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Princeton Architectural Press Spring 2018

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Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture (A design and field guide from the world's largest collection of disposable coffee lids)
By (author): Louise Harpman By (author): Scott Specht Foreword by: Alex Kalman
9781616896560 Paperback, Trade English General Trade DESIGN / Industrial Mar 13, 2018 Print Run: 6000
$28.95 CAD
Active 5.63 x 6 x 0.88 in 255 pages Princeton Architectural Press
A fascinating design history and field guide to one of modern life's everyday conveniences, with 200 full close-up photographs and patent designs.

A fun look at how the genius of design is often hidden in plain sight. Ever wonder about how everyday objects come to look the way they do? The disposable coffee lid is a design paradox of the modern era. It must simultaneously open and close to allow for drinking on the go while protecting against unwanted spillage. See your coffee cup lid for what it really is: a magical design artifact that contains fascinating variations.

The premier guide for take-out coffee drinkers everywhere – Learn more about the mechanics behind your morning cup of joe. Impress and stump the coffee-aficionados in your life with your expansive knowledge of slosh-drainage systems, ergonomic drink apertures, foam accommodation techniques, and sensory enhancement features.

From the world's largest coffee lid collection – Louise Harpman and Scott Specht have collected over 550 of these triumphs of industrial design for decades, creating whatSmithsonian magazine calls "the world's largest collection of coffee cup lids."

Louise Harpman practices architecture in New York City and Scott Specht in New York City and Austin Texas. Their obsession with coffee cup lids stems from their aesthetic interest in familiar objects that contain unique and endlessly fascinating variations.

"There's something poignant about designing a mass-produced object heading directly for the trash can. Like most quotidian artifacts of our era, the disposable coffee cup lid fulfills its purpose when it's forgettable but effective. And as we discover in this short, deft, caffeinated volume, the quest for perfection-for spill-proof sublimity-is far from over."
- Caroline Baumann, Director, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

"Two design geeks crazed for coffee-cup lids."
- The New Yorker

"This short, sharp and subtly witty new book by Austin architect Scott Specht - along with fellow collector and design analyst Louise Harpman - illuminates an ordinary object many of us encounter every day."
- Austin American-Statesman

"This is a far, far deeper dive than other mortals have ever dared into the aesthetics and industrial, cultural, and design history of the all-too-human struggle to prevent hot coffee from sloshing in unwelcome ways."
- Mark Singer, The New Yorker

"Once you start thinking and learning about design, it changes the way you see everything. Coffee Lids is the perfect encapsulation of this, full of close-up photographs and patent drawings that show how this everyday object is a true work of functional art."
- BuzzFeed

"There has been a study or two about lids. But this is the most incisive lido-pedia I've seen, with facts galore to talk about with your favorite barista. Little would you suspect that so much high technology goes into making the perfect lid or how many patents exist for so many of them. Doubtless every pucker and puncture has a purpose, and if you've ever wondered what the function is, you will have a good time flipping through the facts and photos of some exquisite lids that these lid-ficianos have assembled."
- Daily Heller/Printmag.com

"The coffee cup lid is one of those seemingly mundane inventions that are so fully integrated into modern life, they're easy to overlook. But as Harpman details in the introduction to the new book she co-wrote with Specht, Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture, there is a fascinating design history behind the objects."
- Atlas Obscura

"Reading "Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture" is a deeply satisfying investigation into how a plastic disposable object can actually be a feat of design genius." - Fresh Cup Magazine

"Proving there is magic in the everyday, architects Louise Harpman and Scott Specht have provided us with a field guide to lids for take-out coffee. After perusing the book, it's impossible to look at the humble disposables the same way again."
- Interior Design

"A close examination of everyday, even mundane objects can be the starting point for drawing wider conclusions about the world. Gottfried Semper and Adolf Loos analyzed ancient vases and speculated about the lives of the people who made and used them; Louise Harpman and Scott Specht do the same with coffee lids."
- Deyan Sudjic, Director, the Design Museum, London

"If you possess any shred of curiosity about the objects at all - about the myriad varieties of design shaping the things, about the ways in which they're functional and/or elegant, about the manner in which they interact with the personal mouth-level distribution of the hot liquid they help to contain . then you'll want to get this book."
- Austin Chronicle

"Harpman and Specht's book, "Coffee Lids," puts the pair's collection into context through essays, patent diagrams and photographs that -- when viewed in quick succession -- reveal the subtle differences in design." - CNN Style

"From slits and slots to slosh drainage systems and condiment capsules, this magical little book is a tour de force of observational awareness, sitting squarely at the nexus of meaning, making, and material culture. Should be required reading for every barista on the planet."
- Jessica Helfand, Design Observer

"A thousand years from now, when alien anthropologists attempt to understand the homo caffeinatus of late modernity, they will find no better guide than this absorbing, beautiful book. The many technical solutions for transforming the leisurely, social act of drinking coffee into a mechanism by which caffeine could be delivered into the central nervous systems of today's rushed citizens will no doubt make our future visitors gasp at the absurd ingenuity of the primate that once ruled this planet."
- Sina Najafi, Editor in Chief, Cabinet magazine

"A quirky look at the development and design of the now-ubiquitous lid."
- Parade

"A new book explores the subtly impressive design behind the sippable plastic lid."
- Mental Floss

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