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Next Week In Italy: La Marzocco Out Of The Box

Next Week In Italy: La Marzocco Out Of The Box

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After speaking at the 2013 Nordic Barista Cup, Sprudge Assistant Editor Alex Bernson and photographer Kate Beard traveled to Italy with our partners at La Marzocco. These pictures from the LM design archive are from that trip.

La Marzocco’s signature Out of The Box event is going down next week, October 17-19th alongside the HOST trade-show in Milan. This sixth year of Out of The Box is promising to be the biggest and most informative yet, and HOST is the world’s biggest hospitality trade event, with exhibitions from all sorts of coffee equipment manufacturers. To capture all the Milan madness, all three of your trusty Sprudge editors will be reporting live from the city, giving you all the deets.

And oh what deets they’ll be. The theme for this year’s Out of The Box is “Innovation and Design”. The event itself comprises a wide selection of speeches and educational components, a “True Artisan Café” featuring a rotating cast of 25 different roasters from all over the world, a gallery and auction from The Coffee Art Project, onsite roasting demos, a chance to play around with the Modbar, and of course a big barbecue party.

I’m particularly excited by some of the design focused components of the event. Design has always been a big priority for La Marzocco, and during our tour of the La Marzocco factory, I had a chance to experience that first hand by looking through some of the original documents in La Marzocco’s archive, a selection of which you can see below.

One of the cornerstones of Out of the Box will be Pierro Bambi and Luca Trazzi’s talk “La Marzocco Design, Moving Forward”. Luca is a world renowned Italian designer with countless projects to his name, including the FrancisFrancis! home espresso machines for Illy. Mr Trazzi has been working with La Marzocco to help them better understand and nurture their rich design history as the company evolves.

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A shot from the original La Marzocco workshop showing machines rescued from cafes after the 1996 flood of the Arno river.

Another exciting piece of Out of the Box will be the unveiling of a collaboration between La Marzocco, Francesco Illy and the University of Florence on Caffè Firenze, a “new extraction technology” that claims to create a sweet, lower-viscosity espresso-style drink that highlights delicate coffees in a way “not possible with current espresso machine technologies.”

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The archive holds hundreds of Giuseppe Bambi’s cafe designs, around 80 of which were actually built.

For me personally, the most exciting part of Out of The Box is going to be the Flip That Bar presentation by a group of students and faculty from the European Institute of Design. This multi-disciplinary group of students spent a semester collaborating on projects centered around re-imagining the café for the 21st century, thinking about everything from the social experience to the soundtrack to how to re-orient the focus on bar and espresso machine. They worked extensively with La Marzocco throughout the process, and will be presenting their work in a multi-media format and in the form of a book during Out of the Box.

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Linea bodywork drawings. Originally it was going to be called the “Fire”, but they decided on calling it the “Linea” because of the heavy influence Piero Bambi took from the linear design of the Florence train station and other buildings around the city.

It’s going to be a crazy week in Milan with all sorts of exciting things happening. If you’re going to be in the city, we highly suggest stopping by Out of the Box at Via Bugatti, 7 in Zona Tortona. If you have some time at the end of your stay, La Marzocco will also be hosting a special open house at their Scarperia factory on Monday, October 21st, where you will be able to see some of these gorgeous design drawings first hand.

Alex Bernson (@alexbernson) is the Assistant Editor at Sprudge.com. You can read more of his work here.


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