Wine carrier with wine chiller, white plastic, Decor Corporation, Australia, 1986
The decor insulated wine carrier with wine chiller was designed in 1978 to meet the needs of people in Melbourne who patronised 'BYO' (bring your own) restaurants, which was a popular practice at this time. It can also be used as a bottle drink carrier for sporting events, picnics and barbecues. Designed by Richard Carlson, it was very different from any other product on the market. It can hold two bottles of wine or four drink cans, and the removable chiller can be frozen before being placed between the bottles to keep them cool. The swing handle locks the lid into position.
This product represents one of the most successful products from Decor, a significant Australian homewares company. The cooler was awarded an Australian Design Award in 1979 and the Prince Philip Prize in 1980. In 1980 the wine carrier was being manufactured under licence in USA, Sweden and West Germany and continues to sell more than 25 years later in the USA. Decor went on to expand their range of coolers, creating a wine cask carrier, ice box and picnic hamper.The company won more than 250 Australian Design Awards over the 1980s. Decor founder Brian Davis, along with designers Richard Carlson and Tony Wolfenden were inducted into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame in 1996.
This wine carrier represents the popular Australian practice of 'BYO' first introduced in the 1960s in response to unlicensed consumption of alcohol in restaurants. Dining out, wine and BYO became popular in Australia from the 1970s. And by 2004 Australia had a higher consumption of wine per glass per person than the USA, UK or New Zealand. But in the late 1990s the practice of BYO declined as more restaurants became fully licenced, and their sales of wine and alcohol became critical in a very competitive market.
Wine cooler designed by Richard Carlson in Melbourne in 1978. Made by Decor Corporation Ptd Ltd, Scoresby Vic.
The graphic design for the packaging was by Andy Schmid. Australian Design Registration Numbers 75696, 76230.
Richard Carlson is an independent Industrial Design Consultant who has provided Australian manufacturers with over 200 export products. He was awarded the Prince Phillip Prize for Australian Design in 1980 for the design of the Decor Insulated BYO Wine Chiller.
Winner of Australian Design Award in 1979 and winner of 1980 Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design.
Decor was founded by Brian Davis in 1958 and was originally called Brian Davis and Company Ptd Ltd. Prior to this Brian was working as sales manager of Toltoys toy company but left to found his own homewares company. Brian had a focus on developing his own ideas and employed designers to develop the products, which was unusual for the homewares industry in Australia at this time. The first successful product was a set of plastic 'Habana' beakers in a plastic case. These were significantly cheaper than the aluminium ones available at the time. The next successful product was the Stackfresh range of modular containers designed by Tony Wolfenden and made from a new clear plastic styrene acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN). This was the first time that containers could be stacked in a modular fashion to save space. Following this the Clearseal range of containers designed by Richard Carlson with low density polyethlyene lids became market leaders in Australia.
The inspiration for the Decor wine carrier came in 1978 when Brian Davis attended an Australian Design Awards presentation, saw a canvas or hessian wine carry bag win an award and decided that his company could make a better one. Prior to this plastic bags filled with ice cubes had been used to carry wine to restaurants. Richard Carlson was employed to design the wine carrier and quickly developed the final design. The wine cooler had widespread success and was winner of Australian Design Award in 1979 and the 1980 Prince Philip Prize for Australian Design.
Following the success of the wine carrier Decor decided in 1984 to take the same approach with a different product, the wine cask cooler. The idea for this new product sprang from the changing preferences of Australian drinkers - cask wine was becoming more popular and Decor decided to meet the needs of this new trend. This new product earnt an Australian Design Award in 1986. Along with the wine cask cooler Decor developed a new wine carrier, ice buckets and picnic hampers as a complete range of products.
In 1984 Richard Carlson was awarded the Design Institute of Australia Gold Medal Award for Industrial Design and Andy Schmid, graphic designer, was awarded a Design Institute of Australia National Award for graphic design. Brian Davis, along with designers Richard Carlson and Tony Wolfenden were inducted into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame in 1996.
In 2006 there were almost 400 homeware products in the Decor range, including kitchenware, picnicware, gardenware, brushware, baby-care, pet, office and lifestyle products. The BYO wine cooler was still being sold in the USA.
'Brian Davis and Decor', Design World, June 1983, p 50-55.
'Profile - Decor', Curve, Issue nine, p 26-29.