"By exploring material properties and design possibilities concurrently, we were able to explore a wide range of ideas and develop a showcase product that would not have been realized by the process typically used by Ziba or Eastman."
“Starting with material first in the project really allowed harmony between the product design and the material application, and they were working together to create an innovative solution.”
The challenge of innovation
The challenge of innovation is that it largely happens in silos. Historically, leaders in the worlds of materials and design have each led seperate lives. The best among scientists map out the molecular beginnings and the structural destinations with an eye open for adventure along the way while designers need to consider materials not as obstacles to overcome but as frontiers to be explored.
In Ziba, Eastman found a coinnovator with the talent to push the boundaries of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester. The connection between Eastman and Ziba was instant." We felt like we were talking the same language from the start," says Jaclyn Suzuki, CMF specialist at Ziba. Together, the teams advanced a shared desire to experiment and collaborate early in the design process, creating an approach to innovation that resulted in a unique product based on emerging consumer trends.
One of the world's top design firms, Ziba, has established an enviable reputation for not only creativity and design talent but also for its intimate sensibility for consumer megatrends, taste, and aesthetics. Ziba recognized the value of inspiring their designers through a project that began with material exploration.
Function meets form
TOPO was designed to combine the appreciation of rich character of heritage objects and ingredients with the functionality and cleanliness of modern design. The molding creates an inner form that honors the typography of the Tennessee hills where U.S. whisky began. Its combination of clean lines and rugged durability taps into the elegant practicality of the Modern Gentleman.
Material and design advance each other
The material empowers the designer; the design inspires the engineer. Design themes were generated based on material qualities and consumer needs. Though Ziba presented many concepts, the TOPO flask was chosen for the unique ways that Eastman Tritan™ Copolyester and the design worked hand in hand. Through prototyping and checkpoints that addressed technical concerns, Eastman was exposed to all phases of the design process while Ziba gained an increased knowledge of an advanced polymer and its limitless design potential.
The final production of the TOPO flask included authentic metal and cork components, providing contrast to the clarity and high-gloss of Tritan. The thick-to-thin walls of the flask accomplish what glass and other plastics cannot, creating a mesmerising inner point of interest. Clean ultrasonic welding along the top creates a watertight seal, while a frosted texture adds to the TOPO's rugged sophistication.
One sip at a time
Ziba explored more than a dozen concepts before agreeing with Eastman to develop the TOPO, the Modern Gentleman's flask. The TOPO flask intentionally could not be designed or produced with any other material other than Tritan, a polymer that delivers dramatic thick-to-thin walls, fine embossed details, a molded-in pouring spout, exceptional chemical resistance, dishwasher durability, total design flexibility, and ease of production. The results of this integrated functionality is unique, strong, and the crystal clear flask that celebrates its contents -- one sip at a time.