Kathrine Bundgart, Christian Christensen, Morten Gleie & Thit Hagen / Copenhagen School of Design and Technology
That food is to be shared is obvious. Nice idea to want to add cadence to the fire that has been made available in a spirit of freedom of space and movement. – Marc BrÃˆtillot
Nice project, linking cooking roots, such as sharing and conviviality, with social trends, like tribes and communities. – Caroline Champion
Food sharing in open spaces for open conversations. – Alok Nandi & Alexandre Gauthier
CityGrill is a rentable grill solution (or a mortgage scheme grill) launched by the city of Copenhagen and placed in public areas. The purpose of the CityGrill project was to improve the grilling experience in public park areas and on beaches. The improvement is mainly in making a transportable grill for the user to carry it from the renting stations to wherever they would like to sit and enjoy their food, without compromising on the quality of the grilling.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
Create a multifunctional product for public places. The product must be made with design and functionality in mind. The problem to solve was especially the issue with the lack of design and functionality when grilling in open public areas, and the issues regarding the poor grill quality when grilling outdoors.
The case should also include an opportunity for the product to visually brand itself and/or other possible companies, whom could have the interest in branding their company name.
The challenge was to help the councils aim to increase the use of public parks etc. by offering a more attractive opportunity for the city’s residents.
Our inspiration was to make more people have a good grilling experience, both because it is lovely to spend as much time as possible outdoor in the short northern summers and because grilling often is a social and fun thing to do with friends and family. Secondly we found it interesting to work towards a more environmentally friendly solution than the disposable grill so often used today. During our research we found a new type of CO2 neutral grill briquettes made of coconut shells, and we therefore designed the CityGrill to match this briquette.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
In the beginning we constructed three different concepts which all answered the same question: How can we develop a better grilling experience for the citizens of Copenhagen, which is to be placed in parks and on beaches? Afterwards we chose the most interesting concept to fully develop, and we chose: the transportable grill-concept. We started off with interviewing different key-persons within the Danish park and beach business. Through these interviews we discovered the importance of finding a solution to the increasing amount of trash. A solution that would address the increasing amount of trash produced by packaging leftovers and more, connected with the grilling experience. We were told that disposable grills were a prime problem in relation to increasing trash amounts and furthermore the grills leave huge burn marks on the ground. We therefore designed a product to protect the natural environment in parks and the surrounding architecture. To understand the current grill-solutions a photographic registration was made and used to gain understanding of the reasons behind people’s grilling choices.
Ethnographic research proved some interesting differences between cultures in society, including proof that stationed grills are not used by some groups with certain religious backgrounds. Only two materials were used to make the grill. The specific materials were chosen from many different tests and calculations to match the perfect material for our many demands.
The value of the CityGrill project is to give city dwellers a better quality of life. In the summertime thousands of citizens in Copenhagen bring their food to the beaches or parks to grill. But the facilities are few and rarely used, because of their bad state and the fact that you have to bring your own coal/briquettes. Our solution is placed in rent stations (combined with a bicycle rack on one side) on the beach, park or other public areas so that the user doesn’t have to bring grill nor fuel. The user will still have the possibility to sit wherever they like as long as they bring the grill back to the station when they are done. This will give the user the freedom to enjoy a good outdoor food experience with the option of taking a walk, or taking off without having to wait for the grill to cool down. The CityGrill is also a solution that is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than the existing products both because it will be used over and over again which minimises the amount of garbage compared to a disposable grill, and because of the CO2 neutral fuel.6. How is your project positioned on a cultural level? Or, are there elements that show a blending of cultures or is it monocultural?
By having the grill placed in a public park, we are able to provide a better grill-solution for the city’s many residents. We have therefore been focusing on making the grill attractive for not only one cultural group, but for all whom desire to grill in the open!
We have furthermore been handed a report written for the city of Copenhagen by an ethnographer, that described the importance of being outside for the different cultural groups in Copenhagen.
In that report we discovered that being outside and grilling was very important for groups of different ethnical descent than Danish, especially together with family. In the western world BBQ-ing and grilling has enjoyed an increase in popularity ever since Weber introduced their high-quality grills back in the 1950’s. Our product is thereby not only meant for one type of cultural group, but for the entire city’s different inhabitants.
We have furthermore designed a storage station, which works as a protection against the rough Danish weather and random vandalism. The storage stations have been designed to fit into the different park environments around Copenhagen.
Grilling is, if you do it the right way, a healthy way to cook but nutritional advantage is not one of the main focuses of our project. The coconut briquette is a good way to minimise the smoking time, because the start-up period is short and thereby minimising the risk of ingesting and letting out harmful substances contained in the smoke of the charcoal briquette.