Café Habana

25, نوفمبر 2010

Café Habana was founded by Sean Meenan, well known for his eco-driven lifestyle. Café Habana’s owner is also responsible for the creation of a coloring book titled “Alternative Heroes”. This restaurant is classified as an eco-eatery. The plates are utensils are made of compostable materials like potatoes, sugarcane, and corn. Toilets are flushed with harvested rainwater. The door is recycled from a Latin American monastery. The smoothies are made from a bike-powered blender. The roof is made up of solar panels. Even Sean Meenan’s 1965 Lincoln convertible was converted to run on discarded cooking oil. Not only does the restaurant use sustainable means themselves, but they educate customers and the community about sustainability. While waiting in the restaurant, servers talk about sustainable methods. They also offer weekend programs of arts and crafts for kids. The only time the restaurant uses electricity is, of course, when solar-powered roofs don’t provide energy. Only on cloudy or rainy days does Café Habana use other sources of power. Even then, however, things like a bike-powered blender can be used. Toilets can still be flushed with harvested rainwater. After speaking to a worker from Café Habana, we were able to go more in-depth into the workings of this eco-eatery and discover how much they do in fact promote sustainable methods. Not only do they reach out to their customers, but Café Habana participates in a number of expositions to promote sustainable means of living. At the Earth Day Expo, they work with local businesses and teach others about composting and gardening. Habana Outpost in particular, boasts a thriving business, bringing the community together in more ways than one in their Outpost Market, where local designers and artists unite in a colorful experience.

The negotiations that we’ve chosen to focus on are profit vs. environment and waste vs. recycle. The purpose of the profit vs. environment negotiation is that, instead of a focus on earning the largest profit possible, there is the consideration of things such as discounting items that are made by the customer through sustainable means that allows for a eco-friendly environment. Also, the capital spent at the beginning of the project is greater than the average. In the case of a typical restaurant, the amount of money utilized at the start is less because instead of considering a more “green” energy source, they focus purely on future profits, not thinking of the money that could be saved in using a renewable source of energy such as solar power.  In place of a more traditional means of energy, Café Habana supports itself with its solar powered roof, offering excess energy to its neighbors and saving money on electricity.

Our second negotiation is waste vs. recycle. Obviously this topic is gaining momentum in the world today. Now, people are trying to move away from simply throwing things away and moving towards recycling products. In the spirit of “going green”, Nike created a soccer jersey made of old plastic bottles. In fact, nine World Cup teams were wearing uniforms made of recycled bottles. Just as Sean Meenan has converted his car to run on recycled cooking oil from his restaurant, people are now in search of new ways to recycle and reduce their carbon footprint on the world, and Café Habana is leading these people forward. Instead of disposable plastic utensils, they use compostable materials. Although these are much more expensive for the average person, Café Habana buys them in bulk, making it more cost-effective for them and, once again, making Café Habana more eco-friendly.

Café Habana

10, نوفمبر 2010

Andrea Del Risco, Michelle Kraus, Colleen Lu

Café Habana is a restaurant designed to minimize waste, use efficient alternative sources of energy, and educate clients about green methods. The restaurant is as eco-friendly as possible, recycling objects like an old mail truck, and turning it into a lunch truck instead; using solar roofs; encouraging recycling with bio-degradable products; sorted trash bins; and reusing sink and rain water for flushing the toilet. Waiters also make it a point to inform customers about the restaurant’s sustainable efforts and encourage them to do the same. From mail truck to toilet water, everything in Café Habana is geared towards reducing production of trash and reusing what it can.

In the popular trend of “going green”, Café Habana is a clear choice for our case studies. Within a business, it maximizes the different sustainable methods that can be used in a community. Not only does it have its focus on keeping its own environment “green”, it encourages the community it participates in to do so as well. By giving discounts to people who bicycle-power their smoothies and giving excess energy from their solar panels to the neighboring apartments, Café Habana incentivizes their customers and neighbors to join the “green” movement.


Resourceful Design, Green Design, Sustainable Design, Community Design


Profit vs. Environment, Traditional vs. Progressive, Waste vs. Recycle


10, نوفمبر 2010

Andrea Del Risco, Michelle Kraus, Colleen Lu

The Glif is a simple design that has multiple purposes. It was created as a means of enhancing the iPhone4 experience. The creators wanted to develop a way that was easier for iPhone4 users to take photos, videos, video chat, and view information hands-free. Through the Glif, they managed to create a product attachment that was both sleek and functional.

Glif being used as a mini-computer stand.

We chose this product because of its versatility and relativity to today’s society. Since there is such a heavy focus on technology and functionality, the Glif is a perfect example of design that incorporates both into a simple attachment. The fact that it is also relatively small adds to its appeal. Most attachments today are working on becoming less bulky, but the Glif has already achieved that. Instead of being stored separately from the phone, the Glif can remain attached and serve as an antennae protector.

Taxonomic Categories:

Enhancement Design, Technological Design, Innovative Design, Multipurpose Design, Interaction Design


Multifunctions vs. Single Functions

Hands-free vs. Hand-held

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