Urban life is defined by encounter and exchange with people. The quality of a city is dependent on the design of public space and the diverse use of it. In this area public life takes place: We spend our free time here, celebrate parties and meet friends. As a link between public space and economic and private interests, the ground floor in inner-city areas is especially important. In Graz, like in many other cities in Central Europe, this zone is dominated by retail and gastronomy – first and foremost street cafés. Cafés do not only support an attractive and vivid cityscape, but provide a meeting point, a place to chill out, a working space and much more. As diverse as the usage is also the typology “coffeehouse”. At a coffeehouse culture and consume, strangers and friends, design and coincidence meet. This bachelor’s thesis (Information Design) examines the café in a cultural and urban context, its social meaning, as well as the development and renaissance of the coffeehouse.

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Text & Photography: Johanna Kurz