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Now in the final days of the NESCAFÉ Azera Project, Sophia Watson goes behind the scenes with designer Christel Hadiwibawa.



April 15th, 2014

“I started by researching the history of the plunger, and the findings were largely irrelevant to the brief,” says NESCAFÉ Azera Project designer Christel Hadiwibawa.

Having been given the people’s choice theme of ‘evolution’, Hadiwibawa began to think more readily about traditions of coffee-drinking itself. She explains: “I starting looking back to the origins of the plunger and coffee generally, and found that I was looking into the sense that coffee engages; ‘taste’ and ‘smell’ respectively. Those roots led me to the idea of trying to capture all five senses through the re-use of these plungers.”


The concept was to create a connection to ‘sight’, ‘touch’ and ‘sound’ through her design, ultimately constructing a more holistic and harmonised idea of coffee’s effect on the five senses. Here, Hadiwibawa has designed three pieces responding to the three outstanding senses.


Adhering almost entirely to the ‘evolution’ brief, Hadiwibawa’s process of making has similarly evolved throughout the project. As a furniture designer, Hadiwibawa is familiar and comfortable with timber – glass and metal however presented a new and welcomed challenge for the designer to expand her repertoire.


“This project had forced me to look at what I am capable of with different materials. I’ve played with hand-molding metal, lighting, glasswork and even sound engineering! It’s been an amazing experience that’s sparked an interest in me to pursue unfamiliar materials and methods of making.”


Without giving too much away, the resulting products are simple, clever and well-considered, aligning directly with the idea of ‘evolution’. One of the most interesting parts of her response to the brief is the departure from the plungers’ original form. It’s important to note that Hadiwibawa hasn’t strayed too far from the initial DNA of the plungers, explaining that “time is evolution’s working space, and being able to see flickers of its original form is valuable in understanding it’s evolution as a functioning object.”

Tune in for the live unveiling Tuesday 15th April, and vote for the ‘People’s Choice Award’ here:


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