Blue Bike Café
Approximately two months ago, a new café called Blue Bike came to live. It is a really cosy and nice space located at Sølvgade 36, which is also near the Rosenborg castle. The environment is welcoming and here strangers can indeed become friends. When you spot the Blue Bike café, you would not imagine that within this space, magic really happens! Behind its walls, several creative minds meet to challenge the status quo of the problems in our society. Here people can share their experiences and learn from each other, to ask questions, to search for meanings, connections and meaningful inspiration of solutions for the society’s problems. A space where all are welcome and invited to experience deep and meaningful conversations about issues and engage collaborative action of topics that really matters to us all. Within this collaborative process one can be inspired and generate ideas which can lead to social change. The cafe is a platform for creative and social exchange and alongside it shares the same space with the owner’s architectural company.
Besides, the café and coffee shop provides his guests with a unique and pleasurable experience by offering a selection of meals with an eclectic fusion of several ingredients. The menu includes delicious sandwiches made from freshly baked bread, brunch/breakfast, among other products which are organic or homemade. All with a special discount offer for students.
The blue bike café also has a nice collection of books which you can enjoy reading while having a nice cup of coffee. However, as mentioned above, this café is not only a place to eat or drink coffee, therefore NOE3OU decided to take a closer look. I had the chance to personally meet the owner and concept developer Nicolai for a short interview in order to gain a clear overview of what this space is all about.
What is the concept behind the Blue Bike café?
“The concept behind the Blue Bike Café, originated from the idea of creating a space where people can come together to facilitate a meaningful, healthier and sustainable life for the society that surrounds us. Since that the café culture has for a long time, been associated with a space where people can have deep conversations, it’s only become natural to expand its concept to a space where people can be inspired and connect with other people, allowing new innovative opportunities to evolve.”
The initiative comes from the architect, industrial designer and owner of the firm Nicodesigns - Nicolas Nicolau, which already have been involved in many social projects. Nicodesign provides services within several areas of architecture and industrial design and develop concepts and projects related with medical design, product design, furniture design, Green-Tech design solutions among others. The firm also works with a wide range of materials, processes and technologies which all its concepts respects the environment and human beings. You can read more about some of their amazing and meaningful projects they worked with here.
The idea is to use the café space to continue more in depth conversations about social challenges which our society are facing today, and bring people together in a collaborative and co-design process, to enable possible solutions to unfold.
The Café also offers its space for hosts to share their stories, designs, art work, dialogues, etc. A space where designers, artists, writers among others can exhibit their projects and work but also invite guests and the public in general, for discussions about specific topics, sharing their ideas and experiences. Here you can also host your birthday party or any other dinning event.
“It is not a place where people come just to grab a coffee. I want that the people who come here can get something more than just coffee.” Nicolas
The owner and his team, regularly Invites several guests from different professional backgrounds like for instance leaders, companies, community members to deeply discuss a specific problem or to collaboratively work on a project. The café also holds ongoing events, workshops, as part of their desire to involve several stakeholders and people with different views and ideas to seek and spread innovative ideas, share knowledge and passion as well as to be inspired from each other. Many of these events includes for instance, exhibition of design pieces, publishing of books, games, etc. classes, or holding formal and informal meetings and debates.
How do you usually start a project? Do you get any financial support?
“My primarily goal in all projects lies in developing socially innovative and systemic design solutions to tackle problems from the modern society. The projects I work with, they all aim towards improving living conditions while also taking into consideration environmental as well as economic concerns. So, we develop clever things, concepts and products which are not only focused on the economical growth but that also considers people’s well-being. Trying to create a balance between The social, economical and environmental aspects. People like us are like visionaries who tries hard to makes things happen but it is very hard. I do this for passion and I try to bring people together to collaborate with me during a concept development of a design solution. Bringing people together in a space where they can collaborate, share visions, ideas and get inspired.”
So, do you see yourself as an activist?
“Yes, you could say that. The concept behind my company and this space is not only about designing products but also developing concepts which can help solving some real problems of community members and the society in general. Concept solutions which tackles for instance problems related with refugees. The project about movable houses for instance is focused based upon major problems of housing situation of our society.”
When did you start all this?
“When I was 6 years old! Well, all I can say is that I always had this willing for helping and trying to solve problems of the society somehow. I have been working in this field for like 30 years, however in the last 15 years this passion had grown more and more in me.”
Nicolas is originally from Greece and had lived in Denmark for 40 years, where he had taken his master degree at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He is the owner and founder of Nicodesign and the café. Nicodesign is an architectural /industrial design office located in Copenhagen, Denmark with more than 30 years of experience in developing innovative design and concepts. Nicodesign team creates and develops concepts and specifications that optimize the functionality, value and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of users as well as manufacturers. The processes used are: user research, sketching, comparative product research, model making, prototyping and testing.
“Even though we are a very small company, we think globally and have a holistic approach to problem solving.” Nicolas
Why the name Blue Bike?
“Well the name behind the café has to do with the bike hanging just right here. The story of the blue bike is that with this bike, people have the possibility to grow old with it. It is not just like a regular bike. This one you can keep it throughout the different life stages because it is adjustable and made from high quality materials. You can buy and attach different elements to it as you need, like for example children’s seat or a shopping cart to the basic bike. This makes the bike something that is suitable for young, elderly and disabled people.” You can read more about this bike here.
Any future plans for the Café?
“In a near future, the café will also offer a service called “shared kitchen” to expand their vision of creating a social space with room for dialogue and exchange of ideas. You can participate by purchasing a ticket online where you will be guaranteed a delicious meal together with other guests that also purchased the ticket. We also want to invite all innovative and open-minded people to exhibit in the cafe! We want to move people to start taking actions!”
The Blue bike café inspire collaboration and innovation. It is a space that allows people to have a forward mind-set where collaboration can help foster a better future. I personally always like the global concept of “Think Globally and Act Locally” which urges people to take action in their own communities and cities. It is not just volunteers who take the environment into consideration. It is corporations, government officials, education system, and local communities. So, with that said, we need more spaces like the Blue Bike Café which can allow and facilitate interactions and collaborations between different people bringing together and sharing their knowledge and expertise in order for us to start taking actions to solve real problems of our society.