Park Parlor
Cranbrook Academy of Art · 2011
Design · Build · Host

The Park Parlor was a quick experiment in making a mobile, engaging space. A small bike box expands into a fully functioning ice cream parlor – complete with seating and enclosure. The box holds all of the components and is porous to give a glimpse of the brightly colored stools and umbrellas. As the parlor expands, the user’s placement of the umbrellas and stools acts as a real time representation of use.

The Park Parlor is much more than a mobile vessel to serve ice cream. It is a spectacle, an event and a placemaker. The bright colors contrast with the grass and catch the eye. The stools, wrapped in polka dotted vinyl, are reminiscent of toadstools and SuperMario Brothers 1-up mushrooms. Even the ice cream is child-like in its delight. An afternoon in the park eating ice cream is a pleasure that recalls memories of childhood, inflating a single event into a much larger feeling.

I have always enjoyed hosting, making people feel welcome and giving them food and drink. I am present at the base of the event. I am the server, handing out the ice cream and giving the experience.