Category: Ideation

KochGelegenheiten — ideation


How can we enable people without any kitchen access to cook for themselves and others, because being able to do so plays a significant role in creating a space of comfort and wellbeing?

How could an integrated approach look like?

How can we encourage interactive food customs in Berlin’s social life, because a friendly vivid street life makes a city a pleasant and welcoming place to stay?


Thoughts, links and other stuff from our ideation phase:

Cooking instead of having a barbecue. Where else than at home can one cook in a city like Berlin? What is the legal frame? How to stretch it? A map of all the barbecue areas in Berlin:

Pinterest wall, we started on the topic of mobile kitchens:

A mobile kitchen is clearly not a long-term solution. It cannot replace a kitchen at home, but could be a beginning plus an integrative approach. Allowing for new culinary experiences elsewhere than at home could make it interesting for a lot of different people — also those ones having a proper kitchen at home. It could also help encouraging Berlin’s street life. Maybe making it part of a network of places willing to open up their kitchens to other people could make it even more relevant.

From Universal Playground Design Concept To Inclusive Play Object


Playgrounds are spaces of encouter from which nobody should be excluded. In the course of planning barrier free playgrounds it therefore matters to eliminate barriers in such a way that all the children, independently from their physical constitution and composition, can use a playground and access the play equipment. To achieve this goal is an enormous challenge and requires continuous research and design iteration. On the one hand, offers have to be created which support and appeal to children with and without disability. On the other hand, there is a great range of different disabilites. Children with hearing or visual impairments need play offers which make us of smell, tactility, sound. Children who sit in wheelchairs need paths which are navigable with wheelchairs on the playground and accessible play equipment, like merry-go-rounds or see-saws for wheelchair users.

Earlier efforts of constructions of barrier free play offers in Germany, or in Berlin, succeeded rarely. Children have the need to participate actively and not be passive observers. They also need interaction with nature during outdoor play. It stimulates the mind, strengthens the body and helps to develop a sense of wonder and imagination. Soft play sculptures, accessible play equipment and cushioned play surfaces provide recreational opportunities and a multi-sensory experience enhances immersion.

Our ideas reached from developing a whole playground concept, very much like a theme-based park, to single playground elements. At first, we planned to build a labyrinth as it fulfills the requirements for inclusion mentioned before, but then we decided on designing a swing as we found universal design is of high complexity as many factors need to be considered. Even then, we found that redesigning an object which is a regular feature of certain public spaces comes with a lot responsibilty and it is very challenging to find a shape and material that suits everybodys needs.

On the basis of our interviews and the design iteration, we tried to develop an object which appeals to the humans basic needs. Cloudi is not barrierfree in the sense that you roll with a wheelchair on it. But it is inclusive.


Newcomer – Research

When people arrive at a new place without knowing anyone, exploring and connecting to others can be quite difficult and scary. Although this is the case for most people on the move, it is especially true for refugees. Required to cope with a completely new and foreign environment, a prolonged unclear and undefined residential status prevents refugees from feeling settled. This time spent in limbo often takes months and prevents the newly arrived from becoming active, easing into their new reality and feeling less isolated. For our project we interviewed numerous refugees and talked about the problems and difficulties they encounter every day. In order to help ease everyday problems ranging from having little to no contact with locals to missing a favorite spot, landmark or cafe we decided to put our heads together.

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The Shit Show – Goals

During our research we found that talking about our feelings and problems is the first and most crucial step in recovering and building resilience. But on an individual level, people cannot be forced to take this step. Not sharing is a justified choice, as it makes us vulnerable and people often don’t know how to react and help. The primary reason for this is a societal attitude of silence. Bad feelings are associated with shame and there is a general lack of information as part of common knowledge. Based on these insights, we decided to approach this project as a public awareness campaign and to generate conversation on the topic of mental health. The topic needs to be made more present and approachable. It should act as the first step in a chain of changes to the way we think and act about mental health issues.

“We want to challenge the current attitude towards psychological care. Our project tries to de-stigmatize psychological pain and make the sensitive, ‘taboo’ issue of mental health more present and approachable to the public. We believe that understanding and empathy is vital to provide good care for people that are suffering from emotional distress. We want to make it clear that feeling shitty is nothing to be ashamed of, but actually a very common thing. Also, we want the impact of these feelings to be understandable, so that more people can offer informed, helpful responses. When this happens, the threshold of reaching out is lowered, which in return allows problems to be addressed before they develop into serious mental conditions and to build general resilience.”

– excerpt from our fellowship article  on edgeryders / opencare

(read the whole thing here:


Language Barrier – How can we build a Bridge?

Non-Germans want to learn German and want to take part in social life.
Germans are not as enthusiastic yet. They don`t want to feel obligated.

How can we still create social interaction?

That´s what we already tried out;)


Giving German people a SIGN which could be a print on a shirt, sticker, bag, what ever that says: “Hey, join us!”/”Don´t be shy!”/”Take part!”…
They´ll have the opportunity to put it on in a situation where they want foreign people to participate – Non-Germans wouldn´t have a as hard time to bring oneselfes to do the first step.

Encourage creative potential


On our Visits of the Camp we were shown around by a very nice Volunteer.  Sheintroduced us to a room of eight Syrians, four of which were ready to help us in our project and provided us with insights.
Besides stories over everyday rituals like tea and Syrian home traditions, we were shown the little gimmicks to improve the bare rooms where they are living in at the moment: How they pulled out screws and nails from the walls to make clothing hooks; how you make a wall­mounted phone holder with just duct tape and a piece of wood; where to store the food;

they showed us how they hack the beds to create more privacy and how to shield the light falling onto the upper beds with merely pieces of wood and a blanket to a point where one could create an entire ceiling with just white cloth.

We learnt quickly that the ideas of how to use the space could never occur to someone who has never been in that exact position ­ it was evident that they know best about
the needs and necessities in their very situation and environment.

With the creative potential, the only problem lies in the lack of tools and materials.
To see what would happen if material were available, we made a little experiment where
we brought basics like duct tape, cable ties, string and durable cardboard and looked
what they would think of building intuitively. Despite scepticism in the beginning, it was
beautiful to witness the moment when everyone in the room joined to figure out the best construction for a wall­mounted shelf, built with mortise and tenon joints. The fact the
project was dealt with in such a manner, shows the willingness to engage these kinds of challenges with seriousness and a certain claim to quality and that it is not only about practicality and pure function, for such a shelf could have been easily assembled with
just tape and cardboard. It was fun for us to join the working process and thinking with
them about the construction and making, but more importantly, it was fun for them to be challenged in making something useful and to make that beautifully. Mohammed, who
came up with the idea of using joinery, later joked saying he would love to make such
shelves for the whole camp ­ and we hoped, it was not merely a joke, but a mentality that we could continue to work with. In fact, we left all the spare materials in their rooms and by our next visit they had built another two shelves and a small storage for clothes under one of the beds.


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