Alfred van Elk: ‘There are many different types of coffee machines. One of them uses coffee pads. This design positions a different identity for client Inventum in this segment of the market, compared to the Philips Senseo machines. A new technology allowed the product to take a different shape, and thus a different identity. This is the first coffee pad machine with which the strength of the coffee can be adjusted. The square shape also gives it a much smaller footprint than that of the round Senseo.
The core values of Inventum are “safe and reliable”. Which is of the course the opposite of “exciting and challenging”! The challenge was to come up with an innovative design without abandoning these values. That has been achieved by creating a simple, professional appearance, and by making it friendly and accessible, without being jolly. The design has clarity and is durable. Users experience the design as a breath of fresh air. The clean lines appeal. The product is the showpiece of the Inventum range. It has been launched worldwide, which means that as a company Inventum has really stuck its neck out. The development has taken a lot of work. Technically it is a complex machine – everything has to come together: water, heat, coffee, steam, and electricity. In addition it needs to be easy to use for the consumer. And in the end it is also a piece of interior design. A tough call!
Inventum’s director gave clear guidance in the design trajectory. There was direct discussion. Which is why the actual design process happened relatively quickly. Because of the technical complexity, there was a continuous challenge to come up with a better idea than the original plan. It is wonderful to collaborate with people who are driven and who are willing to take such leaps, to improve, and to develop something beautiful together. As a designer, you are – in my view – not always the one who is right. You are not the one having the final say. At the end of the day, the client takes the risk!’