Ballantines came to us with a vision of designing a product that would revolutionize the space travel industry. Between their creative team and the visionary mind of OSA founder James Parr, the concept of a space glass was brought to life. Although the initial idea was simple – design a whisky glass to use in zero-gravity – it was agreed that this was not just a practical solution but a design that captured the limitless beauty of space.
James teamed with our resident designer Jon Rushton and went through several iterations of the space glass design. Challenge was, not only did it have to be simple, practical, and beautiful, it had to be 3D printed as well! Not an easy design brief to follow but at this point we were truly inspired by the whole team’s vision. Between James' eye for detail and Jon's designing magic, we've come up with what James appropriately calls "an artifact from the future."
Once the basic design of the glass was agreed upon, there were still some major challenges that needed to be addressed:
How do we fill it, how to we drink from it, and how do we keep the whisky from floating away?
The unique design of the glass is based around a helical channel embedded on the internal wall. This structure allows the drinker to draw the whisky up as they slowly swirl the glass, just as you would a traditional whiskey glass. As the whiskey rises up the side, you can take a sip just as naturally as you could standing on terra firma.
To tackle the problem of keeping the whisky from floating away, the team created a dome shaped enclosure that would enable the whisky to gently aerate as it moves around the glass without risk of losing a drop.
Finally, a special one-way valve and loading mechanism was designed, so that the glass can be filled from the bottom. A simple solution for one of the most challenging environments.
DOES IT REALLY WORK?
As James Parr puts it, “as a designer you spend your whole life, breaking your babies, and the space glass was no exception.”
To answer the question of whether it really works the OSA team travelled to Bremen, Germany. They wanted to put the glass to test at Zarm’s 480 foot tall drop tower. The team filled the glass with whisky, set it inside a specially designed capsule and watched as it dropped down the vacuum sealed shaft. The high-tech tower simulates microgravity, demonstrating for 4 seconds how the glass would perform in complete weightlessness.
The nerves were high, and so were expectations. But the space glass definitely did not disappoint!
Seeing the incredible success of the test was truly magical and we were confident that Ballantine’s would be pleased as well.
Ballantine’s launched space glass last week to a very warm reception from the space, media and maker communities. For the Open Space Agency, it was an absolute pleasure to partner with Ballantine’s and we are extremely proud to have collaborated on such a unique project.
Following the release of the glass, both Ballantine’s and OSA have had significant media coverage, and we’ve attached a few links below.
Ballantines is currently considering their options of next steps based on the working prototype. And we're confident that whatever that next step may be, OSA will work closely with them throughout the process.
If you would like to find out more information about the project or get involved with any future OSA projects, please feel free to
Contact us via the website