Holdaplate (Cocktail Plate) by John Zox
2012 - 2013, Bronze A'
Inspiration
It took a professional musician-turned-MBA product designer to finally solve the widespread cocktail plate - drinking glass balancing act conundrum; in fact, the Philadelphia-based inventor's inspiration occurred while daydreaming about universal design challenges during a business school reception. The eureka moment was realizing that the heavy cup center of gravity had to remain in-hand; hanging glassware off a plate, like so many solutions on the market, is both precarious and inelegant.
Creativity
The Holdaplate is a simple solution to an age-old and universal problem: that awkward balancing act performed exclusively during a cocktail party, when we must hold a plate of food and a glass, one in each hand, while attempting to shake someone's hand or eat. A subtle, almost whimsical contour in the 6-inch plate's periphery allows for a glass of any size to easily nestle alongside, held in place by the user's index finger and supported effortlessly by the remaining fingers below.
Design Challenges
Criteria critical to a plateware innovation's success: EASE-OF-USE: No cups hung off or balanced on the plate VERSATILE: Works with a broad range of glassware ELEGANT: As beautiful as the standard round cocktail plate, suitable for the most formal of gatherings MAINTAINS STANDARD BEHAVIOR: Glass/plate must remain in the user's left and right hand during 95 percent of use-time SIMPLE: Critical for aesthetic and ease-of-use reasons, and also to keep costs down and to allow multiple materiality options.
Production Technology
Utilizing Rhinoceros Software, 40 nylon 3D printed iterations created. Stackability (no undercuts), thickness (benchmarked by industry standards and structural reqs), and final design simplicity, allow multi-material manufacturability. First production run, 1mm-thick dishwashable reusable recyclable injection molded Polypropylene, was chosen for the magnitude of demand for this particular material/thickness. Materials forthcoming: Melamine, porcelain, compostable molded-fiber-bagasse, and bamboo.
       
     
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