Ukemeabasi Esiet

Christian | Nigerian | Urbanist | Photographer

What is Coffeeshopification?

Coffee Shop by NeoIIIn a TreeHugger article last year, Lloyd Alter, TreeHugger’s architecture and design guru, wrote about an idea shared by Stephen Gordon at The Speculist last year — coffeeshopification. Alter states that the idea “may mark a possible reversal of the trends we have seen toward the big box in the suburbs, and a possible revitalization of our main streets.”

Some of what ‘coffeeshopification’ means is that:

Consumers will pay for only what they want. In higher education, for example, students will only pay for classes that make them more qualified for the jobs they want, avoiding the “unnecessary” classes. Classes themselves will be more about networking and peer tutoring than about lectures.

Due to advances in mobile technology, customers will browse store selections and make the majority of their purchases online. Barnes and Noble will essentially be its Starbucks coffee shop. You can buy books through the nook store over the free Wi-Fi, socialize with people, or just find a cozy spot to read and enjoy some refreshments.

Retail stores will become places to make the products that you can’t put together at home. DIY has become less of a trend and more the norm. You are more likely to have near-instant access to the information to build and assemble things, and you’ll need the big stores for the things you can’t make at home.

Offices will become more flexible and more about organizing into teams for specific projects and reorganizing for the next challenging adventure. We’ll share a server, printers and a conference room, but we won’t need much more than that.

While Alter briefly examines his relationship with his students, Gordon points out that his Church has been ‘coffeeshopified’ already. He points out that “they buy Land of a Thousand Hills coffee to aid war ravished Rwanda, and the profits go to missions.”

Gordon notably points out that the underlying desire is “to be a community hub: a place where people — most especially those who don’t normally go to church — are comfortable. I’m not a coffee person, but I think I understand what both Alter and Gordon are talking about. We want things to be simple, we’re growing tired with the old way of doing things, and we just want something that works.

What do you think about this idea?


  1. This article looks prettier on Medium.
  2. The image is “Coffee Shop near Times Square” by Neo_II on Flickr

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This entry was posted on September 10, 2014 by and tagged .
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