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.
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.
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.