The primacy of place
Restaurants are places nested within other places – neighborhoods, communities, towns, states – that create points of contact for the members of those larger places, like the pore space in healthy soil. A stopping place, a holding place: we are the ‘there there.’
Restaurants are places to eat that are both public and private – you sit at a private table within the public din and hubbub of the dining room. In some way, this can be more permissive of conversation and intimate than our private homes. People experience restaurants in their body – so that is where the design starts for me, in my body, as feeling, sensation, emotional tone or note. I want to make people feel safe, at home, ensconced, in every place – but each approach is a little different.
Farming was an innovation that changed our relationship to nature, allowed communities to become permanent, and ideas and advancements to build and accrete. Farming is the harnessing of natural processes for human ends, but it is not “natural.” As our ancestors got better at farming, nature was simplified as culture became more complex. One way of looking at human culture is as the conversion of the accumulated complexity of the soil and its ecological overstories and inhabitants to human ones. In farming, we can look at the logic of nature to inform how we grow, or we can be inspired by machines. We are on #teamnature. But it isn’t always easy.