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Cafe Pantopia 2009-2011

Treat your friend in Nuuk with a cup of coffee, while you enjoy one in Copenhagen.

Cafe Pantopia is about creating a common meeting place for people living in the north-atlantic areas: Greenland, Island, Faros Island and Denmark. Many people from those nordic islands move or migrate to Denmark. The goal of the project is to help maintaining contacts despite the physical alienation between the communities. Diffus has been design consultant in the Pantopia project.

Our mission was to propose concrete design and architectural solutions for the creation of several cafes placed in the main cities of the North Atlantic countries. Meeting places which have unique abilities to merge together their physical surroundings through tele-presence. We want to make sure that meeting the remote friend and place becomes tangible and intimate experience naturally integrated in the local context and offering convincing social interactions.

Artistic Experiment Project


Pantopia, translates to ‘the common place’ – the essence of our project with the goal of being a common meeting-place that traverses the vast distances of the North Atlantic Ocean. Pantopia has entrances in Nuuk, Reykjavík, Tórshavn and Copenhagen. In July 2011 Cafe Pantopia was realised as a functional prototype, where two 20′ containers were rebuilt into two identical but mirrored cafes. One cafe was placed in Torshavn, Faroe Islands and the other in Copenhagen, Denmark. Through 3 days of celebrating the Faroese national holiday Olavsøka the cafe was open and communicating between the two places live. Diffus Design made the design for the two container cafes and took part in the celebration.


The central concept behind Cafe Pantopia is to create a common meeting-place for people associated with the North Atlantic countries, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Denmark.

Café Pantopia will facilitate processes that will enable the creation, maintenance and reestablishment of human relations where physical contact is rare. Technological advancements such as; E-mail, instant messaging and mobile phones already support contacts across the Atlantic, however this excludes the change encounter with a friend, and also seeing and being seen – the essence of going out on a cafe. Cafe Pantopia enables both the ‘nearness despite the distance’ as well as the intimate and casual encounters of urban life.


A large amount of Faroese, Greenlanders and Icelanders settle in Denmark, be it for educational, professional or family related reasons. Some return home and some Danes move northward, primarily for work or family related reasons. This project arose from personal experiences, of those involved, of living or having lived in different places around the North Atlantic – and having to deal with distant relationships as a natural everyday aspect.

The project is developed by Brynhild Næs Petersen, Simon Løvind and Hanne-Louise Johannesen. Diffus Design have been design consultants.

Design and concept: Brynhild Næs Pedersen, Simon Løvind and Hanne-Louise Johannesen
Design consulting: Diffus Design