’t wait to refine the designs further and work to help put these designs into production.

“When I was trying to choose where to study in the Erasmus+ scheme, I knew that I had to come to Plymouth College of Art as soon as I saw the facilities and equipment. Working here, I’ve had so much support from people working in every different area of the college. There’s no way that I could have made my designs a reality without collaborations with so many talented specialists with different skills. And now, to be able to return to Spain and say that I’ve worked with a luxury brand like Princess Yachts, will really help me to build my career as a designer.”

BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts student Jeanie Stroud

Jeanie Stroud, a mature student who moved to Plymouth from her home in Surrey to study BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts, said: “Working with a prestigious brand like Princess Yachts was an intimidating prospect, but because of my professional background running a workshop making soft furnishing and upholstery it felt achievable, which helped me to focus on creating a design that met the brief."

“I love working with glass, especially glass blowing, I wake up in the morning thinking about what I am going to do in the hotglass workshop that day, so I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to create an untippable martini glass for Princess Yachts. Martini glasses are usually Y-shaped, which isn’t a shape that you’d normally imagine to be untippable! I’m very happy with the glass that I designed, inspired by spinning tops and strawberries, forms that roll but don’t fall over. I’m exploring the potential to take the designs into small batch production with a local glass manufacturer.”

Shortlisted BA (Hons) Product Design & Innovation student, Jack Rogers, said: “My concept used emerging technology to create a glass that couldn’t tip and spill because it would hover above a coaster with magnetic coils hidden inside. Last year I worked on a live brief to design for Plymouth Gin, and learned that a thicker glass will keep the drink cool for longer, so I also incorporated this into my design."

Student Jack Rogers shows his shortlisted designs to Plymouth Live's Penny Cross and William Telford

“The technology that I used to make the prototype hover was something that I had to import from outside of Europe, which seriously cut down the amount of time that I had to experiment, but now that the pitching process is over I can’t wait to develop the design further and see how far I can take it."

“Pitching to Princess Yachts was a fantastic experience. I learned so much from being in the room watching the other students pitch and from doing it myself. There’s so much of what I said and did that I’d change if I were to pitch to them again. That’s something that will undoubtedly help me in my career.”

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