I have a unique interest in Starbucks.  It’s not the company, the music, the coffee or that it is headquartered here in Seattle that holds my attention.  No, Starbucks interest me as a design firm.  Maybe because I worked there for so long supporting the talented designers who created all those store across the globe.

As a design firm, Starbucks is tasked with the impossible.  Design a place that everyone likes with space for: bric-a-brak, seating, lines, children, drive-thru, laptops plug-ins and all the other stuff stuffed into a Starbucks store.  I can tell you, it is a balancing act the Starbucks does well, at least in my opinion.

So it was with great interest that I read the article “The Next Starbucks” in the July 1st issue of Architect Magazine.  The article is really three design studies imagining the next iteration of the Starbucks brand. 

What I found most interesting about the three studies is that each one cuts away the fluff, letting the coffee and the barista take center stage.  One study, the Drink/Think THIN project, suggest the future of coffee is no more that a simple counter on the street!

You can read the entire article here.

I would love to hear what people have to say about the suggested designs as well as thoughts on how Starbucks looks today.