A ‘place’ to eat

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Fig: 1 - A scene in what is thought to be the ancient capital of Kaifeng (ancient china) showing food stalls (Credits-Weren Forman/Getty Images)


We eat because we get hungry, hunger is a natural indicator to know that our body needs fuel. Since it's a biological need for all species, the act of eating traces back to our existence itself. Eating styles evolve with humans, it became more than just a basic survival need. It became a means of experimentation. Recipes were created from regional food resources and were turned into a collaboration of taste, flavour and nutrients.

Food became something to bond over, a social element that has bonded us for centuries. This typology and sense of wanting to eat together started in 1100AD. The establishment for food and even proper restaurants was first recorded in China. With the emergence of trading, ethnic restaurants came up with entertainment and interaction. with bars and hotels, and brothels.

This tradition was followed by various cultures in their way, like the Japanese culture curated dining experiences. Their entire tasting menus were crafted to tell the story of a particular place and season. These traditions formed the idea of food as a major expression in art and culture.

Fig: 2 – A restaurant typology we see everywhere (Credits-Spencer Davis)


Restaurants are one of the most common typologies in cities, serving the ever-increasing urban populations. Apart from interior trends, the basic restaurant typology of dining within four walls remains similar to the very first eating spaces.

Although trends in foods have changed rapidly. Molecular gastronomy and experimental foods are upcoming trends in the food industry. The nature of food and the way it is served is getting redefined every year.

Can we use the same level of innovation and rethink the restaurant typology altogether?

With increasing changes in food technology and unpredictable circumstances like the global pandemic, the future of eating places remains unpredictable. The social functions of eating out may gradually change, what will this future look like? Can architecture play a part in designing places to eat out that are flexible and modular to future needs?

Fig: 3 – Restaurant concept (Credits-Header-Wettbewerb-Restaurant-Zukunft )


A restaurant or a stall are physical structures that define eating. Can architects and designers go beyond four walls and design from scratch for the primary function of eating?

Considering the upcoming trends in food technology and the changes in the function of eating out, can we take this opportunity and design something unconventional yet socially relevant?

Brief: The challenge is to re-invent the "place" to eat. Design a futuristic typology that comprises the primary functions of restaurants, bars and food stalls. The design should start by questioning the conventional places we have used to date for eating and thus rethink the typology entirely.

The aim is to design for eating out. The participants can use one of these three elements to conceive their design; Land, Air and Water.

The space must be designed for accommodating around 60 visitors. Participants are urged to be creative and unconventional in their approach to the design.


Reinvent: Reinvent the traditional places of eating typology.

Investigate: Investigate and question how what and why of eating, restaurants/food stalls and design the future typology accordingly.

Flexible/Modular: Design should be flexible to future changes in the way we interact.

Context: Address the technicalities for conceiving the design on the provided realms (Land, Water and Air)

Functionality: Maintaining the primary act of eating, participants are free to explore and add functions to their design.

The following objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. Participants are free to form their programmatic outline.