The Space Cup, a zero-gravity coffee cup designed for NASA by PSU mechanical engineering professor Mark Weislogel and his colleagues, has won the 2016 Beazley Product Design of the Year prize from the Design Museum in London.
“A coffee cup for astronauts says it all,” said judge and broadcaster Loyd Grossman. “The perfect collaboration of design and tech to make anything possible no matter where you are, or even what gravitational field you are in. It may be a lot of work for such a small product but it will make the world of difference for those that are so far from home.”
Weislogel’s team developed the cup at Portland State using experiments on the International Space Station and PSU’s 90-foot drop tower, which mimics the effects of weightlessness. It lets surface tension replace the role of gravity so astronauts can drink from an open container, a breakthrough in the study of fluid movement in space.
The cup design was one of 70 nominations in six categories: architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, product and transport. All the nominees and winners are on the Design Museum’s website. The cup will be on display in the museum until Feb. 19.