Los Angeles

/ Product Design
/ Food and Dining Design

Re-imagining a dining experience through verticality.

Façade alters the common understanding of dining and introduces verticality to play with the perception of the food. The verticality links to the facade design and construction that is increasingly becoming more human-centered and intentional.

Defining the Project
What if a wall can act like as an intersection rather than a divider, like a dining table does?

Façade aims to question the function and the presence of a façade. Rather than dividing the exterior and interior, Façade becomes a mediator by creating an unusual dining at different occasions. As the food is consumed, the furniture becomes more transparent and shows its temporality and its ephemerality. The transparency is also an evidence of the time that has passed and the interaction that is created between the users.

Façade further reconceptualizes, and tracks the human behavior creating a remanence after each completed course.

Interaction. Façade suggests the users to circulate and taste different food components without being tied to one particular seat or spot. This is suggested by the painted sides of sticks— highlighting the three dimensionality of a facade rather than its shown two-dimensional surface. The color variations provoke the curiosity to move and discover distinct representations of the facade.

Material Choice. Façade is made out of assembled wood sticks filled with various food components. It is produced as a module that can be assembled and changed according to the dining occasion.

In order to curate a dining experience, I had to understand how a normal dining is set up. This included researching the possible sitting arrangements and measurements. Understanding and finding the most feasible sitting conditions helped me to further understand the interaction between the users. (eye sight levels, sitting distance, seat heights etc.)

From there, I started looking at various artworks such as Marcel Duchamp’s La Boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase) to understand the verticality. Once coming up with the general volume, I started prototyping to find the best dimensions and its operability on a table.

After configuring the best outer shape, I started sketching the possible dining setting (grid system). Examining various grids, I dived into the details such as mechanisms of each section. While some required collaboration, some were based on an individual act.

Process Highlights

First Vertical Dining
Playing with the verticality of a dining experience in the context of a blind date. The kit is made out of transparent acrylic sheets, layered with small bites. As time passes and the food is eaten, the wall disappears and creates a more intimate interaction.

Usability & Ergonomics
Figuring out the size, scale, and interaction methods to create collaboration between users.

Feature/ Exhibition
The project was showcased during
-> USC Architecture Show 2019.

Special thanks to my thesis professor Erin Kasimow for her encouragement to explore and play throughout the process.