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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