Given the extreme times societies are experiencing today, the search for adapting our everyday activities is imperative. Design is a key aspect in adaptation processes and many proposals, which emerged from a crisis have stood out for their creativity.
As control over the COVID-19 illness has progressed, we have seen creativity flourish all across design’s different branches. From fashion houses creating face masks to architects with suggestions to make markets operate in a safer way, they have all contributed to shape the new normal. Perhaps normal is the key word in this situation and, since many protection measures will be permanent, the possibility of returning to our everyday life is hard to foresee. This is why Serres Séparées is such an attractive proposal, it fixes one of the most common social and casual activities, dining out.
Mediamatic is a cultural center based in Amsterdam, which was established in 1983 with the purpose of exploring the fusion between art, design, and science. Characterized by offering creative solutions to all their projects, they came up with a way to keep restaurants open, Mediamatic Eten, by breaking the place up in small greenhouses. The project bears the French name Serres Séparées (separated greenhouses), referring to the private areas in restaurants and bars (chambre séparée). The project provides the space with the needed distancing to make it safe, but with non-invasive boundaries, which allow for people to enjoy dinner with a view of the Amsterdam canals.
“Chambre Séparée suggests some kind of intimacy: here, things that must remain hidden from sight and which must not be heard can happen. We decided to name our greenhouses in French as well. Although what happens inside will be much more public”.