Duvel beer glassware design competition winners announced

Back in November, Belgian beer brand Duvel launched a competition across the UK, France, The Netherlands and Belgium to create a design for its curvy signature glasses.

Philippe Debongnie's winning design
Philippe Debongnie’s winning design

Now, Design Week finds itself in Paris for the announcement of the winner – surrounded by strong beer beautiful glass designs, and beautiful people (the announcement coincides with Paris Fashion Week, hence the higher-than-normal ratio of taller-and-thinner-than-normal people in attendance.)

The competition saw 850 creations submitted, with the final shortlist of 12 on display in the Showroom Belgium at Galerie Magda Danysz on Friday.

Three finalists from each participating country were shown, including the work of London College of Fashion student Alexander Thomas Smith, who created the puntastic Duvalways Half Full design.

the glasses on show
the glasses on show

The image plays on last letter of the brand name to create the optimistic hand-written design, which playfully crosses out the ‘e’ of Duvel, replacing it with this buoyant mantra. Though in his fashion design degree Smith creates clothes rather than pattern or typography, he feels that the idea of creating a design for a wider market – meeting the needs of clients – is the same in any discipline. ‘You have to think about creating a design that people will want’’, he says. ‘Whether that’s creating a blue dress or something like this.’

The UK winner, the charmingly sweet Anne Pawlak, created a stunning pattern based on the idea of the hop. Originally from Berlin, Pawlak is currently studying Theatre and Performance Design at Birmingham City University. The design is influenced by the freedom of works by Abstact Expressionists like Jackson Pollock, Pawlak tells us.

‘It was taken from the idea of a hop – they have lots of leaves like an artichoke. I didn’t want to make it too literal  – I wanted it to be open to interpretation and not too overloaded with embellishments,’ she says.

While working on theatrical sets and performances is clearly rather different to creating surface designs for glassware, Pawlak feels there are a lot of similarities. ‘With theatre you think about space, graphics, lighting,’ she says. ‘With each element the concept evolves. The hops relate to the product, but its free and open to interpretation’.

The other UK finalist was Carlos Franklin, with Broken Duvel – a shattered glass design.

the UK finalists
the UK finalists

The overall winner was announced as Belgian Philippe Debongnie – making the host, Michel Moortgat’s Eurovision Song Contest joke perhaps seem less ironic than he intended – with the Miro-esuqe Vitrail design. The unassuming-looking winner seemed rather surmised at the accolade – looking equally awkward and happy as he went up to collect his magnum of beer.

Philippe Debongnie
Philippe Debongnie

The judging panel for the competition included Belgian journalist Marie Pok; writer Dieter Van Den Storm; Michel Moortgat of Duvel Moortgat; artist Marnick Smessaert; online design magazine Fontanel; Vice Magazine UK and artist, Dennis Elbers. The other winners were Floating Letters by the Parisian Alexis Taieb and Duvel Gezichten by the Dutch Dorien Heemstra.

Belgian finalist Dimitri's design
Belgian finalist Dimitri’s design

All the winners receive 50 glasses featuring their designs, while Debongnie’s glasses will now be on sale in the Duvel website and be used in bars, restaurants  and pubs serving the beer from July this year.

2010 collection by Dennis Meyers
2010 collection by Dennis Meyers

For more information visit  www.duvelcollection.com

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