Coca-Cola’s “contour bottle” has been a brand icon since its inception in 1916. It is also recyclable: after each use, the bottle can be collected, washed and refilled for further use. This tableware collection is made from bottles that have deteriorated over the course of extensive recycling, and can no longer be used for their original purpose.
We were captivated by the particular green tint known as Georgia Green, and by the fine air bubbles and distortions that are a hallmark of recycled glass, so decided to create simple shapes that would enhance these traits. But we also wanted users to feel a remnant of the distinctive bottle in the new products. Our solution was to create bowls and dishes that retain its distinctive lower shape, as though the top had been sliced off.
The dimpling on the bottle base that added to mitigate hot impacts during the production process is not ordinarily a strong visual feature, but it’s a particular characteristic of glass bottles and visible to anyone who picks up the bottle to drink. Keeping these ring-shaped dimples on the base of our bowls and plates also helps to convey important messages about the way that glass circulates between people as it’s made, used and recycled for further use, and about the connections it makes between people in this process.
Bottleware exhibition @ DESIGNTIDE TOKYO 2012 (above)
The installation design for Coca-Cola’s Bottleware presentation space at the main site of DESIGNTIDE TOKYO. Bottleware is tableware made entirely of glass that has been recycled from no longer usable Coca-Cola bottles. We built mounds of crushed recycled glass from 7000 bottles, and placed lights inside them to illuminate the entire space with the bottles’ iconic green hue. The Coca-Cola presentation space is a passageway between two exhibition halls. Visitors entering it from the left find an explanation of the project’s design process, and visitors arriving from the right the explanation of its manufacturing process. Our circulation plan envisaged a space that people would want to traverse.