The Ultimate Pint Glass, a resistant glass that causes less harm when smashed, is one of more than ten innovations developed as part of the Design Out Crime programme. It was created by a team from Design Bridge, Arc International and the Royal College of Art.

The problem

Alcohol-related crime costs the UK £8–13 billion a year and the NHS alone spends £2.7 billion dealing with the consequences, such as injuries from assaults. One of the biggest risks is ‘glassing’, when attackers turn smashed bottles and glasses into weapons.

An obvious solution is to make people drink from plastic vessels in all contexts, not just festivals and gigs, but this would diminish people’s drinking experience and harm business.

The solution

Initial research at the Royal College of Art identified various ways to gain the safety of plastic while maintaining the drinking experience of glass. Multiple variants of plastic/glass laminate were then explored by Design Bridge to discover what felt good and was manufacturable. But beyond that, how would you create more value for the pub, bar or club owner – how would you incentivise them to help save money for the NHS?

The answer was in creating a shape that aided pouring and developing glass that's five times more durable. The Ultimate Pint Glass is not just a safer glass, it’s a better glass.

During the challenge, two prototypes for new pint glasses were produced that have the look and feel of normal glasses, but – thanks to binding resin – don't break into shards when dropped or broken.  

The results

The Ultimate Pint Glass that went to market is made from a resistant glass that’s very hard to break – but if it does, it shatters into tiny bits, making it useless as a weapon. So the chances of being injured by glass if trouble breaks out in a pub, bar or club are massively reduced.

The Ultimate Pint Glass sold more than double the volume of its UK sales overseas in 2012. The glass is selling well in South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. Arc International senses a chance to transform its industry. It now produces eight Ultimate glasses of different sizes and weights.

Visit the-ultimate-pint.co.uk

News & opinion

Design skills are not just for designers – Spark proves this This year, our product innovation programme Design Council Spark has seen an increase in successful applications from groups under-represented in the design industry and people without formal design education. This year, Spark has seen people with an unusually varied set of skills and backgrounds reach the final stages.

Feature — 16/05/2018

Design Council Spark awardees are rocking all over the world Rockit, the aptly named rocket-shaped portable baby rocker, was an awardee in our 2016 Design Council Spark accelerator programme. Rockit, the aptly named rocket-shaped portable baby rocker, was an awardee in our 2016 Design Council Spark accelerator programme.

News — 13/04/2018

Meet the Spark finalists 2018 Find out about the products that will be refined and transformed over the next 16 weeks. Find out about the products that will be refined and transformed over the next 16 weeks.

Feature — 12/03/2018

How Design Council Spark kick-started a difficult design project We spoke to Nick Rawcliffe, a mechanical engineer who joined the Spark programme with his innovative folding cycle helmet. We spoke to Nick Rawcliffe, a mechanical engineer who joined the Spark programme with his innovative folding cycle helmet.

Feature — 01/02/2018

Resources