THE SLIDERSTRAW STORY
A PRODUCT INVENTION IN SEVERAL CHAPTERS
Some ideas are simply ahead of their time.
That is the case for Arman Emami, as he sits in a bar in October 2009 and finds himself wondering why there are no reusable drinking straws. He keeps coming back to the question over the course of the evening and soon realises the reason: reusable drinking straws are simply very difficult to clean! As he chats excitedly with friends, his brain ponders how the inside of a straw could be cleaned easily (yes, product designers never really switch off). Soon, an idea begins taking shape in Arman’s head. What if you could open a straw in the middle? He hastily asks the bartender for a pen, sketches out his design roughly on a serviette and goes home feeling good.
Three days later,
Arman Emami enthusiastically shares his idea with his team. He tasks his then intern Laura Brendler with developing the concept of a divisible reusable drinking straw in 3D in more detail. She then develops three prototypes made from notched plastic tubes, which she covers with additional coloured foils: the world’s first two-piece divisible drinking straw is born!
Full of confidence,
Arman Emami enters the design in the red dot concept competition on 14 April 2010. Unfortunately, the result is not as positive as he had hoped. Since the issue of plastic waste and its dramatic effects on our environment is not yet strongly anchored in society’s awareness, the jury does not seem to consider an innovative reusable drinking straw particularly relevant. The innovative concept fails to win any awards. In addition, several discussions with investors break down. No-one seems to be interested in the concept at that time. The design concept, together with the prototypes, is shelved for eight years and goes unpublished.
Arman Emami focuses on other projects (and wins 62 red dot awards for various design works in the meantime).
It is now 2018:
The imminent EU ban on single-use plastics is causing a stir in the media. Arman Emami reads the reports and the constantly emerging new facts about the devastating consequences of plastic waste with interest. He decides to start working on his concept of a divisible reusable drinking straw once again. Further prototypes follow and in June 2018, Emami patents his invention.
In his Berlin EMAMIDESIGN office,
Arman Emami continues to develop the concept and optimises many details. He tweaks and tests it until he is really happy with the result. This gives rise to the elliptical cross-cut, among other things, and he develops additional stainless steel and silicone versions, which are added to the patent in April 2019, along with a number of other improvements. SLIDERSTRAW, the world’s first smart reusable drinking straw, is finally ready for the market. In May 2019, the patent for SLIDERSTRAW is granted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office and series production of the SLIDERSTRAW begins.
The concept of the divisible drinking straw also gains recognition in award circles, albeit slightly late. In February 2019, the red dot design jury decides to distinguish the SLIDERSTRAW with a red dot design award. The award confirms the outstanding design quality and innovative strength of the multi-use concept. Shortly after the red dot jury’s decision, the product is awarded an iF award – conferred by the renowned International Forum Design.