This Alarm Clock Proves You've Been Waking Up Wrong Your Entire Life

Here's how you finally become a morning person!

Joshua Renouf is a London-based designer whose recent reimagining of the coffee machine--the Barisieur--is taking the internet by storm. He kindly responded in writing to our request for a deeper look into his project, and he gave us some remarkable insights into the design philosophy and technical aspects of his unique and beautiful creation.

Combining aesthetics and functionality was part of the original goal of Renouf's design.

The idea for the Barisieur came after Renouf's disenchantment with the bulky designs of modern coffee makers. He sought to create something that would be as beautiful as it is functional; something that would engage the user.

He tells us, "Throughout the design process, I was very concerned about the size of the product as they do look very bulky on the bedside table, so I made it a one cup brewer. I wanted the user to be more engaged with the product as well, therefore I wanted to expose the process so it would stimulate all the 5 senses; the sound of the boiling/ seeing the process in which it boils/ the smell of the fresh coffee/ and the taste of the coffee. This is a product that satisfies your senses."

With its simple, orderly lines, the Barisieur is a work of art, as well as practicality.

This ability to satisfy the senses illuminates the possibility of joy contained within an object. For the Barisieur, the sensory satisfaction begins with the materials forming the object itself. From the organic visual aspect of the wood grain to the sleek clarity of glass and the gleam of steel, the design is as elemental as the ritual of coffee. It is not a stretch to say that in this design the classical elements of fire (represented, in this case, as heat), earth, water, and air combine their qualities.

No detail was too small to be ignored.

Renouf understands the needs of a society that often seems to be in perpetual motion. The Barisieur is designed to take the morning ritual of coffee-making--often a clumsy, stressful affair--and turn it into an evening ritual that, like a warm bath or some soft music, closes the day, bringing it and its anxieties to a conclusion: "I wanted something that would encourage a ritual before going to bed, to actually make people put their phones/ laptops down (seeing as staring at a screen before bed makes your more awake with the artificial light) signallng to the body it is time to UNWIND, and RELAAAXXX."

A paradox? Not at all. To relax at night by making preparations for the next day can only make the transition from sleep to wakefulness easier.

The bottom dial allows you to have your coffee made 5-30 minutes either before or after your alarm goes off. There is also a "make" button for immediate use.

Why should mornings be met with such dread? After all, they represent possibilities; renewal. And yet, so often, we treat them as the worst part of the day. Part of Renouf's desire to bring his creation into being was to cast out that dread and replace it with joy. He writes, "I thought this could bring people happiness to their mornings, give them something to look forward to, and who does not like to wake up to a fresh cup of coffee or tea in the morning?!?"

And it's true. Coffee at home is in a different place on the spectrum of enjoyment than coffee that is bought at a drive-through or after waiting in line with bleary-eyed commuters whose day has already started with cursing the traffic and the daily demoralization of the morning paper. Coffee at home should be preserved as sacrosanct: an unassailable moment for oneself and one's loved ones.

As a single cup brewer, it's the perfect size for a nightstand.

Renouf thought through this project very carefully, keeping his vision for aesthetics in design balanced with practical concerns: "I wanted to design the product, whilst thinking about how it would be manufactured... It was a challenge at first, as I have more of a creative mind. I have never really been that good at engineering or electronics, but once I had a concept in mind I really wanted to prove it."

The Barisieur is a wonderful example of the meeting of engineering and aesthetics. There is no gap. Renouf's creativity transcended his academic and professional training and extended into realms not often associated with what is thought of when design is mentioned: those of electronics and technology. Witness how they merge.

Stainless steel ball bearings sit in the pot. The reason for them is ingenious.

The induction heating element generates an electromagnetic field around the ball bearings. As current flows through them, friction and heat are generated...and the water boils.

As the ball bearings boil the water, they make a gentle sound that augments the alarm.

The ball bearings are available in different sizes that presumably create different tones when boiling.

Unlike a traditional coffee maker, the induction element does not get hot.

"The metal Ball bearings can come in a number of sizes, and they actually are to boil the water. The reason I did this was because I wanted to come up with a safe way of boiling the water, I didn't want the pad to get hot; so I researched induction heating. ...After a lot of experimenting it occurred that stainless steel ball bearings (yes they conduct) acted well, and actually created a nice natural alarm once the water boiled."

As the water boils with its faint jingling of steel on glass, the air is filled with the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee.

The grounds sit in a stainless steel filter.

"The Stainless Steel Filter is actually from a company called Able Brewing who I was emailing back and forth through out the project, so shout out to them!"

The Barisieur may also be used to make tea.

Boiling water gently drips to coax the liquid inspiration from the grounds.

A small drawer for ground coffee (or tea) and sugar is contained in the base.

Milk is sealed with a rubber stopper and an internal fan keeps it cool, even as the coffee is being made. You can also see the "make" button here.

Voilà, your coffee is ready.

This is how many would prefer to get their morning motivation.

The result of Renouf's work is a coffee maker that is satisfying, both emotionally and practically. It encourages mindfulness and fulfills his vision of "living slow, even when times are fast."

We thank Mr. Renouf for taking the time to tell us about the remarkable story behind his invention and wish him the best in this and future endeavors. For more information about Josh Renouf"s design work and pricing on the Baristeur, please visit him here. He is also on Instagram. The providers of the stainless steel filter used on the Baristeur may be found here: Able Brewing.

SOURCES: Images from Joshua Renouf"s website. Correspondence text very slightly edited for clarity and brevity. Some article headlines written by staff writers.



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