Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc. donated a generous supply of Alpolic, which is a unique aluminum composite material, to the studio in hope that the students could explore it and come up with innovative uses. The students and their professors aimed to push the material to its extents within the limits of currently available CNC fabrication technology. At the same time, the design studio also set out to explore why prefab construction has not had as big of an impact as it was touted to have.
Through the students’ research and marketing studies and love of mobile food trucks, they settled on a design for a mobile coffee station. While mobile food trucks are seen everywhere, their design and functionality often leave much to be desired. To create the mobile coffee platform, the students built a rolling steel frame, which can be moved by hand or pulled by a vehicle. The body of the coffee bar is composed of ribs of Alpolic cut with a CNC machine and partially covered with a plywood exterior.
The barista stands behind the wraparound bar serving up coffee drinks, while customers can stand under the shade and chat it up. There is no floor to the coffee bar and the barista stands at the same level as patrons, which also helps during cleanup. Rapid Type was completed in early May and is available for special events should you need your own rolling coffee shop.
Images ©Kory Bieg