In 2015 the United Nations will mandate an international “getting to know each other” Memorial day which will be adopted by all nations in hopes of creating awareness and eradicating hunger. The biannual celebration with food will coincide with the winter and summer solstice, and through the use of social networking we will be able to communicate with other people from around the globe through the art of dining. My hope is to create a space to dine that will be warm and inviting for the people in it, as well as, allow our outside guests to have a glimpse into the culture surrounding a traditional American dining experience. I want to focus my project on designing a space for a typical American couple in an urban style environment, in hopes of connecting with other typical people from other parts of the world. I want to create an experience that would essentially allow people to envision what their lives would be like if they lived in various other parts of the world. For this particular event, I imagine my dining space to be host to eight people, which is enough to create a social atmosphere, yet intimate without being overwhelming for the people attending or the international guests viewing.
As this is an international dining experience, it is important to have cuisines from all over the globe, which would allow a more sensory experience rather than just visual through social networking. I plan on the event to be in the evening and each course of the dinner being from a different country. I envision the wine being from France, the appetizer being ceviche from Peru, the salad being a papaya salad from Thailand, the soup would be Pho from Vietnam, the main course being Lamb Tangine with couscous, and the dessert would be Tiramisu from Italy. This multi-country, multi-continental experience would hopefully create awareness and appreciation for food important to other parts of the world.
The other aspect of this project that I would like to take into consideration into my design is the focus on eradicating hunger. Hunger is an issue all over the world and in every country from the first world to the third, although this event is about an experience with food. So many wealthier countries, particularly the United States can be incredibly wasteful with food as well as with many other materials, so in response, my design is going to be more environmentally friendly using sustainable materials to create a more eco-living experience. Rather than adding to the waste, I want my furniture, including the table and sideboard that I design, to be made from recycled, reclaimed materials, possibly wood. I want the elements in the room to be designed around not being wasteful and instead being repurposed to create new life and meaning in the room.
The art of dining is about having an experience with other people around a unifying element—food. The environment around you can play a significant role in the experience you have. A more intimate atmosphere with warm dim lighting using fixtures, candles, as well as, natural light is important, as the lighting is what can set the mood. I hope to create a space that not only functions as a place to eat, but also creates an experience for the people that use it.