Rapid Type Coffee Pod
San Francisco, CA : 2011
Design Lead: Kory Bieg, Andre Caradec
Project Team: Kory Bieg, Andre Caradec, CCA Rapid Studio
Fabrication: Kory Bieg, Andre Caradec, CCA Rapid Studio
After months of research into why prefabrication has not been the glowing success everyone claimed it would be, we developed our answer: mix prefabrication with the current trend of mobile food trucks. We built the first prototype, Rapid Type: A Mobile Coffee platform, in the Fall of 2010 as part of a studio I offered with Andre Caradec (S/tudio U/nder M/anufacture) at California College of the Arts.
We were given a generous donation of Alpolic, a unique aluminum composite material manufactured by Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc. To explore the full potential of the material, we decided to co-teach an experimental design studio with one goal: push the material as far as possible within the limits of currently available CNC fabrication technology.
Though Rapid Type targets the slow drip coffee movement, the larger agenda of the studio was to explore the gap between highly-designed prefabricated buildings and under-designed food trucks. Prefabrication remains a buzz word in the field of architecture, but has failed to deliver a reliable and cost-saving economic model for building construction. In fact, the only prefabricated structures that have performed consistently well are not buildings at all. The appearance of food trucks has exploded in the past few years and their visibility is only continuing to grow. The studio decided to latch on to this growing trend by offering a new and unique design using proven methods of mass manufacturing. Rapid Type is a full-service mobile sales platform that offers high-design, ease of assembly, and full mobility. The project combines the best of prefabricated building construction mixed with the financial vitality of the food truck movement. The prototype is designed to accommodate a variety of consumer markets.