In 2022, at the US Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston, I unveiled a La Marzocco USA booth design inspired by sustainability-in-coffee, care for the earth, and the solar-powered La Marzocco factory in Florence, Italy. The booth design borne from these ideas also incorporated elements of Scandinavian minimalism and mid-century modular design. I created this 360° bio-degradable / recyclable booth, made almost entirely of wood and cotton(!!!) with a big-picture scope — designing the booth with movable components so it could be re-used multiple years in a row.
In 2023, in the second iteration of this modular booth, I was given the task to introduce La Marzocco's Florence-based 'cultural hub' and espresso museum, the Accademia del Caffè Espresso. Not-yet familiar to the U.S. market, I recognized many event attendees would be seeing the introduction of the new Accademia brand alongside the already well-established La Marzocco brand — for the first time.
I conceptualized using vintage View-Master portals to transport the booth visitors to Italy, so they could see and experience Accademia del Caffè Espresso, see La Marzocco machines being hand-built in the La Marzocco factory in Florence, and observe their travel across the world to the La Marzocco USA headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Upon entering the booth, visitors could stroll around a museum platform, to see unique and limited-edition espresso machines showing off the innovation of La Marzocco.
I illustrated a 20-foot mural telling this story in a visual format, which created a backdrop for the View-Master portals. I worked with local makers to build these backlit portals, and curated a series of 4 View-Master reels, each holding 7 photos.
(Above) L-R: Accademia del Caffè Espresso (Yellow), La Marzocco offices in Florence, Italy (Pink), La Marzocco Factory and Florentine Duomo and statues (Gray), Coffee production and transport with machines to the USA (Green), La Marzocco USA Headquarters in Seattle, and delivery of La Marzocco machines to US specialty coffee market (Red).
Above: This booth structure incorporates a 10x20-foot booth alongside a 20x20-foot booth. In the 10x20-foot booth, a museum platform with plinths was created to showcase one-of-a-kind and limited edition espresso machines and coffee equipment. This platform was designed to be walked around so visitors could see all angles of the displayed equipment.
In the 20x20-booth, I worked closely with Memo Furniture (Seattle) to select seating to create a sense of welcome and hospitality within the booth, where visitors could receive a prepared espresso drink at any of the 5 stations featuring La Marzocco espresso machines, and then linger inside a "coffeeshop" area, or take their drink to the interactive museum environment of the 10x20-foot booth. The hanging sign displayed both La Marzocco and Accademia del Caffè Espresso logos, to introduce the USA audience to the partnership between these two brands.
Photos by: Drago Tomianovic