Culture is the sum of its rituals – here and nunc.

We now live in an experience economy in which a consistent search for the "less" promotes the "more" in physical and mental well-being. A new, sensual minimalism conquers the world. Social trends show a growing need for decelerating moments in an accelerating everyday life.

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  • Text: Florian Czak
    Co-Author: Franziska Warnke

    More than ever before, it is not only a question of what we do with products, but what products do with us. As designers, we have to ask ourselves this question critically again and again in order to establish a dignified and sustainable relationship between man and product, between the natural and the artificial to reinterpret it again and again in a meaningful way. With this new ritual, Phoenix Design has developed a counter-design to the automation of products - a design philosophy based on a self-effective symbiotic interaction between man and machine. The innovative coffee system nunc, is a prototype for this thesis and the design approach associated with it, in which we are concerned with the permanent improvement and reinterpretation of human well-being in which we see, distill and reinterpret the really important, the essential. 

  • nunc, means now - no less but also no more.

    nunc, means now - no less but also no more.

    Growth, progress, sensory overload - in times of uncertainty and increasingly faster progress, our longing for deceleration in everyday life grows. One of Dieter Ram's ten theses "Less but better" is more relevant than ever. We find it in the small moments of pleasure that give us the air to breathe and the opportunity to reflect on ourselves and our immediate surroundings. Products and services that build an emotional relationship with us touch us and create a strong sense of identity. It is the individual relationship between person and product that gives an emotionality to a simple operating process. The result of this symbiosis is the counterpart to the dreaded daily routine: the ritual.

  • Drinking as a cultural ritual of deceleration - from the intimate moment to a social event, drinking coffee can be celebrated in a variety of ways. The operation is a tangible, experienceable process, which is made up of a multitude of small actions and routines to create an individual flow. The screen carrier machine becomes an expression of your own personality through the sum of many individual actions - at the end is a self-created, rewarding moment of pleasure.

  • In the relationship between the coffee drinker and portafilter machine we see the chance for a prototypical symbiosis: the creation of a choreography between man and machine that enables a tactile ritual leading to an individual moment of deceleration. The flexible support of the user, who can thus create his own coffee regardless of his level of experience. The reduction of the machine to the essentials, in order to grant a maximum of space for sensual interaction.

  • In a self-initiated Phoenix Academy study, coffee lovers, baristas and experts from various fields were interviewed to explore the possibilities of the new ritual. A detailed analysis of the user journey, sessions for brainstorming and design experiments led us to the development of the nunc coffee system. The concept forms a triad of celebrating the ritual of coffee preparation, the fascinating harmony between technological sophistication, technical precision and emotional design, and the appealing and harmonious appearance as a result of a consistent philosophy in product design. You can find deeper insights into the nunc experience here.

  • The new ritual is not limited to the preparation of coffee - it represents a design approach that can be projected onto the general interaction and relationship between human and machine, user and product. In a time of efficiency-driven automation, we want to reduce the distance between humans and their "phygital" things. Technological progress thrives on digitalization and networking. The discipline of design will play an essential role in the personalization of "phygital" intelligence.

  • We design the intuitive relationship between people and their products in an individual, cultural context. Therefore, the discipline of design must play a crucial role in society: We must humanize technology. We innovators and designers are increasingly becoming mediators between the possible and the desirable, between technology and the living environment of an individual and the sum of his rituals in the here and nunc.

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Franziska Warnke Communication Manager
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M +49 173 7294632