Only one year ago this concept, imagined by Compaan and Labeur vzw, won a creative competition in Antwerp. Compaan and Labeur then decided to join forces with One Small Step and Achilles Design to apply for the prestigious innovation scholarship CICI 2014, powered by Flanders DC and IWT. The concept of our Honeycomb Hotel was selected as one of the 16 projects and began a full year of development, prototyping, and testing.
The CICI grant formed the financial basis for the realization of the first six B-AND-BEE sleeping cells. The design began with focus groups of festival lovers whose needs, concerns and expectations were translated into specifications to determine the requirements that the B-AND-BEE sleeping cells need to meet. The first prototypes were immediately checked in quick cardboard and ergonomic models. These prototypes were soon followed by a full scale, functional wooden B-AND-BEE. In order to meet all the requirements and the specific needs of all the stakeholders, our team was in constant consultation with security agencies, festival organizations and urban services. B-AND-BEE can be setup quickly, anywhere and using only a very small footprint. It’s not only designed for remote campsites, but meant for the middle of the action as well. Each cell has luggage storage, a locker, a light, and a power supply. The cozy king size bed can also be easily transformed into a comfortable lounge seat.
Sometimes good design can easily fail in a poorly designed system. So to insure that B-AND-BEE isn’t just a good idea on paper and small tests, we developed a sophisticated product-service system including transportation, operation and maintenance. B-AND-BEE is a fine example of socially and environmentally responsible industrial design. The services behind B-AND-BEE are based on the social economy. The materials used are durable and help reduce the heavy ecological footprint festivals usually have.
The product launch of the first 6 stacked B-AND-BEE cells at DOK during Gentse Feesten is followed by intensive user feedback and design detailing sessions throughout the summer 2014, accompanied by the anticipated social media madness and meetings with all major Belgian festival organizers who’ve shown us their excitement over this completely new festival sleeping experience in the past months. Subsequently, Fall 2014 will be used to finalize the technical drawings and kick-off mass production to be ready to host you folks in our B-AND-BEE colonies during the festival season 2015! And remember to take a #Cellfie of you experience in the comfortable sleeping cell!
Photo credits: © Hannes Geipel