April 10, 2006 UK-based designers, Tomek Rygalik and Jorre van Ast have been named winners of this year's Bombay Sapphire Designer Glass Competition for their glass 'Inverted'. Chosen from 26 global finalists gathered for the final judging and celebration of martini cocktail culture at Superstudio Piu in Milan (part of the Milan Design Week), Rygalik from Poland and his Dutch design partner, Jorre van Ast, who studied together at the Royal College of Art in London, collected the US$15,000 prize. The winning glass recognises the importance of three elements to the glass design - the bowl, stem and base - and then plays with the archetypal form by placing the stem above the bowl. Holding the delicate stem creates a new, elegant, drinking experience for the martini cocktail.
A panel of high profile international designers assembled to judge the global final, including Ron Arad, Dror Benshetrit, Lena Bergström, Nadja Swarovski and Patricia Urquiola.
In the last year, thousands of up-and-coming designers from around the world have been designing and creating martini cocktail glasses inspired by Bombay Sapphire and the 26 finalists in Milan represented Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UK and USA.
The two runner-up designers, Charlotte Ryberg from Sweden and Or Wai Kit from Hong Kong, won US$5,000 and US$2,500 respectively.
Details of the 2005 and 2004 design contests can be found at the Bombay Sapphire site.