Feed Me Copenhagen
FeedMe Copenhagen imagines a tourist experience that brings travelers and locals together over home-cooked meals. Our team developed and prototyped this service in 2014 at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design's Summer School.
New Ways to See CPH
In our summer class at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, our teachers asked us to apply service design methods to tourism in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Redefining the "tourist"
Our team focused our research on tourists under 30. Many of the young people we interviewed thought of themselves as "travelers" rather than "tourists." We also talked with CPH locals about what the city meant to them—what they wanted to share with people who were visiting their city, especially those who were there for the first time.
We found an important connection: these young sought authentic experiences, personal connections, and great food. More than a few locals described the "feeling" of Copenhagen as the one that you get when you're seated a table with your family, making a toast or sharing a meal.
Connecting travelers and locals
We wondered: could we help travelers connect with locals to share this feeling? To test our hypothesis, we developed and prototyped "Feed Me CPH," a service that brings people new friends together for home cooked meals.
Sharing food and culture
Copenhagen locals sign up to host travelers for a meal in their homes. Hosts and travelers use the FeedMe CPH app to share some basic information before they "match" for a meal. Hosts send travelers a shopping list. With the help of the FeedMeCPH app, guests visit a local grocery store to purchase ingredients for dinner before going to their host's home. Hosts and travelers both have an adventure: they connect in an authentic local experience as they share a meal.
To complete the course, we had to prototype the service ourselves—our local teammate hosted us at his house for a delicious meal. But our group was curious. We'd had a great time, but would other people be willing to use this app to meet strangers in a foreign city?
We used a combination of relational recruiting and intercepts to ask about people's willingness to participate, and we ran a second prototype with new people. This second test run resulted in new learnings that, given the chance, we'd integrate into future development.
In 2014, this idea of "hosting" and "sharing" felt like a relatively fresh and trendy idea. Today, I am more aware of some of the risks inherent in this model. But I'm still inspired about some of the key elements of this service: the philosophy of connection, of invitation, and of giving to each other.