A Confluence of Ideas – Coffee Set

Client: Vienna Tourist Board

Sector: Product

Commission: 2011

Launch: 2012

PearsonLloyd was invited to take part in an invitation only design competition with participants from six European countries, to design a new souvenir of Vienna that reflects the city’s contemporary creative scene and rich cultural history. The studio responded with Confluence of Ideas, a simple reinterpretation of the classic coffee set used for generations in cafes throughout the city.

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Vienna’s coffee houses are renowned, thanks to the character of their interiors, the choice and style of coffee served, the manner and custom in which it is presented and the friendliness of the service. But most of all, they are revered for their historical cultural importance: Vienna’s coffee houses were famously part of the daily routine of cultural figures such as Franz Schubert, Sigmund Freud, Egon Schiele, Adolf Loos and Peter Altenberg. For the last 200 years, they have been places where intellectuals across the sciences and arts come together to exchange ideas. For tourists, a visit to one of Vienna’s grand coffee houses is a must.

PearsonLloyd’s souvenir is a simple, contemporary reinterpretation of the tray, cup, glass, sugar bowl and spoon seen in coffee houses across the city. Small details, such as the trademark teaspoon balanced on a glass make a distinct reference to the traditional set.

The coffee set is designed as both a standard, functional souvenir and as a real, commercial product to be supplied to coffee houses and cultural institutions across the city. Its dual purpose strengthens its narrative and embeds contemporary design culture in the daily lives of the Viennese and visitors to the city alike.