Design as a universal, non-verbal language
The clarity of this way of thinking is echoed in the form. The designer describes it thus: ‘JURA does style, not fashion. Its products are built to last. The S8 was designed in such a way that the arrangement of every surface, every detail, can be perceived and understood. Design is a universal, non-verbal language. Let me give you two examples: the cappuccino spout is a solid monoblock radiating self-assurance and says: “I can do stuff!” ... and then proves it. Or the heavy, generously sized cover on the bean hopper has all the characteristic features of the solid door to a vault, protecting and locking in all the aroma of the coffee beans.’ His idiosyncratic way with language and the three-dimensional images he conjures up with it explain his popularity as a lecturer with students at the Basel Academy of Art and Design.
From brainwave to finished product
To illustrate the fact that the journey to the final form of the S8 was not all plain sailing, Gebhardt uses the example of a central element in the machine that cost him a good deal of worry and many sleepless nights: ‘One of the most difficult tasks of all was integrating the interface. How do you combine the flat, smooth surface of the touch display with the firm, powerful, almost muscular chest of the machine front? Fractions of a millimetre decide whether the convex surface looks tight or slack. It took a lot of 3D prints to find the ideal solution. Ultimately, design is an iterative process at the end of which, ideally, you have a product with a wow effect.’ In this context, Gebhardt praises the excellent collaboration he enjoyed with the individuals behind the model at JURA. ‘Executive management, development and marketing are always willing to go to the limit and beyond in order to achieve an optimum result.’ Something that helps with the development process is a tradition of cooperation going back many years. Since the first time Lutz Gebhardt worked on a project for JURA, the common goal has been to create not only beautiful products but also substantial value.
Can he tell us how he feels when he is travelling and runs into a JURA automatic machine whose character he has formed? Incredibly happy!’ he responds with the speed of a return from Roger Federer. ‘Two years ago when I was on a trip to Sweden, I ended up in a student bar. And there, sitting on the counter, were two XJ models. I was so proud that I could have spent the entire evening drinking one coffee after another. It was just so beautiful.’ The anecdote eloquently describes the way Lutz Gebhardt sees the work of a designer. ‘Design should make the world more enjoyable: simpler, more practical and more convenient. And because the definition of enjoyment is individual, it opens an inexhaustible realm of possibilities.’ But depending on where you are, the term ‘enjoyment’ can, unfortunately, sound slightly decadent or even pejorative. And that’s why he prefers, rather quaintly, to call it ‘deliciousness’. ‘That is precisely what the new S8 is designed to bring to the lives of coffee lovers: deliciousness in all its many facets.’
Images: Remo Buess