Coffee Planet Photographs


Mark Youd is an artist based in Caerphilly, near Cardiff, South Wales. Before Mark gets to work on his paintings, he starts the day with coffee, which inspired this creative series of photography called “Caffeine Planets.” I asked Mark to describe the process:

It’s a simple, fun project based on the patterns that develop in the crema on my morning coffee…I use Nespresso from a Krups Pixie machine topped up with hot water, by varying the angle of the mug when the coffee is being pumped and/or the speed the hot water is poured, I can influence the pattern that is created in the crema. I take a photo (with nothing more special than an iPhone) very soon after pouring. I then crop the images in photoshop and apply very basic contrast and colour filters (and a healthy dose of imagination) to them while I drink the coffee. -Mark Youd

Check out all of Mark’s Caffeine Planets on Flickr.

posted by on 07.17.2012, under Misc.

The Grand Crus Cup Parade


On Monday, I wrote about clocks powered by used coffee grounds and recycled Nespresso capsules from the Sustain.Ability.Design competition at Vienna Design Week. This is another winner from the same competition, but with more realistic merit. The Grand Crus Cup Parade, designed by Dottings, is a collection of coffee cups and saucers made from recycled aluminum Nespresso capsules. The design of the cups mimic the shape and colors of the capsules themselves, and could be purchased with points earned from returning used capsules to the company.

I really love these cups, they are quite beautiful and the idea is very clever. However, it’s still a solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place—unnecessary disposable cups. Another issue I see with this, is that once someone has a set of cups for themselves, there’s little incentive to recycle the capsules any longer—making this “sustainable” solution a temporary one.

via Dezeen

posted by on 11.12.2010, under Design, Products

Nespresso coffee clock


While cool in theory, it’s fitting that Nespresso is reusing its aluminum capsules and coffee grounds to power a clock. This way we can accurately count down how much time we have left before we completely destroy our planet for stupid conveniences like Nespresso capsules and their unsexy cousin, the K-Cup.

Designed by Mischer’Traxler for Vienna Design Week, the installation—in Nespresso Austria’s storefront—shows how the contents of six used capsules can be wired together to power a small clock. The whole exhibit (96 capsules) could power a small radio. How neat! But, I can’t help but wonder how many clocks could be powered by the energy used to manufacture, ship, and dispose of the Nespresso capsules in the first place. I doubt Nespresso user’s will be turning all their old capsules into batteries anytime soon.

While I usually herald such clever reuse in design, the fact that this was funded by a company whose entire business model revolves around disposability, it makes this nothing more than an creative green washing of their image. There’s nothing sustainable about a product that has a 30 second life span before it’s thrown away. Yet, it was still named one of three winners in a competition titled, “Sustain.Ability.Design.”

Photos via Dezeen

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posted by on 11.08.2010, under Design, Misc.