It’s Green To Be Square

I love design. I love packaging. I love Earth. So when I see something cool that intertwines all three of those tenets, I have to pass along. Maybe there’s a little guilt involved here too as I just noticed how long it has been since I last blogged 🙂


Ever wonder why soda bottles/cans are round? I had thought it was primarily because of vending machines and the need for the bottles to roll. However, it turns out the main reason for a round shaped bottle has little to do with rolling, and more to do with the physics of pressurization.

“The cylindrical shape of soda cans is not for hand comfort. The sides of a rectangular container of carbonated soda would either bulge out or have to be made too strong and stiff to be cost-effective. The cylindrical shape resists bulging with much less material.

Soda cans and bottles are marvels of engineering. Over time, they have managed to use less and less raw material to make each one while still being able to contain a pressurized beverage without bulging or rupturing. If you think about a cylinder, the top and the bottom are both flat, and not as efficient at resisting bulging as the cylindrical part. Now you can understand why soda cans all taper a bit at the top (a smaller flat area resists bulging better than a large flat area) and why the bottoms are built bulging inwards (takes much less force to bulge a flat area outward than it takes to turn an inward bulge into and outward bulge).” via RID

However, plastic technology has come a long way since the industry-wide design choice to go round was made decades ago. Andrew Kim, a design student from the College for Creative Studies has released a set of images from his mid-term design project that takes dead aim at revolutionizing the soda bottle. Simple, ambitious, brilliant and very square.

I love it.