Two Architects Write a Field Guide for Coffee Lids

Proving there is magic in the everyday, architects and have provided us with a field guide to lids for take-out coffee. Harpman and Specht began collecting the throwaways separately in the early 1990's, before discovering the other was interested. “Somehow it came up that each of us had collections,” Harpman says. “It was a strange but happy coincidence!” Now, they have amassed what must be the world’s largest trove. Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture, out this month from , provides a peek into their collection. Original patent drawings accompany life-size photographs of the objects. Also included are essays on history and categorization. After perusing the book, it’s impossible to look at the humble disposables the same way again.

Coffee Lids, by Louise Harpman and Scott Specht, is out in March. Photography by Benjamin English / Princeton Architectural Press.
A lid from the "peel" section. Photography by Benjamin English / Princeton Architectural Press.

A lid from the "puncture" section. Photography by Benjamin English / Princeton Architectural Press.
A lid from the "pucker" section. Photography by Benjamin English / Princeton Architectural Press.
A patent drawing from the "peel" section. Courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press.
A patent drawing from the "pucker" section. Courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press.

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