There are hundreds of ways to open a bottle of beer, and believe me, I’ve tried many of them. It’s not until you’ve nearly punctured your hand shimming a knife under the cap or stooped to the desperate low of using your teeth (not recommended!), that you realize how ingenious a tool the bottle opener really is. Sure, a bottle opener is not much more than a simple lever, but it’s incredibly efficient, and left in the hands of designers it can take some unexpectedly beautiful forms. In an ode to the tool, Okolo, a Czech-based creative collective, curated 25 bottle openers from around the world and put them on display for their new exhibition, Open & Drink!
The show sources openers from 11 countries, and the variety is telling. The selection includes contemporary pieces like a simple welded steel lever made by young Czech designers and a minimalist wooden block that employs a hole and a steel plate to lift a cap off. But it also highlights some old classics like Germany’s ubiquitous metal Monopol opener, which has a piece of rubber on the back that slides over a bottle top to seal in freshness if you were somehow unable to finish your beer. “I bought my Monopol some years ago in Germany,” says Okolo co-founder Adam Štěc, ”but after a lot of research we still couldn’t uncover when exactly it was designed. It’s a mystery.”
A bottle opener can be a pretty good lens on what’s happening in design.
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