Reconnect Cafe & SVA IXD / Public Space & Event Design / 2013

We started with a hunch. We wanted to bring people together through new food-related rituals, in spaces they already gather. So we started out in our own studio with a slow cooker. We experimented by hosting events in the studio and studied about the relationship between food, space and people. 

With the result from the studio events, we were able to create a framework for hosting events in public spaces. Then we found out about the Reconnect Cafe in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Reconnect helped young men around the neighborhood by employing them as baristas, teaching them entrepreneurial skills and keeping them off the streets. Reconnect was trying to plan a grand opening and we decided to support the cafe by designing the grand opening for them. 

We set our three main goals as letting people know about the mission and story behind the cafe, getting the crew to be truly involved while having a fun experience and giving the guests a feeling of specialness for being present at the moment. We prepared a Beat Mix Station made out of fruits and a Makey Makey as well as a polaroid photo wall and souvenir stickers. We also created a custom made basketball hoop for Reconnect to use during the net cutting event, which replaced the traditional ribbon cutting event. The net cutting event was chosen as the favorite moment of the day by many of the guests. 

Team Members Shelly Ni & Alex Todaro

Preview of selected pages from the Presentation