Kelly Lawley

Kelly Lawley

Austin, TX, US


Rapid Type


Designed and Built by an Advanced Architecture Studio at California College of the Arts

After months of research into why prefabrication has not been the glowing success everyone claimed it would be, a group of architecture professors and students at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco have developed their answer: mix prefabrication with the current trend of mobile food trucks. The first prototype, Rapid Type: A Mobile Coffee Platform, is under construction and will be ready to serve slow drip and espresso coffee drinks this May.

Professors Andre Caradec and Kory Bieg were given a generous donation of Alpolic, a unique aluminum composite material manufactured by Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc. To explore the full potential of the material, they decided to co-teach an experimental design studio with one goal: push the material as far as possible within the limits of currently available CNC fabrication technology.

Though Rapid Type targets the slow drip coffee movement, the larger agenda of the studio was to explore the gap between highly-designed prefabricated buildings and under-designed food trucks. Prefabrication remains a buzz word in the field of architecture, but has failed to deliver a reliable and cost-saving economic model for building construction. In fact, the only prefabricated structures that have performed consistently well are not buildings at all. The appearance of food trucks has exploded in the past few years and their visibility is only continuing to grow. The studio decided to latch on to this growing trend by offering a new and unique design using proven methods of mass manufacturing. Rapid Type is a full-service mobile sales platform that offers high-design, ease of assembly, and full mobility. The project combines the best of prefabricated building construction mixed with the financial vitality of the food truck movement. The prototype is designed to accommodate a variety of consumer markets.

The studio is currently building the first prototype on CCA’s San Francisco campus. It will be on display at the school (1111 Eighth Street, between Hooper and Irwin) on Saturday, April 30th between 2:30pm and 6:00pm and will be available for special events in the near future.

If you would like more information about Rapid Type: Mobile Coffee Platform, or to schedule an interview with Kory Bieg or Andre Caradec, please call Kory Bieg at 415.225.9256 (email: or call Andre   Caradec at 510.388.4105 (email:
Project Design and Fabrication Lead: Andre Caradec and Kory Bieg
Design and Installation Team (alphabetical order): Amir Afifi, Jon Butler, Mark Campos, Michael Chang, Kate Ganim, Gabe Guerriero , Kelly Lawley, Liz Lessig, Richard Lovato, Erin McDonough, Matt Mochizuki, Jamie Pratt, Tyler Pew, Sergio Sandoval, Michael Wu

OTA+ (
S/tudio U/nder M/anufacture (
Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc. 


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Status: Built
Location: San Francisco, CA, US