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Kyuukei Noodle Bar
Singapore, 2016

Collective:Individuals The Japanese noodle bar culture is well known around the world. Typified by the iconic pigeon hole dining booths, the Japanese noodle bar provides a meager temporal private space for busy working men and women to shut out the world and eat alone, connect with the inner Self and recharge before returning to crowded streets and metros of the City.

 

Kyuukei intends to adapt this unique culture in Singapore where it is almost a taboo for office workers to eat alone. Many who prefer to eat in solitude would take away their meals and eat at their desks to avoid uneasy encounters in public with social cliques formed within offices. It would be bothersome to look surprised, smile, engage in small talks and finally turning down their offer to join them.

 

The design for Kyuukei attempts to ease this tension between the Individual and the Collective through seating arrangement and furniture design. A dining table and chair for individuals forms the basic building block of the design. Using thin steel rods to support simple blue fibre-board planes for sitting and dining, the individual furniture is slightly precarious. However, as more individual units are braced together with a series of planes, the collective furniture gains structural strength and resists lateral movements. These bracing planes consist of tables and benches for two, foot rests, back rests, side tables and lighting rail that are organized at different heights to not only distribute lateral loading evenly but also create varied seating configurations catering to individuals, pairs and groups.

 

Collective:Individuals is a diagram that mediates its own dichotomy. Inasmuch as the furniture demonstrates the effect of collective strength, the design is first and foremost an affirmation of the need for solitude; the necessity of spaces for individuals within the City