This month’s Deconstruction goes a different route as we’re taking a closer look at three vignettes from this year’s Dining By Design, a yearly event held by DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS), where local and international designers are invited to transform an empty space into a striking dining environment. These vignettes, all housed next to the Architectural Digest Design Show at Pier 92 in New York City, are the backdrop for five days of events and fundraising to help DIFFA raise money for fighting HIV and AIDS. While there were many dining vignettes at the event, we can’t feature all the designers so we selected three, including Rapt Studio, the Rockwell Group with The Rug Company, and Franke with Marc Thorpe Design. Take a look.
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2018 marks Rapt Studio’s first year participating in Dining By Design and their focus is on something we’re probably all lacking – human connection. With their device-free dining table, they encourage people to enjoy each other and share stories while their smartphone hangs out in storage in the center of the revolving tabletop. The dramatic vignette features an all-black interior with a bright, iridescent mirrored exterior.
Inspiration: We believe that human connection is at the heart of every design solution. Our installation centers around a device free dinner table — complete with smartphone storage and revolving tabletop. Inspired by the notion of being “Radically Personal,” diners can share stories, sans distraction, and all are welcome to reflect and connect.
Project Notes: We reviewed a range of leather and leather-like materials to create the pleated cell phone holster found in the middle of the table. It was important to study materials that would feel worthy of the price tag on todays $1000 cell phones. We knew the material chosen needed to be high end, durable and compliment the sleek black modern lines of the table.
The final product chosen was a matte black finished leather. This particular leather was chosen because it was the most supple and organic of the options, it conformed to numerous cell phone form factors within it and was was extremely durable.
To attach the leather to the steel receiver, precise holes were laser cut through the steel form as a flat pattern and then roll formed in order to hold the undulating leather form in place with matte black hardware. The steel receiver was lined with leather and a foam cushion base (clad in leather) protected cell phones from fall damage.
For attaching all materials together within the holster, we created a unique fastener system to secure the leather to our metal. To anchor it all within the table we created (8) poplar staves that fit within the exterior wall of where the cell phone holster was located, holding the leathers form and supporting the center lid.
To keep the center open we utilized a 24″ diameter lazy Susan track that allowed the rotating platform to remain open, creating an access point at the center of the table where removing the center lid exposed the holster for access to cell phones after the meal was complete.
Inside, we created a dark, monochromatic look where all the black elements blended together resulting in a dramatic contrast to the outside. Our intention was to strip away distraction and allow the personality of the human diners to come through. Atop layered Bolon floor coverings is a custom table, designed in collaboration with and provided by MASHstudios. The walls were clad with BuzziSkin felt, in a custom wainscoting pattern, adding dimension, texture, and sound-absorption. BuzziSpace also provided BuzziPlank shelves and a BuzziMirage mirror. The space was dramatically lit with a Rich Brilliant Willing Pilot chandelier in matte black, and 8 muuto fiber armchairs, lent by ORI, complete the dining space. The installation exterior and the graphic moments on the mirrors inside were fabricated by Drive21. The overall build-out was managed and assembled by Qwest Contracting.
The Rug Company x Rockwell Group
Fresh off their recent partnership on a trio of rugs, the Rockwell Group and The Rug Company joined forces on a vignette inspired by one of those very rugs, which became the center of the design. Lola is a rug featuring a brushstroke pattern that came from ceramic vessels that David Rockwell painted with his daughter named Lola.
Inspiration: Partnering with The Rug Company, Rockwell Group reimagined the dining experience to be within an elliptical veil of 400 strands of hand dyed carpet fibers. Inspired by the craft and technique of rug weavers in Nepal, the design showcases the Lola rug specially designed by David Rockwell and his daughter Lola.
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Project Notes: Our Dining By Design booth emphasizes craft, process, and collaboration. Guests will encounter two Lola rugs on the floor of the booth, along with a partially completed Lola rug woven into a “loom” on the left wall. Yarn and tools accompany the unfinished piece, adding to its work-in-progress effect. Four hundred hand-dyed, blue ombré rug fibers are suspended around the custom-built elliptical dining table, which is supported by a custom wood frame. The dip-dyed ropes were woven in Nepal and create an up-lit screen for full dramatic effect.
Our tablescape is set with custom designed plates inspired by David and Lola’s brushstroke pottery, along with a sculptural floral design courtesy of The Wild Bunch.
Franke x Marc Thorpe
Franke invited designer Marc Thorpe to design their gallery-style booth, which included a number of their sinks and faucets on display turning their products into art. The design featured black bands that wrapped up and around to the other side to create a dynamic structure to house a long table. The dining table was paired with another Thorpe design, his Husk chairs for Moroso, lighting by FLOS, and Alessi tableware.
Inspiration: Marc Thorpe Design and Franke present the “Gallery of Franke”. Inspired by the design and technical achievements of Franke’s world-renowned kitchen sinks and faucets, guests experience dining within the wonderful world of Franke as Art.
Project Notes: The design, created by notable architect and industrial designer Marc Thorpe, Creative Director Marc Thorpe Design, is a gallery style space prominently featuring luminary sinks and faucets from the global leader. Inspired by the brand’s renowned kitchen sinks and faucets, guests will experience dining within the context of Franke’s product as art, including its Crystal sink, featuring a unique integration of the highest quality Franke stainless steel and glass. The Franke Gallery will also feature the Franke Chef Center, Peak, Professional 2.0, Pescara and Cube sinks accompanied by the line’s Pescara, Cube, Absinthe, Steel, and Fluence faucets.