LESS CAN BE MORE. A PROPOSITION FOR LESS PLASTICS IN PRODUCTION.
OFFER FRESH PERSPECTIVE
What would happen if two distinctly different brands within a product portfolio were to collaborate on a product offering that showcased the core competency of both in a symbiotic fusion?
You'd fundamentally change a coffee experience that has become all too average.
Contigo is a brand that built itself on the mantra of 'NO SPILLS'. Through the use of a proprietary venting system, you push a button and sip to your hearts desire without the fear of ruining your Mac Book whilst walking to the office.
If you ever look under a Contigo lid, you'll notice there has been some serious attention to the mechanical functionality of the product, everything has a purpose and nothing more. Can you say the same for an ADC?
You may be thinking, what's an ADC? Well, for those of you that aren't in the know with the coffee marketing lingo, ADC is the acronym for an Auto Drip Coffee machine. Mr.Coffee is a good brand to reference, one of the first in the market with a market share that only rivals that of Solo Cup, and their absolute domination of a beer pong grocery list.
The idea of home brewed Joe is synonymous with Mr.C. I mean, Joe Dimaggio used to rep the brand back in the day! Folgers uses a Mr.C machine for nearly all their ads. Being a good steward of brands I work with has always been top priority, clearly this was not an exception.
My goal of this "quick" project was to originally capture the mechanical essence of what Contigo does so well and put that beautiful stuff inside a Mr.Coffee carafe. But as I toiled with the idea of designing a carafe for an existing machine, the idea of designing an entirely new product just made more sense. I'd venture to say 99% of all ADC's sit on counter tops for the majority of their lives. They take up prime real estate and more often than not, resemble black boxes. Don't believe me, next time you're in Target, walk down the isle of coffee makers, squint and tell me what you see. I wanted to challenge the idea of 'why so much plastic?' Is it needed? User tested or preferred?
The goal: to reduce the overall product footprint, physically, by using efficient architectures that are true to the art of coffee making & minimize material use.
A TASTEFUL USE OF SMART.
NO, SEMI-OPAQUE STEEL IS NOT A THING.
Along with the features we've come to expect from a Contigo product, we also expect to see how much coffee is left in our carafe. Currently the only way to achieve this is through the use of a glass carafe. Due to the thermal properties of glass, in order to keep your coffee warm, you'd also need a heating plate. All of which make for a poor experience, not to mention the sentiment "Don't touch the carafe, it's hot!" Whereas, a double wall, vacuum sealed stainless steel carafe will keep your coffee hot but does not allow you to gauge how much is left; outside of doing a shimmy and shake.
The concept would use a proprietary scale within the confines of the steel body that measures the weight, equaling out after the weight of the carafe itself, to relay real time data via an E-ink strip, nestled up next to the ergonomic handle for easy viewing. The form of the steel body would allow for more affordable options, without the tech.
A WIN FOR BUSINESS.
A WIN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT.
Design is subjective. I like to remind myself that one size doesn't fit all. The Optimal Brew ADC that I referenced in this case study is by no means a failure, in fact, it's a best seller. I wanted to take an existing SKU and compare with what 'could be'.
As for the bigger meaning of this project, we can all agree plastic is the absolute worst for the environment. Same can be said for the cost of goods in regards to manufacturing, it's not ideal for your margin to have excess of anything, including magnets (those things are expensive)! Our mantra at Sweet Supply Co is to develop objects of desire through purpose driven aesthetics; being mindful of the product, inside and out. There are a multitude of avenues to battle the plastic epidemic, using recycled sub-straights for instance or implementing a recycling program, but these are high level aspirations for any large company. For an industrial designer, we can start to consider this when we decide to lay down that first hot sketch for a client. We live within the confines of design and project briefs for a living, why should this item be any different? If you're interested in what other companies are doing to battle the aforementioned check out the link below:
When you choose to work with Sweet Supply Co, rest assured our design process will always keep the environmental impact of excess plastic use top of mind. The issue of plastic and this world we live in isn't going to be solved by some grand idea, but more so by the ideals that we as designers, manufacturers, etc. all choose to live and work by. And it all starts with that first sketch from our end.
"WE DEVELOP OBJECTS OF DESIRE
THROUGH PURPOSE DRIVEN AESTHETICS"