America ByDesign Season 4 will delve into Coca-Cola’s design archives

The main goals of the mainstream CBS show are to “democratise” and “raise the tide of design to the general public”, according to its producer.

Season 4 of America ByDesign: Innovations will premiere in 2024, giving audiences a glimpse into the Coca-Cola’s historic archives while showing its design evolution across 131-years of history.

Led by the company’s global vice president of design Rapha Abreu, viewers will be given an insight into the creative process behind the company while walking through the halls of its Atlanta, Georgia HQ. Abreu is the first Latin American in the role and was also the first to put together a design manifesto for Coca-Cola, in which he wrote “design is in everything”.

1899 Hutchinson bottle. Courtesy of Coca-Cola

ByDesign co-founder and executive producer Mike Chapman describes “good design” as “invisible and seamless”, adding that those responsible for it are not often recognised outside of the industry. He suggests that the public’s conception of design and its power is very limited, expect in countries like Italy and Denmark where it is ingrained in culture.

By putting a show like this on primetime TV, Chapman hopes to “democratise” and “raise the tide of design to the general public”. From Abreu’s point of view, the show could help to “elevate the industry” by encouraging “more companies to invest in design” and more people to come into the industry to work.

1916 First Contour. Courtesy of Coca-Cola

In light of the current social and environmental state of the world, Chapman says “we need to learn about design because we’re going to need it”. He adds how a company like Coca Cola that sells two billion servings every day worldwide “could make more of an impact when it comes to saving the planet than some small countries”.

Chapman reveals that in the show viewers will learn how Coca-Cola has developed technology to produce bioplastics and plans to have over half of its plastic bottles made with the material by 2030. The company has also opened up the IP as open-source information and there are “already examples of other companies using it”, says Chapman.

The show mainly reflects on the design successes of the past through Coca-Cola’s archives which Abreu says “keep [him] humble”. He explains how the series “is not a story of the innovation of today” but instead of “a history of innovation”, looking into how the company delivers its products, whether through packaged products or dispensing equipment.

According to Chapman, the design community has supported the show since its launch in Australia in 2017. Australia ByDesign series is now on its sixth season, while season 1 of Europe ByDesign is currently being filmed.

The latter will include hosts like Welsh artist and industrial designer Tom Dixon and has secured partnerships with Royal College of Art in London and Germany’s largest trade fair Messe Frankfurt.

Featured image: 1960 Vendo Galaxy Dispenser. Courtesy of Coca-Cola

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