In continuation of different graduation projects from several Danish design and architecture schools we hereby serve Line Lone Kristensen and Sabrina Lund Borg from Design School Kolding. They have used food as a focal point in their project:
Falafel, dolma, dates. Kofta, coriander and thin soft bread. Taste à la Gellerup places 80 different food cultures on the kitchen table and converts food into a mass medium.
You feel like using exclamation marks when trying to explain Line Lone Kristensen and Sabrina Lund Borg’s descriptions of their graduation project Taste à la Gellerup (Gellerup is a primarily immigrant community in Aarhus, Denmark). For the newly graduated communication designers are on a mission – or rather a food mission which uses meals and saturated senses to establish communication across cultures and social strata:
“Everyone can relate to food. Food expresses culture, identity and community. Hence food can be a neutral place to meet – a kind of social negotiation tool. It has the potential to bring people together and create and maintain relationships between people from different walks of life,” they say.
A diversity of food
There is already plenty of food in Gellerup. In this part of Aarhus, which houses more than 80 nationalities, recipes are shared, dishes with colourful salads are served, bread is dipped in spicy dips – also without interference from the designers. On the other hand they can create attention about the culinary diversity of the district so that many more people can share the experiences:
“We design the platform through which the food is being presented, partly by establishing a food cooperative and partly through various other contexts, e.g. a food market where you can meet Taste à la Gellerup. A number of local ‘cooks’ are affiliated with the cooperative and they also act as our ambassadors. We are in charge of communicating their food culture in the best possible way and ensure that there is an opportunity to meet our ambassadors through food and hear the right story. One example is when you can meet Ilham and learn to fold Somali sambusa,” say Line Lone & Sabrina.
Passion and perspective
It is no coincidence that it is the brutalist blocks of flats, many of which are scheduled to be torn down, that form the backdrop for bubbling pots and the ideas for the project, the two communication designers explain:
“Right from the start we could see the potentials in Gellerup in terms of food. So many food cultures are represented, and our project has only exposed the tip of the iceberg. For many years the focus has been on Gellerup’s many challenges, but we believe that food and food culture can offer a new perspective on the district. We have identified some very special people out here with a real passion and desire to share their experiences with their food.”
Something has to happen
In Line Lone & Sabrina’s own words the project has been ’learning by cooking’. The learning curve has been steep, for the emphasis has been on here-and-now action rather than on plans and future scenarios:
“We have collaborated with Instant City, and the word ‘instant’ implies activity instead of talk, because Gellerup has needed to see things happen.
That also means that we have not ended up with a ’final’ product per se. Rather we have created a framework within which Taste à la Gellerup can develop going forward, both internally in the cooperative and externally as a platform for the surrounding society,” the two communication designers conclude. And when they are talking about prospects for the future, that’s when one wants to use explanation marks once again. For here we are seeing something that works. It’s the small change that makes the big difference:
“The positive response to the project has been beyond all expectations. People in the food cooperative have taken on the project and embraced it, and they themselves are offering suggestions for new initiatives, which is exactly what we wanted from our ambassadors. According to the plan the project will continue because, as mentioned, the reception has been so enthusiastic, not only by the residents of Gellerup but also by our partners Instant City and Brabrand Housing Association!”
The project is based on collaboration with Instant City, an initiative under the Master Plan for Gellerup & Toveshøj started by Brabrand Housing Association and Aarhus Municipality. Instant City is studying the possibilities of a Gellerup version 2.0. Food was already a central part of Instant City when the two students came on board, but they have boosted the influx of visitors to the tables and booths through their concept ‘Taste à la Gellerup’.
TASTE À LA GELLERUP
… is a food cooperative for residents of Gellerup, where everyone can meet and share food.
The project consists of:
– A dynamic, visual identity that gives Taste à la Gellerup recognition and supports the feeling of community.
– A selection of physical elements/booths, where people can meet Taste à la Gellerup.
– A series of events that place Taste à la Gellerup on the menu – and more are on the way!
Read more on www.smagalagellerup.com
Facebook: Smag à la Gellerup