IF-Award-winning WMF 8000S fully automatic coffee machine

Designers: Guido Metz and Michael Kindler

Geislingen, 05.03.2013

Designer Michael Kindler provides insights into the creation...

Outstanding design is not demonstrated simply by designing beautiful objects. Rather, it is a complex process which reflects the entire range of values of a company. That the creative people at WMF have a perfect command of this is shown by the large number of prestigious design prizes which the fully automatic coffee machines have gathered over many decades. The most recent examples include the IF Product Design Award 2013 won by the WMF 8000S fully automatic coffee machine. Like no other product, the WMF 8000S reflects the highly innovative internal technological features of the premium machine. A skilful interplay of polished and brushed stainless steel surfaces, various plastics and light design plus an eight-inch man-machine interface (MMI) touch display ensure a symbiotic union of form and function. The revolutionised access to all machine components and the fundamental maintenance strategies in conjunction with a compact design were judged as inspirational by the experienced jury of experts.

An interview with the long-standing WMF partner Michael Kindler, qualified designer from Metz und Kindler Produktdesign, provided profound insights into the creative process and the use of forms at WMF:

What was the guiding principle in designing the WMF 8000S?

In its design the new fully automatic coffee machine was intended to symbolise everything which is expected of a WMF professional machine: clarity, quality, user-friendliness and sturdiness.

How did you integrate these WMF values into the design?

Clarity means a form reduced to the essentials which underlines how the machine is understood. When work on designing a coffee machine begins, the basic concept for the technical components already exists. Nevertheless, a dialogue then takes place with the technical design department when, for example, it is necessary to change the position of certain components so that the draft design remains harmonious.

How does WMF express quality in the design?

Quality is expressed in a WMF draft initially by the choice of the material. WMF stands for stainless steel - the paragon of longevity. Consequently the design may not follow a short-term fashion trend, but must be timeless. This also includes generous dimensions. A coffee machine design from WMF gives the impression of having been "hewn from a single large block" without losing its sensuality, which people connect with exquisite coffee enjoyment. In addition, clear lines and an eye-catching profile provide character.

How does a coffee machine gain character?

The surface may not appear "jagged", but must give the impression of being generously dimensioned and clearly structured. In concrete terms, for the WMF 8000 S this means that, for instance, no external handle which would have destroyed the look was attached to the integrated grounds container. The rails for the height-adjustable cup tray were placed symmetrically in the centre in order to ensure a clear division of the surface. The harmony of the proportions is also important. For example: Contrary to the initial specifications from the engineers, the spout was made larger to suit the dimensions of the machine.

You have already designed a few coffee machines for the private household for WMF. What difference in design is there between commercial coffee machines and those for the consumer sector? 

Actually you'd think there would be none. After all, the technical WMF components are of very high quality in both categories. When, for instance, you look at a commercial coffee machine in a cafeteria or at a motorway services station, the appearance and optimum user guidance are important key features. It's a bit like when you buy a ticket from a machine: aspects such as time pressure, jostling and distraction must also be considered. If the coffee machine is not designed to be 100 per cent comprehensible, chaos is inevitable.

What general trends are there in the design of investment goods? After all, a coffee machine belongs to this category. 

Not overshooting the mark is the most important thing with investment goods. People wouldn't accept a black box in Bang&Olufsen design from WMF. Consequently it is essential to comply with the aforementioned criteria of clarity, quality, user-friendliness and sturdiness. For the customer it's a matter of course that a professional coffee machine brews good coffee. Emphasising this assumption through the appearance and the choice of materials is the result of the design. The tendency to consider where you're coming from and how you can make this accessible to the user is stronger than ever.

What do you think can we expect from WMF in the future?

Seen through WMF spectacles we see a company which is extremely strong globally. Seen through designer spectacles we can expect WMF to recognise and implement sensible products and features with great customer benefit. These also include things which people not only use, but like to have.

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Of course, we will also gladly send you the file by e-mail:
Contact: wmf@press-n-relations.de


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