Research project + packaging design
Water is, by definition, the colourless, odourless and tasteless substance that results from the junction of two of the most essential and abundant elements in the universe: hydrogen and oxygen. It is found in nature in the solid and gaseous states – respectively below 0º C and above 100° C – but we know it best in its liquid state. Water is synonymous with life and makes up, on average, 60% of the human body.
But when we think of ways in which we know the water that surrounds and fills us, we must look at the vessels, the packages that bring it to us, for it is them that shape it. These packages are vehicles that allow the transportation of life’s most precious and essential asset in an accessible, convenient and safe manner, without interfering with the liquid’s integrity and purity.
A bottle of natural mineral water is a privileged meeting point between content and packaging, liquid and solid, natural element and cultural product. How many water bottle shapes do we know? Where do their contours, components and materials come from? What do we expect from a water bottle – or rather, from a water form?
LH2O is not an interpretation of water as element, but rather a reinterpretation of its form. It is an innovative packaging solution that protects and maintains the purity of its content – Luso natural mineral water – while seeking to optimize and ease storage, transportation and display, as well as handling and consumption.
The elementary form of LH2O results from the intersection of two geometric solids: a simple cube (bottle neck and cap) and a truncated cube (package). The main volume’s 17 faces – five square and 12 hexagonal, identical faces – allow for an endless number of bottles to be regularly grouped together in several configurations that suppress empty space between them.
Each of these “three-dimensional space-filling modules” significantly optimizes the processes of storage and transportation, reduces the amount of material (Polyethylene Terephthalate, or PET) used in the bottle and creates a greater impact in the final product’s display.
Viewed as part of a whole, every bottle thus enables the creation of display solutions – be it at point of sale or in other consumption contexts – based on unexpected, three-dimensional arrangements.
LH2O is a research project on a new form for Água de Luso (Luso water) and the result of a collaboration between Pedrita studio and the Luso brand. This project aims to find not only a new form for this liquid, but also to come up with a bottle that illustrates the qualities and unique properties of Água de Luso, which has been part of the life and body of the Portuguese for over 150 years. That’s what made us – naturally – add a new element to the chemical formula of water, redesigning the way we see, read and know Água de Luso.
The LH2O bottle, first presented to the public in a limited edition during ExperimentaDesign 2009, does justice to the innovative and experimental nature of the Lisbon Biennale, since this project is not presented as a finished product, but as a step of an ongoing partnership. By highlighting the various elements involved in the design process – sketches, models, prototypes, etc. – it sheds a light over what lies behind this new form. Similarly, the bottles are presented as objects of study and work, which after having gone through all stages of the product’s manufacture, filling, labelling, packaging and transportation continue to be developed for full alignment with Luso’s existing structure. Each bottle contains exactly 33cl of pure Água de Luso, guaranteed in its quality and integrity by the company’s laboratories and filling facilities.
ExperimentaDesign is for us the ideal context for this project’s test-launch, for its openness to unexpected and less conventional design projects which, like LH2O, question the scope of design and explore its relationship with the industry, distribution and Portuguese brands.”
Photo credits: Tiago Pinto
Photo credits: Pedrita studio
Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas / Sociedade Água de Luso
Concept and product design
Packaging technical development
Communication and Translation