Weeknote#8 Exploring Immersive Food Pop Up

We are working on an immersive food experience with our friend Jean Claude. He is a chef and does a pop up restaurant at Botanica, a cocktail bar in Red Hook. The date for the pop up restaurant is fast approaching and our plan is to use the restaurant’s multiple doors as projection mapping surfaces as a part of the experience. We have a limited time frame to create a closed door event because Botanica usually keeps it doors open during summer months because it is a non AC space.

Botanica is hard to define place, owned by next door distillery’s owner Widow Jane it serves fantastic herbal infused cocktails in an old fashioned, bohemian setting. It features some original turn of the century chandeliers imported from Venice.  Looking in from outside, its most prominent feature is a series of wall to wall iron framed windows that fully swing open in the summertime,  embracing the cobblestones of Conover Street, it is often described as ‘feelings of Old New York’.

Conceptually, we have been looking through examples of work where projection mapping has been used at food events, in particular I have been fascinated by looking at The Kings County Cornucopia work of NBNY for Brooklyn Brewery during last year MASH festival. In this piece running the length of a banquet table, the landscape of ingredients, food preparation, and communal eating is a “micro-projection mapping” installation created by NBNY.

While we find this concept very endearing we are looking to create a more ephemeral and less literal experience. We are trying to step out of our designers shoes and approach this event as potential guests that come all the way to Red Hook to experience fantastic and uniquely prepared food in the ambiance of Botanica. Food and NY Foodies are an intransigent crowd, and with a myriad new restaurants and ‘pop-up experiences’ opening everyday it gets more difficult to deliver the next ‘wow’ factor. In our case we are moving toward creating a experience piece that both elevates the food while celebrating the existing architecture, creating a custom experience that draws people in from outside and creates a surreal sense of wonder. Stay tuned to see what we come up with!