The next generation of glass packaging designers is being incubated in a design-workshop competition sponsored by Italian manufacturer Bruni Glass. Since its inception in 1997, Progetto Millennio (Millennium Project) has expanded into a worldwide opportunity from which young designers can launch a career. All winners receive a cash prize for their designs and, if the bottle is sold and goes into production, designers receive royalties for 10 years based on product sales.

The Sommelier bottle in use

The contest was created as a biennial challenge to European university students “to rise and take up the gauntlet of the new millennium waiting just around the corner by designing a brand new packaging form.”

After the inaugural year, Bruni Glass opened the competition to more universities and introduced four glass design categories, including spirits and wine. In 2019, a “home fragrances” category was added. In 2013, the name was changed to The Bruni Glass Design Award and was made a permanent international competition for students from major industrial design schools and universities worldwide.

The two year-long contest consists of three sessions, throughout which participating students submit and modify their designs. From the participants, 20 are chosen as finalists. Each of their designs is rendered as a plexiglass model on which the public votes. Designs that reach the final are registered with Bruni Glass.

Many of the designs developed in prior contests are now being used as commercial packaging. A spokesperson for Bruni Glass says “the ultimate example” is a design by Stefano Morazzoni, then a student at Milan Politecnico University, whose Sommelier 750 bottle was a finalist in the 2015 competition in the wine category.

Münster student Katharina Shaw

“It’s a bottle with a soft, wavy silhouette, no sharp corners or ostentatious details,” explains the spokesperson. “The shape widens in the top part and gradually thins out as it reaches the base.” The shape is the result of Morazzoni’s style choice, but this also has both ergonomic and practical benefits. It enables the handler to grip it further up or further down the bottle, based on the user’s hand size. Azienda Agricola Pidrin now uses the bottle in production.

The Eleni bottle

In 2017, Morazzoni won the competition, took first place in the spirits category, and won best graphic project for his Skyscraper spirits bottle.

The competition celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2019, with finalists from Milan Politecnico University, Italy; Münster School of Design, Germany; Istituto Europeo di Design-Espagna, Madrid, Spain; Universidad Católica de Santa Fe, Argentina; Institute of Technology of Reims-Châlons-Charleville, France; and Purdue University, United States. The latest winner was Münster student Katharina Shaw for her bottle Elenie.

More information about the contest, including portfolios of past winning entries, is available online at