Let's Eat at Work!

Environments At Work’s interior designers Leah Sauter and Kara Lacharite weigh in on their experience with Design Museum Boston’s Downtown Table Tour, a collaboration between seven design firms and seeven restaurants to create a memorable dining experience through unique exhibits. 

Leah and Kara’s tour took them to Bonapita (Soldier Design), Mast’ (Nelson), Silvertone (STA) & The Merchant (Payette). 

// What impressed you the most about the restaurant exhibits?

L:  I was most impressed with the how well thought out each design was. These were not just a table and some chairs. Each one involved symbolism, technology, and a comprehensive design theme. Design and eating are two of my absolute favorite things, so to see them incorporated into one another in such a creative way was very exciting.  

K: The excitement each firm expressed about their concepts and exhibits set the tone in each space. It was impressing to see how thoroughly they thought out each detail in order to arrive at a comprehensive solution.

// How do you feel these designs would impact the customer’s dining experience?

L: Design affects people in ways they don’t even realize. In this case, because the designs created such intimate and warm settings, I think the diners will experience a sense of closeness among each other. It will also provoke diners to notice, and even analyze the whole design experience of going out to eat instead of just tasting the food.  

K: The design of any space subconsciously impacts people on a daily basis. As designers, our eye has been trained to notice and appreciate elements and details that make up a space no matter how big or small. I think a combination of light, color, and design aesthetic were the key contributors that set the “mood” when we walked into each space. When each of these 3 elements are successfully thought out, I think a customer will be affected in a positive way.

// What exhibit did you personally enjoy the most and why?

L: I enjoyed Payette’s design at The Merchant the most. It was a simple and refined design approach but that is what made it stand out to me because restraint is one of the most difficult parts of designing.   The frame in front of the window that captured both the inside of the restaurant, and the thriving Downtown Crossing neighborhood jumped right out at you, yet was integrated seamlessly  into the aesthetics of the restaurant.

K: I enjoyed the Payette exhibit at Merchant the most. I liked that the table was located at the window for people to see as they walked by. I think they succeeded in using the exhibit as an invitation for the neighborhood to come in. I loved the minimalist modern design aesthetic they chose and the fact that they still had plans to evolve their design.

// What are you, as an interior designer, taking away from the Downtown Table Tour?

L: Seeing other designer’s work is very important to me as a designer. Whether I love or hate something, to see and react to someone else’s thoughts and ideas only helps me to grow as a designer. I love the creative use of technology, and it reminds me of how large a role technology is playing in our design world today.

K: I think it was interesting to learn about each individual design process. Hearing about the challenges each team faced and the solutions they came up with was inspiring. It made me want to challenge myself as a designer.

// How can Environments At Work, use this experience to better service their clients with their hospitality needs as well as in their corporate client settings?

L: Seeing and experiencing these designs reminds me of the impact design has on all of us. Design is so much more than it often gets credit for. If it is well thought out, and well executed, as in these restaurant exhibits, it can change an entire experience and mood.  I will continue to remember how important the role of design is, as I design for our fantastic clients at EAW. 

K: The corporate work environment has been transitioning to reflect a more residential and hospitality feel for quite some time now. I think understanding the appropriate opportunities to implement these aesthetics is important. The design of any space, whether hospitality or corporate office, should reflect the functional needs of the end user. “Form follows function!” 

Thanks to our friends from Design Museum Boston for another impactful design event! 
http://designmuseumfoundation.org/boston/   |   #DMBDining

More information on the restaurants and exhibits we visited: 

// http://www.payette.com/post/2702394-design-for-dining-the-big-reveal

// http://www.sta-design.com/the-silvertone-family-photo-booth/

// http://www.nelsononline.com/news-and-insights/nelson-designs-the-ultimate-dining-experience

// http://soldierdesign.com/blog/design-for-dining-an-artful-collaboration/#.VbkWrvlVhBc