Designing for the People: Customer-centric Design, Minimalism and the Digital Age​


Designing for the People: Customer-centric Design, Minimalism and the Digital Age​

We interview Anastasiia Romaniv, digital artist and founder of Eight Station Studios. ​

We interviewed Anastasiia Romaniv, owner of Eight Station Studios based in Vancouver, Canada. We met Anastasiia through the wonderful world of social media, when she tagged us in a conceptual render for luxury cafe, Flow (designed by Rawan Muqaddas), featuring our Nexus One in Onyx Black. Her outlook on design and the digital world is insightful and illuminating.

Introduce yourself! 

Greetings! My name is Anastasiia, and I’m the founder of Eight Station, a rendering studio, and the co-founder of 044Bureau, a branding agency. I believe that less is more and that truth lies in the details. These principles have guided me throughout my seven years of experience in the creative industry.

You mentioned that the project including our Nexus One espresso machine was time-consuming and meticulous. How many hours did you spend on this project? 

To be honest, I lost track of how many hours I spent on this project. It was such an intricate and challenging design that required a great deal of attention to detail and constant revisions to ensure that every aspect was just right. From the initial brief analysis to the final touches, I estimate that I put in over 400 hours of work on this project, including the time I spent incorporating feedback from the designer. But despite the long hours and hard work,  I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of such a fantastic project, and I look forward to taking on more exciting challenges in the future.

What was the creative process behind this project? 

Creating 3D renders is a bit like being a magician – you take an idea from someone’s mind and bring it to life in the digital world. And just like a magician, there’s a healthy dose of creativity involved in the process.

When I start a new project, my first task is to get inside the designer’s head and figure out what they’re looking for. It’s a bit like a detective puzzle, and I love the challenge of finding the perfect lighting, angles, and textures to bring their vision to life.

I’m always on the lookout for unique perspectives and angles that will showcase the design in the best possible light. Whether it’s a sleek and modern piece of furniture or an espresso machine, I want to make sure that every aspect of the design is highlighted to its fullest potential.

One of the most exciting aspects of creating 3D renders is finding the perfect element to draw in the viewer’s eye and balance the composition. In this project, we searched for the anchor, that would bring the design to life. And then we found it: the Nexus One machine. With its unique shape and eye-catching colors, the Nexus became the centrepiece of a few images. Its sleek lines and bold presence captured the essence of the project and created a captivating visual experience for anyone who views the final render.

Throughout the entire process, I’m in constant communication with the designer, incorporating their feedback and ideas to create something that truly exceeds their expectations. It’s a collaborative process that I find incredibly rewarding, and I always feel great when the final render comes to life.

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How did you go about creating our Nexus One espresso machine? From your perspective, what can you appreciate about its design? 

Great question! Initially, I was a bit challenged by creating such a precisely shaped object like the Nexus One espresso machine. However, once I started the process, things fell into place quite smoothly. I requested the 3D model from you to use as a reference, but I had to remodel it to meet the requirements of my software, so I appreciate your prompt assistance in providing that. Overall, it took me about eight hours to complete the model, and I must say, it was an enjoyable process.

Regarding the design, I must say that I appreciate everything about it. The shape, variety of colors, and unique appearance all stand out as exceptional features. It’s a visually stunning and one-of-a-kind product that addresses the need for minimalistic professional espresso machines.

Light and materiality are important parts of your practice. We feel the same for our products, which we think is especially evident with Nexus One. Can you speak a little bit about how light and high-end finishes can influence a space? 

When it comes to interior design, lighting, and materiality are essential components that can make or break a space. Lighting plays a vital role in creating a particular ambiance, while high-end finishes can add a touch of luxury and sophistication to a room. The right combination of light and materials can create a truly breathtaking space, while the wrong combination can make it feel dull and lifeless. 

Choosing the right materials is critical, as not only do they need to look good, but they also need to be durable and long-lasting. While high-end finishes may come with a higher price tag, they are often a wise investment in the long run, as they will maintain their appearance and function for years to come. 

As a digital artist within the design industry, what trends do you see happening now that influence design choices within the cafe/hospitality industry? 

As a member of the design industry,  I’ve noticed that we are currently in an era of “design for people.” I’m thrilled to see more and more designers creating purposeful designs that serve a specific need or function, rather than just adding elements for the sake of it. In the cafe/hospitality industry, this means that design choices are being made with the customer’s experience in mind, such as creating spaces that feel welcoming and comfortable and incorporating elements that enhance the overall atmosphere.

One trend that I’ve noticed in the industry is the use of natural color tones and finishes. These elements can create a warm and inviting atmosphere that makes customers feel comfortable and welcome. For example, using wood finishes, earthy colors, and soft lighting can all contribute to this effect.

Another trend that has gained traction in recent years is sustainability and upcycling. Many cafes are now incorporating recycled or sustainable materials into their design choices or adopting upcycling practices for old (aka vintage) furniture and decor.

Overall, I believe that the trends I’m seeing in the cafe/hospitality industry are moving towards more purposeful, customer-centric design choices, incorporating natural finishes and shapes, and adopting sustainable practices.

You can find Eight Station Studios at or on Instagram at @thestation.eight

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How we are changing how you think about product design


How AREMDE is changing how we think about design.

We discuss how rethinking the espresso machine has impacted our product design.

How do you use design? What factors should you consider? Why is Aremde trying to change how we think about design?

Choosing the design of your cafe can be difficult. Many factors come into play. Do you want your cafe to be minimalist, with neutrals and natural stone finishes? Or do you choose a bold and colourful aesthetic with rich jewel tones and luxe velvet interiors? Will your space mirror the beauty of your cafe location or will your cafe transport your customers away to cities abroad? These are all things we take into consideration when constructing the perfect interior. Your design is considered, intentional and important to your brand. 

However, the traditional coffee machine is often dismissed as a necessary evil,  a ‘wall of steel’ that detracts from the elegance of your bench space. 
AREMDE changed this narrative, introducing NEXUS One, a coffee machine designed to be the statement piece to your cafe whilst improving the overall flow of your space.
We decided to take things a step further with STYLUS One. No matter how intricate your design is, the possibilities are endless. Customise your machine with pictures, patterns, colours and logos to boost your business identity to the max. Can’t decide on a design? Or maybe you want different designs for spring and winter? No problem. STYLUS One allows you to remove and replace the front and barista-side panels with a simple click-in mechanism.

Take your design a step further and change the colour of the inner and outer shell to create the ultimate statement machine! 

The possibilities are endless. The only limit is your imagination.

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Why is lighting so important in product design?​


Why is lighting is so important in product design?

We discuss the power of lighting in design and how it can transform the customer experience. Find out how influential lighting was in AREMDE product design. ​

What is the purpose of light? Functionally, it illuminates your cafe space to improve visibility. After all, you need to see what you are doing to make a good coffee. However, light is so much more important than this. In art, it is used to influence mood, highlight shape and colour and frame the subject. When designing our first machine, NEXUS One, we asked ourselves why these principles were not seen in coffee machines. As a design company, we felt it necessary to consider light as not just a functional tool, but an artistic one too. 

Our machines are designed for openness and transparency. They serve as the ‘stage’ for the barista, with the machine walls framing the barista as they work. With this in mind, we decided to incorporate lighting inspired by stage lights.

We added spotlights beside each group head, functional for early-morning coffee and late-night expresso making. The spotlights highlight the drip tray, the stage, and our main character, the espresso shot. The perforated panels on the barista side frame the coffee machine. These lights illuminate the buttons and display and allow the complexities and undertones of the paintwork to truly come to life. 

An AREMDE machine is the centrepiece of your cafe bench. It is a love letter to form and function. Each machine we produce we are incredibly proud of. Like an artist, when you’re proud of your work, you sign it. That’s exactly what we did, placing our AREMDE logo on the front of every machine. We wanted to illuminate this too. 

Once we determined where we wanted to light our machine, the question of colour and tone was raised. How do we convey elegance, beauty and drama through light? Harsh and cool-toned lighting made the machine look sterile and less inviting. Ultimately, we decided on a warm, soft cream hue, drawing inspiration from the crema of coffee. The light was diffused to give a soft, ambient glow. 

All of these elements create the ultimate show-stopping machine. The perfect coffee is created by the skilled hands of the barista. Why hide their talent behind a wall of steel? Our use of light is just one of the ways we celebrate and appreciate this.

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PRESS RELEASE: NEXUS ONE wins Best New Product Award at World Of Coffee


PRESS RELEASE: Aremde's NEXUS One Wins Best New Product Award at World of Coffee, Berlin

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World of Coffee is one of the biggest events in the global specialty coffee industry. Baristas, roasters, coffee technicians, distributors, manufacturers and designers come together from across the globe to celebrate and appreciate our industry. This year’s WoC was hosted in Berlin. 

With eyes from all over the world, World of Coffee Berlin was the perfect stage to launch our NEXUS One in Europe. The interest in the Nexus One was overwhelming. Hundreds of people came to see our machine; many reached their hands through the machine as they couldn’t believe that the machine was completely open- the wall of steel had been removed.

The event was made even more special when NEXUS One won the Best New Product award in the Commercial Coffee and Tea Equipment category and MODUS ONE advancing to the finals.

Each year, the Specialty Coffee Association’s Best New Product Competition recognises new products that move our industry forwards. Products are selected based on criteria defined by SCA, evaluated based on quality and value to the specialty coffee and tea industry and additional factors such as sustainability and functionality.  

We are incredibly grateful and humbled by this prestigious award. Our Aremde team is delighted that the specialty coffee industry shares our vision for a better customer experience, the celebration of coffee making and the beauty of minimalist design. 

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PRESS RELEASE: NEXUS ONE wins Good Design Awards


PRESS RELEASE: Aremde's NEXUS One NEXUS ONE wins Australia's coveted Good Design Award for Design Excellence and Engineering.

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Aremde’s NEXUS One espresso machine has won two major categories in Australia’s prestigious Good Design Awards. In a ceremony held at The Star, New South Wales, Aremde won Good Design Award in both Product Design and Engineering categories in recognition for outstanding and innovative design.

The annual Good Design Awards is Australia’s most prestigious international award for design and innovation. The awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market and reward emerging areas of design strategy, social impact and design entrepreneurship. The annual Good Design Awards is Australia’s most prestigious international awards for design and innovation with a proud history dating back to 1958.

The awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market, excellence in architectural design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design and reward emerging areas of design strategy, social impact and design entrepreneurship.

The Good Design Awards Jury spent several days evaluating each entry according to a strict set of design criteria which covers ‘good design’, ‘design innovation’ and ‘design impact’. Projects recognised with a Good Design Award must demonstrate excellence in all areas and convince the Jury they are worthy of recognition.   

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Receiving a Good Design Award at this level is a significant achievement given the very high calibre of entries received this year.”

“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence, it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life. These projects showcase the brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world,” said Dr. Gien.

We were particularly pleased with the judge’s comments:

“Innovative design means less material usage during the manufacturing processes. Movement from consumption to experience with the “barista window” is a pioneering aesthetic that sets this product aside from anything else on the market. A bold design move in what is otherwise a conservative market with little disruption to date. ” 

We are honoured to have received this award. We feel it is a testament to the hard work and innovation of everyone at AREMDE.

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