Alex T Schulz-Mesoglea Cup Concept

At Design Interviews

Interview with Alex T Schulz : Frank Scott: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?. Alex T Schulz : This design was a part of a collection of objects, which also includes the other submission to the competition, the "Insect Wing Pen". They wered designed for an exhibition and I had chosen a common theme for them: " The formation of Life on Earth". "Mesoglea" deals with life in water. .Frank Scott: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?. Alex T Schulz : As the project is clearly derived from nature, I wanted to obtain a kind of resemblance to its natural inspiration, The Mesogleae creatures of the deep sea (which also includes the Medusae, Creatures that have a translucent body plan and travel by propulsion). But there should not only be a resemblance of looks, there should also a similarity of principle. The cap has this central piece inside, that holds a lemon e.g. like its pray, providing thus a better dissolution of the drinks components. Another focus was designing a cup that can not only be used in one position. It can stand upright in an conventional way, but also in an inclined position. This gives it a more dynamic appeal, seems like floating and also gives the user an insight into its intricate interior. .Frank Scott: What are your future plans for this award winning design?. Alex T Schulz : Being a Concept developed with 3d printing, it is always a challenge with materials and finish. I would like to see this project eventually gaining serial stage and of course I am looking for a manufacturer that may be interested in developing this project. .Frank Scott: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?. Alex T Schulz : The project took me circa half a year to develop, as it was done as a part of a collection of three. But there is also the time, someone creates things in their heads subconsciously, and that takes always takes place when finding an idea. .Frank Scott: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?. Alex T Schulz : The design was part of a collection created for a design exhibition. I gave the collection the title:" The Formation of Life on Earth". So there were no boundaries in the sense that it did not have be something for serial production at first sight. The emphasis was more on telling a story and creating a piece of art. Still it would be very interesting to see how this project could eventually make its way into serial stage. .Frank Scott: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?. Alex T Schulz : The project is not being produced by another company. If a company shows interest in the project and want to see how this design study can make its way to production stage, I am surely up for it. .Frank Scott: What made you design this particular type of work?. Alex T Schulz : When looking for a theme, I found the idea of creating objects, that in some ways function like life forms and could eventually establish a more symbiotic relationships to users, appealing. "Mesoglea" for example mixes drink while you are drinking. When you pour the lemon inside its central grip, it starts squeezing the lemon and initiates a chemical reaction. This way, the object interacts with its user, by also using a similar principle as its natural inspiration. Another thing that appealed to me when designing this, was the bioluminescence of deep sea creatures. While the cup is surely best suited for long-drinks in a bar atmosphere, I have created those carvings on its edges that can break the light and offer an reflectance reminiscent of its natural inspiration . .Frank Scott: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?. Alex T Schulz : Surely this design is inspired by bionic design and the numerous designers and projects that helped establish this design language. .Frank Scott: Who is the target customer for his design?. Alex T Schulz : I would say every customer of design items is someone who likes to have nice things fitting to their personalities. I cannot make up a specific group of customers, so I would say design oriented. I also could imagine that the cup looks also good in staged light situations like bars. .Frank Scott: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?. Alex T Schulz : This concept may stand out because of the story it tells. Mainly there are three ideas origin from the original concept. The central piece in the cavity, the inclination and the reflective cuts on the side. .Frank Scott: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?. Alex T Schulz : "Mesoglea" means by dictionary: "the noncellular, gelatinous material between the inner and outer body walls of a coelenterate or sponge".It describes the body plan of primordial sea creatures and and as it fit the story I was trying to tell with the design, I went with the title and called it the "Mesoglea Cup". .Frank Scott: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?. Alex T Schulz : I created the design with 3d software and its analysis tools. Then project was printed 3d in various stages of design to experiment its weight, look and feel. Afterwards the pieces were also edited hand, providing them the final look and abilities. .Frank Scott: What is the most unique aspect of your design?. Alex T Schulz : Hard to answer, maybe it is the combination of more than one aspect: the central piece that holds the lemon eg., visible to the user when the cup is inclined. All in all, the design is radical in means that it stays close to the story it is telling. .Frank Scott: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?. Alex T Schulz : I worked with a 3d Printing company who are also manufacturing other industrial parts and also have the skills of manual editing. .Frank Scott: What is the role of technology in this particular design?. Alex T Schulz : The role of the technology was very important in this design, as its intricate forms can surely be challenging in many ways, including the conception on a virtual computer desk as also then in reality afterwards. .Frank Scott: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?. Alex T Schulz : My designs are rather auctorial, this means they follow a certain idea, or are developed for a certain need, which any designer, architect or creative person can sense. The design that comes to life is alone possible answer to that problem. .Frank Scott: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?. Alex T Schulz : There were moments of despair, when e.g. the computer would say "no" or the 3d printer , because the material strength was not ok, some parts were to full of detail etc. It is always an evolving process, it never stops. .Frank Scott: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?. Alex T Schulz : I knew, as most of us, of the A`Design Award. This year I found the guts to apply, which I am very thankful for. I am also very thankful for this competition, as it gives us, "small" creatives, also a platform to present our work, which is a great thing. .Frank Scott: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?. Alex T Schulz : I have learned there is always I way, or at least it is what I prefer to think. .Frank Scott: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?. Alex T Schulz : The questions were very good, my mind is empty now ;-). .

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