Although stories about neighborly discord — celebrity-related or otherwise — generally traffic well ‘round these parts, I thought I’d take a moment to take a quick gander at a clever concept from Amsterdam-based marketing firm Natwerk that’s meant to bring feuding neighbors together through the universal love of backyard barbecuing. Because really, nothing quite brings people together like the smell of sizzling meats. Beautiful timing on this considering that it’s the time of year when homeowners and renters alike emerge from their air-conditioned bubbles and are forced, whether they like it or not, to make friendly small talk with those who live around them.


Dubbed the Buurbecue or NeighBourBQ, Natwerk created a stepladder/grill hybrid that comfortably straddles yard-dividing fences. For those uncomfortable with the idea of dismantling fences in an effort to promote neighborly love but who wouldn't mind getting an earful of hot neighborhood goss while flipping a burger, this provides the perfect solution — albeit a potential dangerous solution as ladders plus hot charcoal seems like a disaster just waiting to happen. Natwerk describes the idea behind the concept:


At Natwerk we believe that brands can win the hearts and minds of their clients, fans and customers with their behaviour or actions. And that's exactly what we practice. We celebrated the summer season with a little exercise. So we asked ourselves: 'What would we do if we were a brand in barbecuing utilities?' Here's the Buurbecue or NeighBourBQ, breaking down social walls while enjoying the most popular outdoor activity, because this summer we're doubling the fun.


As pointed out by John Metcalfe over at The Atlantic Cities, the elderly couple/young family BBQ bonding pictured above involves a rather interesting assortment of edibles including corn, hotdogs, a big ol’ fish on a platter (must be a Dutch thing), but that’s obviously not the point here. It’s all about poking your head over the fence to say hello, Wilson-style (seriously, if I was Tim Taylor I would have built that fence higher to stop all that of constant stream unsolicited advice and philosophical meanderings) to the strangers living right next to you.


Again, the Buurbecue is just a one-off idea from Natwerk and not an actual product available for purchase. If it was, do you think it was something you’d look into? Or are you not interested in sharing a property-straddling grill with the folks next-door? I’d imagine if you were gung-ho about the idea, you’d probably have to already have a friendly rapport with the peeps next-door otherwise things could get a touch awkward. Hey Bill, I know we don’t really know each other at all and my dog keeps on peeing on your wife's rose bushes, but how would you feel about installing a BBQ on top of the fence dividing our backyards so we can shoot the sh** every so often?

Via [The Atlantic Cities]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Buurbecue: A fence-straddling grill that promotes neighborly interaction
Dutch marketing firm Natwerk creates a conceptual BBQ that forces backyard grillers to scale a ladder and say 'how you doin?' to their next-door neighbors.