This film formed a part of Wonderland Project - an investigation into the interface between science and design by designer Helen Story and scientist Tony Ryan.
Perhaps I have been forever interested in how things become or disappear, and far less in what already exists. It was whilst “trying” to read a book about Quantum Mechanics that the idea for this project suggested itself.
Coincidentally at the time I had come to a creative dead end on a packaging design project I was working on. As sometimes happens, seemingly from nowhere, the idea for a “disappearing bottle” suggested itself. A bottle that would have an intelligent relationship with its contents, that would know it was no longer needed when the contents were gone and would shrink or disappear all together. A kind of “drink me – shrink me” conversation.
I heard the voice of Professor Tony Ryan from Sheffield University Chemistry Department on Radio 4’s Material Science programme. He sounded extremely approachable so I rang him after the programme and blurted out my idea. 10 minutes later he suggested I come and visit his colleagues Dr Malcolm Butler and Professor Richard Jones to look around the Polymer labs and recount my idea again.
Since the initial meeting of minds, and with the aid of EPSRC funding, our joint belief that drastic new thinking is required to address today's environmental issues has created four new products - including the disappearing bottle and a revolutionary water purification pillow. Two patents have already been applied for and the future potential is enormous, both in terms of the environment and humanitarian development.