“Design your free local menu!” is an initiative that emerged from fruitmap.at, an online platform that aims to raise awareness for nature in our city centres. While fruitmap.at has tapped the urban harvest landscape by identifying fruit trees in public spaces, “Design your free local menu” organises cooking events in which people can pick seasonal fruit, vegetables, greens and blossoms in public spaces and use them for culinary experiments

Everyone is welcome to bring their own fruit with them and take part in the cooking – there are just a few simple rules related to harvesting and collectively cooking that need to be observed. Originally conceived as an addition to the virtual platform fruitmap.at and to activate local “picking communities”, “Design your free local menu” kicked off with just a few events. Essentially, they are temporary cultural events that aim to make people aware of the valuable and delicious resources in public spaces. Our green infrastructure needs to be appreciated and celebrated, since it is hugely significant for the future of our city centres – and that is precisely where the conscious designing of places, happenings and tasty meals comes in. “Design your free local menu!” is a conscious attempt to access and use unusual areas and spaces such as urban waste land and traffic islands. People of different ages, origin and socialisation coming together to cook is a deliberately initiated and fostered by-product. Depending on the urban setting and season, menus are always a little different – be it a blossom buffet on the Schlossberg Hill, salads and stewed berries on a piece of waste land, or windfall fruit pie along an avenue.

Project duration:
2013 — 2014

Project management:
fruitmap.at, Institute of Architecture and Landscape, TU Graz

Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria
Province of Styria – Culture, Europe, External Relations (A9)
TU Graz – International Relations and Mobility Programmes

TU Graz – Institute of Contemporary Art / Hortelões
Urbanos / Árvores Vivas Come-se/Neide Rigo u.v.a.

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