Vending Machines have never been high on the list of interior designers next challenge, understandable when you consider the nature of these bulky beasts requires a style before substance approach. The twenty-first century approach to almost everything - by which I mean stack em high and sell em cheap and who cares what it looks like! However not everyone lives their lives by these rules and fortunately for those of us with eyes and taste some of these people are making inroads into the design of vending machines.
Architects and software designers are taking up the challenge and are attempting to create machines that work with their immediate environment - not against it. The difficulty of course is that it is very difficult to create a beautiful piece of furniture with both function and form - with a blueprint to reduce size and bulkiness whilst retaining capacity - The designers were up against it. However, having had a sneak peak at upcoming designs I think they've cracked it.
Much of the new approach, which experts in the vending industry are calling an appealing and efficient fusion of vending with other amenities, will be showcased at the EU's annual vending fair in Cologne in September 2009. Part of the emphasis comes in recognising that vending machines, which are becoming increasingly part of our 24 hour lifestyles as other materials like cosmetic items, newspapers and telecommunications services become available alongside more traditional products such as food, beverages, transport tickets and postage stamps, should be recognised for the impact they have on the appearance and function of our built-up environments.
Many European countries appear to be at the forefront of the drive towards streamlined drinks vending machines. This might seem like an irrelevance to some but in such a fast paced world we need to be able to lay hands on food and drink quickly and efficiently and it now seems only to be common sense to marry this principle with our aesthetic desires to live and operate in a pleasant environment. Must these big, bulky obtrusive machines continue to be a blight on the eye in our stylish and well built modern buildings? It appears not.