Clip-on Tea Infuser Classier Than A Clip-on Tie

On Saturday, April 5, the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) presented its Student Merit Award to Paul Sukphisit, a senior at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The presentation was the highlight of the 2008 IDSA Northeast District Conference, which was held in Philadelphia. Sukphisit, along with national award winners from four other districts, will present his work at the IDSA’s national conference this September in Phoenix.

One of Sukphisit’s projects is a fully reconceived tea infuser. His prototype addresses a number of problems with infusers currently on the market, such as water dripping from the infuser onto the counter and surrounding surfaces; the infuser falling into the cup while brewing; and multiple parts that require regular cleaning. The drip-catching clip functions as a stand and graphic brand identifier. The overall form is marriage of functionality and elegance.

Designer: Paul Sukphisit


  • I am not convinced by seeing how the infuser lays down that it is 100% water dripping proof. Why does the longer part is on top and not below when used as a stand?

  • zippyflounder says:

    I see thes and think ‘wonder if they tested it for function”? It is very pretty, however motion throught the water is needed to boost the brewing, if left static only gravity, and capaliary action will take place. This reneders any tea in the center unused and wasted, providing a weak brew. A vigrious stirring will assist, but would need to be kept up during the brewing time as infusers high drag shape would slow the fluid flow.

  • ModuleS says:

    Typically speaking when IDSA presents an award to a design, the function should have been tested to some degree. On that note there is a lot of credibility and potential in this design.

    • zippyflounder says:

      Some potential if it functions well, and given the build cost of a prototype it SHOULD have been tested for fuction. IDSA’s track record for pickting sucessful products…pretty bad.

  • I am not convinced by seeing how the infuser lays down that it is 100% water dripping proof. Why does the longer part is on top and not below when used as a stand?

  • Dcmidnight says:

    Without seeing the actual size on a working model, those holes look pretty big for most loose leaf tea, no?

    • HeyBeav says:

      I’d say the holes look to be a good size. You might be thinking of the tea used in bags, a grade called fannings, which is really a a dust compared to most loose leaf tea.

      One of my complaints is that many infusers have such small holes that when the tea swells in hot water there is very little water circulation.

  • Xultar says:

    Nice try with the design. It’s cute and all, but I think that little drip catcher is gonna be over run.

  • Lim says:

    Hahaha.. In the end, trying to solve problems and create another problems. I need to see a real proof on the practicality of this design….

  • Monty says:

    Looks like a nice upgrade from my tea stick. Who would have guessed that tea design could continue to advance.

  • Spartanical says:

    Too bad it’s a just a one-time-use device. If you’re busy and not wanting to get out of your seat, this is not much good after the first cup. What do you do with the cold tea drippings?

  • billTO says:

    Dont think it will work well either. and what is wrong with old infusers? if I were the designer, I would design a part that would squeeze out the water from the tea so it wont drip. It is looking nice as an art form but functionality wise? questionable. When you take out the clip the water will drip from that and then you turn it another way and the water comes out from the top as well… so now you have two areas of wet floor/table to worry about.

  • fooddude says:

    I actually went to school with Paul and he spent a great deal of time testing this design through numerous models. Most of the form is due to the function. While there is no picture here, in his presentation he showed photos of this process and the helped explain his decisions.

    this link shows the entire project

  • billTO says:

    I actually saw his project online from that site. I honestly like his presentation skill/graphic presentation wise he was excellent. But the product/prototype that he produced was different to the 3d he is showing here. Anyway, I am sure he spent a lot of time to design this but the thing is it is just not totally functional. He should have gone to a 3d forming company to produce an actual product instead of just using acrylic. The tea infuser he had (around one) in his dossier was already a good design so he has to really top that, which is really difficult.

  • B says:

    I designed this same thing two years ago. Mine was made out of heat resistant silicone which provided a burn free squeeze function (not to mention dishwasher safe and makes mold making a breeze) . Don;t you hate it when someone designs something you already submitted to competitions and wins stuff for it? I know I do.

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