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Nachtmann Glass Design Competition Sends 10 Students to Germany and Austria   

Ten students from the Department of Industrial Design traveled to Germany and Austria in February on an intensive study of the glassware design industry, thanks to a semester-long competition sponsored by Nachtmann, one of the world’s top crystal manufacturers. 

As part of the contest, students attended Ambiente, the world’s leading tabletop exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany.  They also visited three glass-making factories in Germany and Austria owned by Nachtmann and its parent-company, Riedel.

Six students won cash prizes for their designs, which Nachtmann plans to prototype in glass and exhibit at next year’s Ambiente.  Nachtmann officially says that they will go into production with the awarded designs. A licensee agreement will be put in place in the event of manufacturing.

First prize winners, the team of Mary Khoun and Konrad Giersz, both B.I.D. ’10, won for their design FlipIt; Catherine Merrick, M.I.D. ’11, won second prize for Geode; Alvaro Uribe, B.I.D. ’10, won third prize for hisRomance design; Elizabeth New, M.I.D. ’12, won an honoree award for her design Blossom, as did Kyle Solà, B.I.D. ’10, for Quake.

“The fact that we were able to hold this as a contest, a suggestion by Industrial Design Chair Matthew Burger, meant that we were able to attract undergraduate and graduate students with different levels of experience and a wide range of ideas,” says Katrin Mueller-Russo, adjunct professor in the Department of Industrial Design. Mueller-Russo co-organized the competition with industrial designer and longtime friend Stefanie Kubanek, who has worked closely with Nachtmann in the past. 

Kubanek says, “The collaboration with Nachtmann offered students an insight into designing for a commercial and very competitive realm.”

Nachtmann officials say they were thrilled with the results of partnering with Pratt.

“The final presentation was like Christmas eve,” says Nachtmann’s top management. “We got so many fantastic designs that we were really overwhelmed.”