As part of a larger urban renewal project for the quarter around Mimersgade at Nørrebro in Copenhagen Christian had initiated a public art project that examined the wishes and ideas of the local residents. For this I invited pupils from a local school to make an interior design renewal at a local pub with regular customers.
Traditionally, urban planning goes out from resourceful professionals who research the needs of less resourceful groups of people. I initiated two of these groups, easily stigmatised as ‘alcoholics’ and ‘immigrants teenager boys with no future’, to meet and make a common project. This project is about renewing or making an addition to the pub ‘Café Heimdal’.
The boys interviewed the regular customers about what they would like see changed. This only led to ideas about minor adjustments as they where immensely satisfied with the way things are. But the façade could need an uplift.
Interviews with regulars at Café Heimdal
First, we suggested to paint the façade but the owner Johnny hinted that it might be too big a job and where a bit reluctant to give the go. So we decided to make a new sign. We made a model of a sign in Douglas fir with mahogany cut out letters. After doing the interviews I asked each one of the boys what they want to get out of participating in the project. In these conversations one boy said that he never thought they where so friendly and another said he expected them to be racist, which he saw no sign of. I told this to one the regulars and a minute after another came over and commented the rumour positively. One of the regulars, a painter, rejected to be interviewed and told me stories about misbehaviours of immigrant boys in the neighbourhood. But after we had asked him for advise on how to paint the façade he began to advocate towards the owner to let us do the job!