Is This Steampunk Coffee Machine a Wim Delvoye Ripoff?

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Dutch Lab's Gothicism.
Photo: Courtesy Dutch Lab.
2014-august-7-dutch-labs-coffee

Dutch Lab’s Gothicism.
Photo: Courtesy Dutch Lab.

The Seoul-based design firm Dutch Lab has unveiled an uber-cool device for making cold-drip coffee that bears a striking resemblance to a series of sculptures by the Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. Titled Gothicism, Dutch Lab’s ₩7,500,000 (about $7,225) coffee tower is made of laser-cut anodized aluminum parts and was designed in league with professional barista Jae Wong Kwak, according to Designboom.

2014-august-7-dutch-labs-coffee

Dutch Lab’s Gothicism.
Photo: Courtesy Dutch Lab.

Design Lab’ss Gothicism tower is also strikingly similar to a piece in Delvoye’s “Gothic Works” series, which includes full-scale cement mixers, flatbed trucks, caterpillars, and a 39-foot-tall tower made of ornate, Gothic-looking metal. The sculpture Tour (2010), which is made of laser-cut Corten steel, is much taller than the Gothicism cold-drip contraption, but the shape and general faux-Gothic look of both objects is startlingly similar.

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Wim Delvoye, Tour (2010) at the Musée Rodin in Paris.
Photo: russavia/Wikimedia Commons.

Delvoye’s Tour has been making the rounds since its creation, appearing in Shanghai’s Jing An Sculpture Park, the courtyard of Paris’s Musée Rodin, and in Venice. The Design Lab coffee-maker combines the ornate details and towering silhouette of Delvoye’s work with far more practical functions like holding up a system of “brass needle valves, borosilicate glass tubes, and 150-gram tank,” as Designboom puts it. All of which begs the question, how long before Delvoye unveils his own Gothic coffee-maker?


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