World-leading design colleges are invited to take part and to nominate a group of students.

Together with the Nachtmann team, independent product designer Stefanie Kubanek then sets the brief, and takes the students on a factory tour. During an intense and prolonged design and development phase, the winning design then proceeds from idea to the finished product and into your home as a future classic.


“I’m no mathematician but I know that a sphere is a perfectly round geometrical object in three-dimensional space. This was my starting point, as I sketched my first rough ideas. My aim was to connect the tradition and quality of hand-made glass with the precision and possibilities of pressed glass. I was influenced by legendary Czech glass designers Frantisek Vizner, Rudolf Jurnikl, Jirí Zejmon and Jirí Brabec, who all took a sculptural approach to their craft.”


Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague


As a design student in Manhattan I was excited to get the chance to visit the Nachtmann factory in Germany. To be honest, I used to think of glass as a cold and fragile material, but that all changed when I saw the Nachtmann craftsmen at work. I was hugely impressed by the skill and dedication of the glassmakers, and I found the processes of sculpting and shaping glass fascinating. I came back to college determined to make the most of my opportunity

Viktoriya Braginsky

Industrial designer
Parsons School of Design in NYC


I found every stage of the NextGen project exhilarating, especially the visit to Germany. On the factory tour I saw a droplet of glass being skillfully transformed into a beautiful object … that’s when the scale of the creative opportunity hit me. My inspiration came from studying consumers, who I believe are mostly women. Maybe I have a romantic streak because I pictured a wedding scene with rose petals falling and scattering over a bed! From then, the process was very loose … I wanted to abstract the element of the rose into multiple facets. After many prototypes, the design took on a life of its own, with the pattern of my crystal vase resembling petals falling to form visual poetry.

Alvaro Uribe

Pratt Institute, New York


My initial inspiration came from geode rocks … ordinary stones with crystals hidden inside. Apparently, quartz sand is one of the basic raw materials for producing crystal glass and I was fascinated by the sparkling surface of its crystalline structure. I explored the possibility of patterning the inside – rather than the outside – of the vessel with a crystal pattern using the geode as a visual metaphor. In the end I decided that it was the pattern itself that should be showcased. The brilliant crystal and the pattern of the bowl have a wonderful sparkling light refraction that people seem to enjoy … I know I do.

Catherine Merrick

Pratt Institute, New York


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