Eric Benson

Designer, educator, author, activist, and international speaker.


My Summer in Sleeves

My Summer in Sleeves

Coffee Sleeve Kitty Mat (Plan View)

Coffee Sleeve Kitty Mat (3/4 view).

Coffee Sleeve Hot Pad (top & bottom)

Coffee Sleeve Hot Pad Instructions (Cover)

Coffee Sleeve Hot Pad Instructions (Interior)

Coffee Sleeve Lamp

Coffee Sleeve Lamp (close-up)

Caffeinated Mail Sorter (Top View).

Caffeinated Mail Sorter

Every year roughly 8 billions coffee sleeves (those nice paperboard rings that keep your hands from being scorched by your extremely hot Starbucks coffee) are thrown away. One day while drinking coffee in the Las Vegas airport, I wondered why we had these coffee sleeves anyway. Why not simply design the paper cup better? When I got back to Austin, TX I researched the origins of this banal object. I found out that it was invented in Seattle by a regular guy named Jay Sorenson after he dumped Starbucks in his lap after burning his fingers on the scalding cup. It was then that I determined that the coffee sleeve was nothing but a band-aid to fix a poor design.

I wanted to see what domestic items could be made from these used coffee sleeves in hopes of making some sort of social commentary about our overconsumption and the waste we generate. I made a lamp, hot pad, mail sorter and am still developing a coffee table.

  • For Me.

  • Type Print, Sustainability, MFA, Coffee Sleeves, Domestic Items

Up Next:

Thirst: Anti-Bottled Water Culture Jam