Our preoccupation with water—drinking lots of it, paying for it, taking it wherever we go—is, not surprisingly, reflected in the abundance of attention industrial designers are lavishing on containers meant to hold and transport liquids. How many ways, we wonder, are there to interpret such a vessel? Well, with World Water Day in the news, we thought now was as good a time as any to round up some of the more inventive designs proposed as alternatives to clogging our landfills and waterways with throwaway plastic that lasts forever.
At $78, the most expensive container on our list, Berta from Kontextur is, as far as we know, the first designer bottle being marketed specifically to mouthwash users. Calling it a carafe that “magnifies the vibrant colors of your mouthwash,” Berta is available in a choice of colored silicone stoppers “to complement or contrast the color of your favorite mouthwash flavor.” Ok, but we also think it makes a handsome bedside water carafe.
An awarding winning design, Takro is ‘the glass you take with you.’ A drinking glass with a sleek stainless steel lid, it can be sealed and transported without a fuss. We do have to raise an eyebrow at the practicality of transporting glass, but as an object of sheer beauty, it’s, well, really beautiful.
Sagaform is the only brand that makes our list twice. This simple glass vessel can be used as a wine decanter or water carafe, and while we like its graceful shape, it’s the oak ball of a stopper—a characteristically understated Nordic touch—that immediately got our attention.
Another Sagaform creation, this statuesque plastic look-alike is actually thermal glass through-and-through, down to the no-spill stopper. Too unwieldy and delicate to stuff in a shoulder bag, it’s nevertheless the ideal refrigerator-to-table conversation piece.
The only plastic bottle to make our list, the Kor One “Hydration Vessel” is, we’ll admit, the gold standard of plastic, reusable water bottles. BPA free, with its distinctive shape and iMac-like color choices, it’s one of those objects already given iconic status by both design and fashion enthusiasts eager to go public with their eco consciousness.