The Billboards Collective's Portable Chaigaadi is the Epitome of Taking Design to the Masses

Designed to be the world's tiniest portable tea stall, 'Chaigaadi' reiterates India's love for the its most beloved drink 'Chai' (Tea).

The product is designed and specially curated by The BILLBOARDS® Collective for the Hyderabad based café chain, CHAIKAHANI who had an exemplary vision and were open to any offbeat ideas that the design house pitched them with. Following the revolutionary design, SOLO:01 (6' x 6' House on top of auto-rickshaw) is another TOD project (Transit Oriented Development) called CHAIGAADI.

"Tea is and always will be India's beloved drink and getting a great cup in your hands is no simple feat. This is where we come in." - Billboards


CHAIGAADI is the world’s tiniest tea stall ever made, which is also portable. At just 1.5 sq. ft, the tiny box flares up, similar to a package to reveal all the elements/ facilities noticeable in a conventional tea stall in the manner of the usage of the materials and finishes, to give the onlookers and customers the sense of authenticity like a designated space for snacks, billing counter with a partial table and seating which revolutionize the experience of chai. "Since we were tasked ourselves to authenticate the experience to the hilt, every mm and inch of the design is carefully evaluated" - said the designers at Billboards.

This portable café reinvents the café typology like never before. A centralised boiler, accompanied by a shelf for the dynamic ever-rotating plate of glasses between the two racks is the protagonist of the design and at the other end, one can also notice a dedicated snack and titbit counter and ushered in the front is a cash counter. Other amenities include a provision for a fire extinguisher and a small table surface for the customers to hang around, rest their snacks & chai and space for branding. It also has a provision for the stove to heat the chai and there is a separate detachable rack for both used and unused cups. For the café to be portable in its truest sense, we have also isolated a waste bin area and a projection that can hold the seating while on transit.

Utilising copper to get the style of Iranian boiler in the main arrangement’s coating allows the customer to draw focus to it as it lets out glorious steam and lets the customer get a whiff of the freshly brewed tea in every urban nook while passing by. The palette has been designed with a central copper painted structure that is engulfed by the other components of the tea stall which are finished with silver metallic to resemble stainless steel.

Though the unmistakable standard pouring of the chai from high above, known for the Indian streets could be missing, the hoisted branding markers resolve the absent gesture. The sign is pulled up and takes its spot above the entire stall, greeting the onlookers with the identity of the brand not very far off from the imagery of the earthen colour liquid being pulled and poured into small cups. Accompanying the branding sign is a mirror showing the endless movement of people and registering the reflection of the society while forcing them to take a second glance at the product/kiosk. Each & every millimeter of space has been taken into account to make this product completely utilitarian yet retaining the regionalist aesthetics to grab the eyes of the masses.

The structure takes a minimalistic approach by combining all the required amenities of a cafe through the concept of ‘DESIGNING AN ABSOLUTE VOID’ by just utilizing the space within the box. This on the whole truly redefines the way we drink chai hereafter. A design that will change the age-long method of making and serving tea, which also weaves along with the social fabric and brings a possibility for change.


"This is the outcome of detailed research and analysis of transit-oriented design with respect to the food and beverage industry in an urban setting. We spent months prototyping, itching to find the right balance between usability and the skeleton of the structure with the aesthetics intact. Currently, the trials are going on, and they would soon be available in every nook and corner." - Billboards


Find out more about Billboards and Chaigaadi. All images are copyright of the The BILLBOARDS® Collective.

35 views

Blog