Top 10 Craziest Design Inquiries of All Time

Samantha Mikos

It is no secret that this current pandemic has caused many disruptions in the average workweek. While many people are attempting to adjust to the new normal, we have taken this time to reflect on the past twelve years.

After looking back on some of the different projects we have encountered, we would be remiss to not divulge some of our stories on the more outlandish design inquiries that we have received.

1. Our Fish Tank Friend

We will never forget the time we received a call from a gentleman who needed a “glass fixer.” He wanted to know if we could rebuild his fish tank that was home to an exceedingly large collection of bluegills.

One might think that this would be an easy transaction seeing that we have a lot of raw materials on hand. Although we would have loved to help, we are simply not in the business of fixing fish tanks.

2. A Building Replica Fit for a King

We have been constructing building replicas since the beginning of Cristaux, but no inquiry measures up to that of the notorious 4-foot-tall building replica request.


While the manufacturing and actual weight of the design (180 pounds to be exact) were an initial concern, our main focus was to ensure that this piece would ship without a hitch. We recruited a special team to provide custom foam and packaging, all of which scaled the piece to almost twice the size!

3. The Stressful Tiger

One year, we had a very distressed request come in. This project was a headache for the client, from start to finish. They were tasked with sourcing materials from four separate vendors, and to top it off, had to assemble each individual piece themselves.

Our team pushed our limits to make the impossible happen and the headache no more. We took over material sourcing and assembled the pieces in-house, all the way to the giant glass tiger that sat at the top.

4. High-End Trophy

More often than not, there is a rush to fulfill the in-hands date when an inquiry comes in. While many of those orders have been produced in record-breaking time, one particular trophy takes the cake on fulfillment deadlines.

Not only did this project come with a short production timeframe, it had a small budget with a very particular set of design expectations. Projected to be thirty inches tall (and ten inches wide) the design had too many flaws that left it unstable to produce, including the scattered bronze-casted horses, rearing into the air.

5. Testing Design Limits

Playing off their product name, this client came to us asking for a unique design that served as fashion and function. While there were many elements at play, the one that stuck out the most was the concept of the moon landing.

Our designers had to figure out the best way to depict the memorable moon landing into the project concept. To add extra flair, they used their creative expertise to simultaneously weave a mechanical shifting gear seamlessly into the design.

6. Fighting for Recognition 

When clients present recognition design concepts to a vendor, there is usually a general theme they want the design to include.

This inquiry design stood out to us because it was based on the concept of a “traveling trophy” between company sales reps. Instead of using a standard trophy award or plaque, this client wanted a big statement and went with a giant UFC championship belt as their muse.

7. An Oversized Pyramid  

Sometimes we get a request for an idea that is not fully feasible, but with a few minor tweaks, we can produce something similar. While a crystal pyramid may be simple to produce, the actual design the client desired took more of a cone shape.

Weighing in at thirty pounds (not including the presentation box & shipping materials), this crystal cone now sits as the renowned door stopper in one of our facilities.

8. A One-of-a-Kind Car 

Next up on our list is an inquiry for a 3D printed car. Although you may be picturing a car model set that kids tend to build, this was no ordinary car mold.


The client wanted a safari land cruiser to sit on top of a crystal base. This piece would stand at about six inches tall and eight inches long. While the pieces of the puzzle were fragile, we made sure that each individual component shipped safe and sound.

9. Airport Conveyor Belt 

This unique recognition replica was very fragile and had many components. The concept was to make the design functional by implementing an element that you could interact with.

Only this time, the object at hand was a conveyor belt. Although it ended up being more stationary than functional, this recognition design ranks high in the innovation category. With the help of 3D printing and our industrial designers, we were able to scale the replica to be roughly four inches high by seven inches wide – the perfect size for a desktop display.

10. Sounds like a Blast 

We had a cool concept presented to us a while back that involved a product
replica of speakers. This idea was based off the client’s high-end product, with the goal of presenting them for their “top dealers of the year” awards. 

The design was delicate and had more curves than straight edges, but our team managed to piece together the perfect plan to make this design speak for itself.

Learn more about our design capabilities and connect with a member of our team today.