Architects are increasingly becoming more diverse in their backgrounds, but it can be tricky to get coffee to their clients, says the head of coffee, coffee and beverage industry consultancy firm, Coffee Architecture.
In order to cater to the ever-increasing needs of coffee companies, coffee architects are increasingly looking to the “other” for advice.
“We’re seeing a shift away from white-collar architecture, and increasingly into the more ‘designer’ space, so to speak, where there are more black and Latino people working on the projects,” says Tim Kostesky, co-founder of coffee architecture consultancy Coffee Architecture, which is based in San Francisco.
“So we’ve been really impressed by what’s happening in the coffee sector.
It’s really exciting to see the diversity of architects, and really exciting for the clients who are looking for that expertise,” he adds.
Kosteski says it is important for coffee companies to get their architects’ feedback about their projects so they can work with the architects who will then be able to give the final design.
“You’re going to have coffee architects who are going to be the next architects to bring in some of their own ideas to the table, and we can look to them as a place to start,” he says.
“It’s really important for architects to know their clients and their needs, and if you’re designing a coffee house, it’s not necessarily a white- or black-owned business, it just has to be a business,” says Kostsesky.
Architecture’s diversity, diversity of taste and design-driven culture has also led to some design challenges for coffee house owners, he says, adding that a coffee shop is a “really important part of a coffeehouse’s culture”.
“If you’re an architect or an architect-designer, you need to be able get a lot of feedback from your clients,” says Lise Fischbeck, senior associate director of marketing and communications at coffee architecture firm Coffee Architecture in San Jose, California.
“If they’re in a coffee café, it can help to be aware of what the other people are eating, because it’s very important that the coffees are made right.”
The new coffee architects will also be a valuable resource for the coffee industry, Fischberg says, and they will be “trying to understand and understand how the coffee shop culture has evolved over time”.
“I think it’s really cool that the coffee business is becoming so diverse,” she says.
“It’s also really important that we look to the other side for advice about how we can make it more sustainable and to help our clients make better decisions.”
Coffee architects have been a diverse and innovative group in the architecture world for decades, says Kustsesky, but the latest wave of diversity has resulted in more coffee architecture graduates being drawn from different backgrounds, particularly from the black and brown communities.
“Coffees are not just a white thing, but people are becoming increasingly diverse as a result of the cultural shifts that are happening,” he explains.
“In terms of the coffee shops, the majority of them are now being designed by black and Hispanic people.”
Fischbeck says the coffee house industry is also starting to see a growing number of new coffee shops opening up in the area, adding: “It seems like the coffee community is really getting a lot more diverse and a lot less white-dominated.”
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