THE GROUP – design
sometimes you can judge a book by its cover
Rheavendors has always worked with world-class designers, pursuing a vision of impeccable design on the outside and state-of-the-art technology on the inside. While it’s true that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, there’s no reason why a great book shouldn’t have a beautiful cover. Indeed, that is the whole point of good design: to visually communicate the intelligence of the internal technology and the quality of the products they dispense.
But it doesn’t end with the machine. With our latest projects, such as Otium (pictured above), Rheavendors expands the design concept to include the vending environment – i.e. the physical and ‘human’ space around the machine. Because we have always understood that design extends beyond building beautiful and efficient machines, that it also encompasses the quality and enjoyment of interacting with them.
The list of prominent designers who have worked with Rheavendors speaks for itself: Michele De Lucchi, Angelo Micheli, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Ferruccio Laviani, Angelo Mangiarotti, Bruno Morassuti, Franz Bergonzi, Well Design, Peter Hasnay, Silvio De Ponte and Marco Goffi.
Scroll down and watch the evolution of Rheavendors design over nearly six decades.
1960 – Bubblegum machine
The first product designed, built and sold by the newly founded Rheavendors. A masterpiece of simplicity and user-friendliness, impossible to resist.
1962 – Square Line ‘62
Rheavendors Design Office
Back when Rheavendors was founded in 1960, people were more likely to encounter the idea of a machine that mixed and served hot drinks and snacks in a science fiction film about a fully automated future than in a factory break room or a subway station. Nowadays, it’s practically unthinkable for an architect to design a public or commercial space without a vending area.
1970 – E410
While our technicians were busy inventing the inside of the first vending machine to use fresh ground coffee, Bruno Morassutti designed the minimalist exterior of the E410, capturing the spirit of the age and the eye of the design department of New York’s MoMA, which acquired it for the permanent collection.
1975 – E100
The world’s first vending machine with a cabinet entirely in plastic, the E100 introduced a revolutionary centrifugal brewer and a glass window that enabled customers to see the fresh coffee beans slide into the grinder. A major step forward in terms of drink quality and ‘communication’ with the end user, the twin pillars of Rheavendors’ philosophy.
1987-89 – Moda (concept sketches)
Michele De Lucchi, Angelo Micheli
Moda is a milestone in the history of high-end vending machines, not only for its Memphis-inspired cabinet design, but for the introduction of a side module capable of accommodating different payment systems. Moda is also the first machine to offer genuine fresh-brewed tea from premium leaves.
1997 – XS
Luan Peter Hasnay
Originally an automobile designer for Porsche, Peter Hasnay created the XS in 1997, which enjoyed a market penetration that no coffee machine had ever achieved. The compact design and professional quality of the drinks made XS a resounding success in more than 50 countries worldwide.
2007 – Europa
Europa foreshadows many of the latest innovations of Rheavendors newer machines. It was the first to have cup dispenser with two different sizes, a valveless pump system, a cooling unit for cold drinks, multiple energy-saving features and configuration software for dosage settings and personalized drink recipes.
2011 – eC
The significance of eC machine in the chronology of Rheavendors design lies in the pairing of the most advanced technology with a truly elegant visual presence, unprecedented in a tabletop machine. Its clean lines, pristine surfaces and simple interface are enhanced by the backlit panel and the LED bar that lights up while the beverage is being dispensed.
2013 – HAL
Silvio De Ponte
The HAL project (Hospitality Area Lounge), developed in collaboration with Intel, goes beyond the traditional transaction to become an opportunity for interaction. HAL is a complete ‘vending environment’ with a web-based interface that enables customers to make multiple purchases of products and services in one simple session. Welcome to the future.
2014 – Otium
Otium is an innovative furnishing element designed by Marco Goffi that blurs the lines between a variety of functions. It is at once a support for a tabletop coffee machine, a display unit for retail settings, a shelving system, a freestanding room divider to create a lounge area, a floor lamp (there’s a LED light source below), a storage cabinet and, if we may say so, a beautiful work of sculpture.
Otium is made of teak and cast bio-polymer, with additional components in glass and stainless steel. Its swiveling ‘wings’, which offer an unlimited range of configurations, elegantly echo Otium’s multiplicity of identities while also reflecting Rheavendors’ quest to expand vending beyond a simple transaction, to become instead an interactive experience, a true ‘vending environment’.
2020 – Kairos
Kairos is the name of the futuristic coffee machine created by Rhea Vendors Group and the renowned stage director Davide Livermore to celebrate the company’s 60th year in the business.
It is a limited-edition machine that transforms the concept of the coffee break, combining quality coffee with the value of time and revolutionizes the traditional vending machine with a deliberately oversized screen (49-inch).
Thanks to an app, it enables consumers to choose their drink using touchless technology and then go on a 32-second experiential journey, filled with beautiful images and evocative sounds while waiting for the drink to be dispensed.
A 32-second piece of time becomes the chance to restore contact with ourselves through the medium of a multisensory journey through a cup of good coffee.