After disposing of at least a ton of used coffee grounds since he began drinking it…

Julian, founder of handcrafted drinkware company, Kaffeeform, found an ironic way to turn his disappointment at the waste of all those clean, fluffy, richly pigmented grounds into an elegant, timeless, and emotionally durable object…a coffee cup.

Emotionally durable design reduces the consumption and waste of natural resources by creating enduring sentimental ties between consumers and the products they purchase, explains Jonathan Chapman of the University of Brighton, UK. “Essentially, product replacement is delayed by strong emotional ties. The process of consumption is, and has always been, motivated by complex emotional drivers, and is about far more than just the mindless purchasing of newer and shinier things; it is a journey towards the ideal or desired self, that through cyclical loops of desire and disappointment, becomes a seemingly endless process of serial destruction. ” For that reason, ideally an object should contain an exceptional quality which transcends its basic use; making it unique and memorable.

Hazel Clark and David Brody of Parsons The New School for Design in New York explain it best. “Emotionally durable design provides a useful language to describe the contemporary relevance of designing responsible, well made, tactile products which the user can get to know and assign value to in the long-term.”

“It’s also a call for professionals and students alike to prioritize the relationships between design and its users, as a way of developing more sustainable attitudes towards design.”

Kaffeeform runs logistics out of Berlin, and collaborates with what is known as a sheltered workshop in Germany, which employs highly skilled handicapped individuals to work in innovative teams within artisanal workshops. According to Julian “It’s not common in Germany to work with handicapped individuals in the creation of merchandise, but I wanted to create some sort of social impact business around my products and work here.” The cups and saucers are formulated with 80 – 120 grams of used coffee grounds per set, depending on the size, and are used in a variety of settings, including coffee houses due to their high durability and heat resistance.