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fe[a]stive encounters

_Athens, Greece 2018

 ‘On arriving in the dining room, I remarked with astonishment numerous tables placed one beside another, which made me think that we were waiting for a large group, or perhaps were going to dine at a table d’hôte. 

But my surprise was at its greatest when I saw people enter without greeting each other and without seeming to know each other, seat themselves without looking at each other and eat separately without speaking to each other, or even offering to share their food.’ 

Peruvian traveller Antoine Rosny describing his first visit to a Parisian restaurant at the start of the nineteenth century. [1] 

The restaurant remains a typology largely unaltered by the societal and technological changes affecting the way the spaces we live and work evolve. Given its inherently physical nature, the dining experience offers a rare opportunity to be in the same space as others amidst the fast-paced, digitalized world most of us inhabit and should be celebrated as such. Challenging the traditional chair-and-table restaurant set up, Festive Encounters investigates alternative scenarios of social engagement while dining, with a landscape of posture typologies inspired by the various arrangements we consume our meals within our current lifestyles. 

The four typologies link to both the public and the domestic realm of dining, each charged with certain emotional qualities and behaviors, and aim to reprogram the typical dining pattern and produce unexpected encounters among diners. 

Floor rails allow the typologies to gather or separate from each other, arranging diners in groups of two, four, six or eight. Fringes that move on ceiling rails replace the interior’s walls and separate the space according to the different arrangements while adding a visual stimulant and a feel of celebration to the interior. The preparation area remains fixed on an elevated platform resembling a DJ booth around which the ‘dancers’ gather or walk away from. 

The restaurant becomes a fantastical machine, a system of interactions working in synergy to celebrate the shared physical space and trigger a series of social and spatial experiences. 


In collaboration with Sofia Lekka Angelopoulou for Cook 8 International Architectural Competition by Domés.




 1.A.J. N. Rosny, Le Péruvian à Paris (1801), quoted in R. L. Spang, The Invention of the Restaurant (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), 64.