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Pint Glasses of the Future


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A new safety pint tumbler is being developed by an agency called Design Bridge in an effort to solve the big problem of glasses being used in violent assaults. On behalf of the Design and Technology Alliance Against Crime, the Design Council has appointed Design Bridge to create a new kind of pint glass to reduce the number of injuries from the 87,000 violent incidents involving glassings each year, which costs an estimated £100,000,000 in National Health Service, policing and court costs annually.

The appointed designers, Design Bridge, will work on producing a range of safer drinking vessels prototypes, which will be launched in December this year. The object is to not only to make a safer pint tumbler, but to make sure they are easy to use and attractive to all. Working closely with manufacturers and the drinks trade, Design Bridge will seek to develop a number of options, which could be taken up by pub and club owners.

The alternative safety glass idea forms part of the “Design Out Crime" initiative from the Home Office's Design and Technology Alliance Against Crime and the Design Council. The design council are a group of experts from the world of industry, design and law enforcement whose mandate is to bring about change and encourage others to “think crime" at the first stages of product development.

Design Out Crime help to develop solutions to a number of crime-related problems, particularly those which affect young people by developing design-led ideas to reduce the harm from alcohol related crime (fights in clubs and pubs), in Schools (reducing bullying, fighting and petty theft), with new products utilising innovations in technology, services and product design which help make consumer electronics more crime-proof and in business by minimising retail theft.

The Professor of Design, Royal College of the Arts and Alliance member said: “Alcohol related crime takes up valuable police and NHS resources and causes unnecessary misery to thousands of people. The outcomes of the Design Out Crime project have the potential to not only reduce alcohol related violence in the UK but to also help make our communities safer places".

Nick Verebelyi of the Design Bridge said: “Our challenge is to build upon research the Design Council have established to develop creative solutions that increase safety by reducing the opportunity for the vessel to be used as a weapon, whilst taking account of operational challenges, and providing opportunities for enhanced consumer appeal and brand image".

Alan Campbell, Home Office Minister said: “Innovative design has played an important role in driving down overall crime by a third since 1997 tackling a range of crimes including theft, fraud and burglary with innovative and practical solutions to real problems. This project will see those same skills applied to the dangerous and costly issue of alcohol-related crime and I am confident that it will lead to similar successes"(1).

Prior to the next generation pint glass brief was created, Innovation RCA conducted research to develop insights into the “glassing" problem and to identify solutions in designing safer pint glasses. The research was given to some of the United Kingdoms best designers, material scientists, branding experts and industry marketers. These teams met with major brewers, PR agencies, bar operators and trade organisations to understand their concerns.

There were also interviews with law enforcement agencies, plastic surgeons and victims of alcohol related violence, while bar staff and customers were videoed talking about their experience of drinking from actual glasses versus disposable pint glasses .

The insights gained into alcohol related violence were complemented by scientific testing of standard polycarbonate plastic tumblers by the Materials and Design Exchange (MADE).

The results were used to write the “Next Generation Pint Glass" brief to the design and technology experts, providing them with the essential background knowledge to develop innovative solutions to address alcohol related violence in the UK.

References: 1. Turney, Ewan. Search on for safer pub pint glass (2009).

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