The integrity of the project was always uppermost in
the minds of the organisers. The Heineken team encouraged the designers to react to insights and personal experience, collaborating with each other and the various coaches, culminating in workable design solutions, rather than
designing for design's sake.
To provide inspiration and background 100 clubbers gave insights to club life around the world in the top 20 nightlife cities, and this was used to pose questions to the designers – how can the VIP area be improved? What would make the bar/drinks ordering experience more pleasurable/efficient?
Designers around the world then fed into a co-creation platform, where they could post ideas, respond to each other's sketches and initial ideas, discuss topics, and seek advice from mentors. Effectively, the designers could embark on a virtual club world tour to check out different club environments. With all this information at their disposal, the designers were given the blank canvas to create their vision of a nightclub.
A vacant space on Via Bugatti in Zona Tortona, Milan,
is where the pop-up club begins to take shape. Working under the guidance of leading design experts from a range of fields (interior architecture, product design, graphic design, interactive and experiential design, identity design and fashion design) the project’s selected talent has been asked to explore the ‘science of social engagement’, pooling ideas to produce a boundary-pushing ‘concept club’ incorporating unexpected and vibrant future concepts.
To help the various concepts develop, the group that Heineken terms its mentoring design panel and coaching team were also on hand. This team of mentors includes; from the world of fashion design duo Leemans and Wicker (aka LEW), Luc Schurgers, founder of state of the art interaction and animation design lab. MiniVegas, to help inspire interactive & experiential design, Sergio Fabio Rotella, founder and director of Studio Rotella, trend-setting architects of top-end clubs and bars, graphic designer Ramses Dingenouts the creative Director at DBOD, Eugene Bay Director of the VBAT identity design outfit and Henk Stallinga, the product designer behind Studio Stallinga. This team has not just helped in the selection the young designers, but also accompanied them on research/club tour and coached them through the design process - it’s called co-creation after all! In some cases Heineken brought the designers to the mentors’ studios in order to further develop major concepts face-to-face.