Halkær Kro – New Identity

Who is our organisation?

Halkær kro is a volunteer driven, cultural community center with a focus on ecology, folk and world music and quirky culture. The inn is located in the scenic West Himmerlandsbanken. The idea for the house, occurred in 1992 when a congregation of eight families decided to buy the old inn Halkær Kro. Here, a cultural adventure started. An adventure which has seen both ups and downs. But, because of the dedication from the volunteers and the determination on having something valuable, they managed to float above water. The inn was after a tough start turned into the constellation it is today. A private limited company, with over 100 shareholders. Halkær kro wants to have even more users of the inn and also wants the inn to have an even wider variety of events.


We had to take a look at how the Inn could hold on to their customers and how they could strengthen and develop the Inn with new initiatives. In correspondence to this they wanted to attract more visitors from a new target-group, but still maintain their position in the local community.

From the observations of the inn and interview of its volunteers, we observed a considerably amount of problems, when solved could help to provide more life in and around the inn. By using different methods, we found three different solutions that would help on the way to eliminate Halkær inn problems, no. 1; A digital coordination of the volunteers and a platform for sharing knowledge within the organization. No. 2; A series of new products who would help spread the word about how beautiful and unique Halkær Inn is. No. 3; Updating Halkær Kro’s face outwards, in the form of communicating the whole of Halkær kro’s identity in both their website, Facebook and paper folders and by doing so get out to a wider audience.

Group members;

  • Pernille Bossov Godt
  • Peter Skov
  • Rune Gyntzel
  • Rasmus Teit Christensen
  • Jenny Reinbeck
  • Mette Haller Jørgensen

Week 1

Meeting with the client

Monday the 15th of September we met with three users and volunteers at Halkær Kro og kulturhus; two board members and one young volunteer. We had meet the young volunteer before, but the board members were new faces to us. It was nice to meet more of the people who are engaged in the inn, because it expanded our insight in the place and gave us different volunteer-opinions.

For the meeting we had prepared a prezi-presentation as an illustrative way to show our clients what we noticed through the different observations we had been doing last week. It was also a way for us to make sure that we followed the plan we had made for the meeting. First, we talked about what we had observed at our visit to Halkær Kro og kulturhus and what we noticed through the interviews with different users and volunteers of the inn.

Opsættelse af post-it's
Second, we talked about our observation and interviews with Tusindfryd, Visit Aalborg and Aalborg-City. Third, we presented the three main problem areas we had noticed: The identity of the place, the organisation and the target group.

Finally, we discussed our observations and the three main areas with our clients. We made them rank all the problem areas we had observed in the way they thought was most important. It was a very good way for us to see their point of view and to open up a discussion, which we can use in our work.

Interview method

We used interviewing as a method to figure out, which problems there where at the inn. From the interviews, we found out that, there was a big problem with the advertisement about the inn, the values the advertised about, and their own values. We also found out that there was different opinions about how the inn should function and what benefits there should be for the volunteers. Furthermore we did woxpop interviews, in the streets of Aalborg, to find out if common people in Aalborg knew about the inn, and if they have ever been there. Trough the woxpop interviews, we found out that, some actually have heard about Halkær kro, but no one have ever gone there, from which gave us the understanding that the inn wasn’t a place that people at the moment wanted to go to. Trough the interviews, we found out a lot about the inn, and what people knew about the inn. To figure out how it was possible to get information about the inn, we went to Visit Aalborg, and Aalborg city, to get the information about the inn, as a tourist would get, when coming to Aalborg, and looking for activities, and places to go. Here we found and that Halkær kro, was known in both places, but that was all the information they had about the Inn. Through interviews with volunteers at the inn, common people in Aalborg, and workers at Visit Aalborg and Aalborg city, we got a lot of information about the inn, and what people though about it. All this information was used to figure out what we could do to solve the problem.

The Fact and Fiction Method

The group was stuck and had a hard time figuring out how to manage all the problems within the corporation. We had an overview of the problems, but needed to get those into ideas and solutions or at least something useful. To move on, we used the Design Fiction Matrix by Peter Vistisen. We had to get an overview of all the different problems and possibilities Halkær Kro had and look at how they were connected. Firstly, we took the post-it’s we made in the brainstorming process (picture 1+2) and placed them within the four Squares of the model (Lessons, Dragons (Myths), Necessities and Possibilities).

The most interesting part of this was looking at their Lessons and Dragons (Myths). These made us realize that the biggest issue was the picture the In had of themselves. This was a problem, because it was not corresponding to the picture the group had at all. They do not sell what they have, so what they believe to be facts is in fact fiction. Secondly, after realizing this, the idea generating process started and the main focus was moved to Possibilities and Necessities. Necessities were taken into account when creating ideas and placed on the Present axe in the center of the model (picture 3). This was mainly due to the fact that the Ins concept and identity, in the future, relies on the different things they are already doing, but do not promote. Lastly, all the different ideas in the Possibility Square were linked together according to similarities. This resulted in three groups, which could all lead to possible concepts (picture 4). The groups were given overall headlines and the Generic Core Design is being processed (picture 3).

Hej Hej Hej Hej

Object Theater

In the Material Story Lab or Object Theater, Last Thursday, we got the chance to try it ourselves at AAU’s Material Story Lab in Nordkraft. We were working together with another group as they have the same case as we do. Once both our groups got over there, Anete told us not to talk to each other while choosing and placing objects in the sand box. We were free to place the objects anywhere and rearrange those that were already in the box. When finished, we started describing the scenery in the box, then discussing what it might mean, and thus getting a clearer picture of the current situation at Halkær Kro og Kulturhus.

For example, the sand box emphasized that the Kro lies in an idyllic area with a nearby lake and near Limfjorden. However, there is little/no phone service, which leads to the conclusion that the place is a bit “far out”. While discussing, Anete joined us, drew our attention to a peculiar scene and provided us with another point of view on how to see and interpret the scenery. Afterwards we changed the scenery to discover what it is we want to do with the Kro and, of course, we discussed the new layout, too. The object theatre was a new tool to gain a different perspective of our case and it helped us to get a better understanding of Halkær Kro og Kulturhus; what their current situation and problems are and where we want them to go. Working with the other group was also very interesting and helpful as we got more ideas and more perspectives.


Week 2

Scrum Method
To get a better overview about our tasks we apply the “To do - doing - done” method. As the name suggests we divide them into three groups: the ones we have to start, the ones we are doing now and the ones we have finished. This method clearly helps us to see what tasks for the week we still have to do and makes it easier to share out tasks between us or to decide which we want to do together. Every task is written on a post-it and stuck to the wall under the different sections. We will move a post-it from “to do” to “doing” as soon as we made a decision on who is doing what. Then we work on the tasks. Once we finished the task and are satisfied with the outcome the post-it will be moved to “done”. This method helps us to keep track of the time we have left to finish tasks and whether if we are in good time or if we should work a bit faster respectively divide the tasks. The danger here might be that we would do things too fast after realizing that little time remained and thus not properly do it but we managed to avoid this and are in time. It is quite satisfactory to see how the “to do” and “doing” sections become smaller and smaller as the “done” section grows equally.
Presentation Video

Concept 1

The first concept has focus on the volunteers of Halkær Kro and the lack of coordination and communication. With this concept we want to give the volunteers a better overview of events and meetings by making a website. The website contains: 1) A calendar to make it easy to see the events and make your own. 2) A list of all volunteers of Halkær Kro so that everyone can see who they are working with. 3) An idea pool for everyone to see and work on with. 4) A wiki to describe previous events and how it went. 4) News about the Inn and future events. 5) Participation list to make an overview of who participate in the events. 6) A link to the public site so everyone are able to post news events or update the public website. This website constitute a better coordination and communication between the volunteers.

Concept 2

Concept 2 has focus on the problem about how to attract new people to Halkær Kro. The concept is about having more activities (like renting bikes, canoes) it can help Halkær Kro using the beautiful area around the inn and get more people to use the place.

Concept 3

The concept 3 video is regarding the problem of bad advertisement and lack of identity. We try to show that by a coherent and visible identity, this could change. The In is not only a music venue, and the world needs to know that. We try to illustrate how they can re-create their current web-page without too many changes, for it to be more user-friendly. Also, a thought behind a new brochure and a new facebook page, has been discussed.

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