New Ways to Have a Picnic

Finding interesting ways to experience food is at Pinch’s core. It used to be that cracking crabs with mallets and wearing a lobster bib was where we stimulated our family to create conversation around food. Now it seems food experiences are everywhere and new ways of eating are created everyday. Since summer is almost upon us we are looking at new ways to experience outdoor “picnic” adventures. Here are some designs that should make you leave the basket and the blanket in the attic and join the revolution.

05.29.14 | By
New Ways to Have a Picnic

Above: New York and Amsterdam-based architect Haiko Cornelissen’s picNYC TABLE brings the rural picnic into the urban residence with a grass table top.

Urban farming is a fast growing phenomenon where the typically rural practice of agriculture is brought into the city. The picNYC TABLE goes one step further and brings the rural experience of picnicking not just in the city, but into the apartment.


Daniel Svahn’s conceptual wooden furniture sculpture is not just an idyllic road rest stop. His piece is meant to tell a story of Sweden’s devastating storms through his material choice. By using wood from fallen trees he creates value and function to the otherwise redundant and unwanted. His design is simple and raw, yet functional and thoughtful.



Photo by Alessio Campagnaro

Italian designer, Alice Spadaro, and founders of the Amsterdam-based collective Friday Project, Valentina Raffaelli and Luca Boscardin, have joined forces to create Les Madeleines – a collection of simple and functional tableware. The designs revolve around their shared passion for food and the joy that stems from sharing a down-to-earth (pun intended) meal.

The collection consists of three parts, each representing meals we tend to treat as trivial, but that in fact hold a tremendous amount of emotional substance:

– Colazione per due: Breakfast for two
– La Merenda: The nibble
– Il tè con gli amici: Tea with friends

The materials used in the collection are beech wood, ceramic, and cotton fabric. Every piece of tableware is handmade by Italian artisans with traditional crafting techniques.


Photo by Alessio Campagnaro


Photo by Alessio Campagnaro


Photo by Alessio Campagnaro


Collaborators Sabine Marcelis and Paula Colchero’s PICNIC serviceware
was originally designed for the international ‘Concours de design AIRFRANCE-KLMFRANCE’ design contest.

Though the design is meant for economy and business class, we love the concept so much for outdoor dining, and we decided to include it as inspiration. It offers a unique dining experience, while strengthening the company’s French identity and keeping sustainability issues at the forefront.

Composed of a tower of stacked containers, it allows the passenger to distribute his meal as he wishes, without the restriction of a tray. He unwraps the tablecloth and arranges the containers in the most comfortable way for him.

The containers serve as lids for each other, and thus eliminating the need for any disposable wrapping. The space used to store these towers is almost half that used to store trays, considerably reducing the weight, fuel, and emission of gases produced by the airplane.

Materials used also stay in the theme of weight reduction and environmental friendliness. PICNIC is made using organic textiles, bioplastics, glass, and air-infused porcelain.




TJ Girard is a sought-after food designer and creative consultant, celebrated for staging theatrical, interactive food + beverage experiences. She now resides in California where her creativity is solar powered! TJ writes the Design Milk column called Taste.