The interactive designer Jake Barton always says that you can prototype in the studio as much you like, but you only learn about a space once you see how people really use it. That was the philosophy underpinning Heineken®’s Pop Up City Lounge on which we partnered with the famous beer brand for the London Design Festival.
As Heineken®’s head of design Mark van Iterson explains in the above video, while the lounge was itself a prototype based on an international collective’s responses to a huge crowdsourced research project on Instagram, they wanted to see how London’s design-savvy drinkers brought the space to life.
From the bar itself (based around a recurring triangle motif) to the lighting, the staff’s futuristic uniforms and the conversation cocoons that provided intimate social space even when the bar was packed, every aspect of the lounge was an attempt to rethink what having a beer could and maybe should be about. As Mark explained it wasn’t about “throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” but rather questioning how social, cultural and technological changes have impacted on what we look for when we head out to meet our friends. And while Heineken’s beer remains unchanged, Mark and his team clearly revel in trying to improve every other aspect of what he calls the beer occasion.
Check out these videos including interviewers with Mark van Iterson and other members of the design collective, and visit the Heineken® design microsite for more information.
About the Author
Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.