Cover story his Twitter followers to share images of restaurants in eateries in Taipei, Hong Kong, South Korea, and China with new precautions in place, in the hope that the safety measures there might help establish a protocol in the US. Retro-fitted panels seem to be the new norm, which are being removed as government guidelines change to meet a fast-moving international situation. Alsahin says that aligns with requests from F&B clients to install temporary social distancing measures. "We are working on multiple F&B projects that not necessarily require social distancing but indeed mind the pandemic in many aspects. "The Italian restaurant we're working on in Abu Dhabi is located in Souq Aljami, the mall which is near to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. "This restaurant required social distancing design measures but with a plan to revert back to normality. "So, we utilised a design that can be adaptable to provide different layout planning space by using arched colored glass partitions which you can move and slide to create different safe spaces in between and in the same time provides the option to be back to normal. 'We are having conversations with our clients for a long-term solution and how we dine out until the crisis abates. "One such solution are wireless chargers that are incorporated in the tables, to stay away from the old sharable power banks. "We have been asked to value the outdoor space more and better by utilising space outside restaurants during this period of social distancing. "We had inquiries that embrace previous trends like open kitchen to have the transparency on how the food is being prepared and assure the customers on the restaurant measures of social distancing so the aim changed, as before the target evolves to this end, restaurants will also have to evolve and continually improve and remain relevant. We believe that it is key to have a 'transformational' philosophy and 'continuous improvement' and evolving approach and mentality, as we begin the journey out of the current pandemic situation. "There’s already a lot of stress in the air. Let's design relaxed and enjoyable spaces yet be safe and sustainable." Elsewhere in the world, creative options are being encouraged to create social distancing without obliterating the design DNA of the cities' restaurant scenes. US interiors specialist Tihany Design has created design concepts for attractive screens to ensure safe social distancing. The screens are lightweight, easily moveable and storable, simple to clean and maintain and can be tailored to the restaurant to match the existing interiors. The atelier, which worked on restaurants for the launch of Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, admits it intends them to be a short-term solution, though one that still needs to be in keeping with the interiors in which they sit. “Our primary goal in designing the custom screens was to encourage and support our clients with their immediate needs for reopening," says Alessia Genova, managing partner at Tihany Design. "In reality, we hope that these needs will be short-lived and the screens can soon serve a different function within the restaurant, unrelated to social distancing. All of these temporary fixes will change the way we experience these spaces, but it will not be forever. For now, we continue to support each other through this new territory." In Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, the Mediamatic ETEN, is offering a four-course vegetarian menu for diners, all served to guests while they sit in their own personal quarantine greenhouses outside. Celebrity chef David Chang asked Most important is to design organically safe experience was to have more like a theatrical act in the open kitchen. "Also, there is a demand for private dining rooms, more than one in a restaurant. I believe we will see more of this trend in the coming days, where a business or family can enjoy a safe private dining experience. "Innovations in technology are being requested like, contactless order screens using hand gestures. "What we learned working in the time of COVID-19 is to be adaptable, so that should reflect in our designs: Remove fear and be able to revert back to normal. "Building a restaurant is a big investment, we need to be sure that what our design is a long-term solution with cost-effective interventions. T "Most important is to design an organically safe experience without people noticing while ticking all the boxes. 20 commercialinteriordesign.com July 2020
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