Multidisciplinary design

Nov 2018 - Aug 2019

The Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) is a dynamic interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to addressing industrial problems through the application of fundamental science and engineering.  The Institute, based in Sheffield, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a grand luncheon for an esteemed guests list of industry leaders, PhD Students, investors and existing and potential clients.
The organisers of the event wanted guests to leave with a memento that would represent the institute’s 25-year history and the core values that will lead it into the future. 


The concept

Working in a multidisciplinary team, consisting of myself, fellow graphic designer, Elena Liu, Jewellery and Metalwork Designer, Katherine Zhan and Interior Designer, Khue Ho we endeavoured to create a souvenir that would inspire conversation and fuel networking at the event. The 'cog' design is symbolic of industry itself as well as collaboration, with the 5 teeth representing the 5 sectors of the institute. The cogs were originally to be made from 5 materials representing these sectors too, however, to fit budget we decided to stick to the one -
a MERI designed aluminium alloy created by the institute’s research itself with a distinctive sheen and patterning caused by the mix of metals, Another metaphor for strength in collaboration. 

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The central motif was initially based on the MERI logo (as depicted on the right) however, the hole was re-designed to be better serve its purpouse as a napkin holder at the meal. The cog would also have the guest's name engraved clearly above the napkin to act as a place holder and would have rubber pads on the back that alow it to work nicely as a drinks coaster.  The final shape would have to be cut with with a high pressure water jet with minimal detail due to the high strength of the alloy. The cog would then be coated with High Impulse Magnatron sputtering, a technique pioneered by MERI, coloured and strengthened further via a MERI patented anodisation process and then have the detail etched into it's surface with a 20 watt high impulse lazer cutter.   

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