The creation of Crossroads Kitchen started with a trip into the Icelandic highlands where I learned design is about exploration and multi sensorial experiences.
Together with a team composed of an architect, graphic, visual, and product designers, and an anthropologist, we had a clear brief which was to provide a sustainable solution for the tourism boom in Iceland. The final design is the manifestation of our thinking turned into a product.
“According to an old saying, when traveling from place to place, one has to sit down at crossroads at a given time interval and wait for the soul to arrive before continuing or settling down.” From The Destination Within by Hildigunnur Sverrisdóttir
Our project is precisely about a crossroads stopping space. Where through the ritual of preparing and sharing organic-local foods, the “tourism” conflict is to be transformed into a fertilizing network.
The development of this project seen as a system, starts from renaming the actors: hosts and guests are invited to a hybrid space that is either an alternative travel agency and a cooking room.
We see the first crossroads as a starting-seed where roles are switched. International guests offer a meal to local hosts during their trip. Food becomes a holistic, horizontal experience for mindfully connecting and engaging.
After five or six unsuccessful attempts of trying to invite a couple of tourists to dine with us as part of our social design project, we finally found Pablo and Alberto at Vinyl, a popular vegan place in Reykjavík.
The two young guys from Madrid had been driving around Iceland for a week. A bit disappointed about not finding the expected emptiness in the Icelandic nature and a bit tired of each other, they accepted to try the amazing offer of eating a warm meal at an Icelandic home instead of their usual cup noodle dinner at their hostel.
We see Iceland in the future as the country of difference and diversity, where both guests and hosts feel at home. We expect this rhizomatic cultural movement to grow slow, enriching culture through producing locally, cooking and sharing between cultures all over the place.