“Being on the edge is not as safe but the view is better.” We as individuals give our best to something that we love and have aimed for, but not always succeed in what we want. We don’t push ourselves hard enough until we reach a razor edge situation. Life is all about taking challenges and then facing them with a boom. 

“Restaurants on the edge” is a story of a sailor and his distant acquaintances who come over to chit-chat on this beautiful piece of the island to enjoy the scenic view and the breathtaking local dishes that they would serve. But, oops!! did I just say “local dishes” and “breathtaking “at the same time? 

Forgive me for bearing you with expectations of a montage of locally cooked smoky hot food. But, trust me, once you enter the space you won’t be able to take your hands off your stomach. Actually, that’s almost how much I laughed seeing the décor and food of the restaurants. It’s correctly said, “Restaurants in amazing locations with fantastic views, often have rotten food.” Not every restaurant had the same story but sometimes it’s just the vibe that doesn’t match the mood and the surrounding environment. 

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The sailor was very proud to have set such an amazing restaurant with a view of ocean blue water and snow-capped mountains but forgot that the restaurant works not only because of the view but also for the food being served and the décor being provided. 

As soon as his associates entered the space, I could see their expectations going down already because of the vibe that could have connected the outer beauty to the inner. A bland décor, empty fish tanks and a mess behind the bar are the first sights they could see while entering this restaurant with the food being exported from outside the country making it difficult for the sailor to run the restaurant. 

Nature is the best gift that God has invested in us. With the right use, natural/local ingredients can be brought into existence into the spaces for a better experience. Did I just give a solution to this mess? You guessed it right. Not everything which looks great is actually great. 

The beauty of locations is one of the reasons this restaurant is sailing and not being sunk deep. The name of the show itself tells a lot of stories within. The restaurants the show goes to are on the edge of fantastic views but are also on the edge of failure in terms of their business. 

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We as designers or even architects forget that our piece of work is not less than a gift that not everyone possesses. Artists are supposed to conceptualize and make creative work not only on the basis of the requirements but also give an emotional touch to the work. 

Emotions play a very important role in making the space more personalized to the user. This show has made me want to introduce some amazingly great techniques in our work ethics to not just meet the needs of the client but also to improve the style of working we have been adopting for the past years. 

The 3 acquaintances that I mentioned above were none other than 3 experts in interiors, business, and cooking. They helped change the restaurant not only in terms of vibes and interiors but also helped to better the online presence and the way old cooking styles of the restaurant. It’s these 3 experts who brought some life to these restaurants by just pouring some magic of emotions into these unlively things. 

Using locally available food, décor, paintings, furniture, and whatnot, not only gave it a touch of what is outside but also changed its vibe from being dull to being vibrant. Isn’t it interesting that even after knowing the impacts of our local environment how can we just be so ignorant? 

Knowing what values and ethics the space would show after the latter we tend to vibe in with what is trendy and forget what being rooted in traditionality could bring in. These restaurants are facing problems not only because of the vibes but also because of the type of food being served. 

I know, you all must be thinking why we as designers need to know so much detail about a client when our job is just to build a structure and give it an aesthetic look for its outer beauty. But, my dear friends let me tell you that if the functionality of a particular space is taken for a toss then I must warn you the design is all a waste. The function of a restaurant is to serve food, give a particular vibe according to the location and provide comfort to the user. 

Keeping in mind these factors is the only way a designer can succeed in his art of giving life to a dead space. A philosophy known as the “Feng Shui” philosophy was a way used by the interior designer to overcome the challenge of making a small restaurant look like a vibrant one. It is a philosophy used by the people to create a balance in the way they live their lives by just harmonizing their living spaces with nature through the art of spatial designing. 

The principles that are followed in this philosophy are :

  1. Earth: It gives a sense of self-care, boundaries, and nourishment.
  2. Water: It represents deep wisdom as well as connection with others
  3. Wood: It relates to growth, healing, and vitality
  4. Fire: This gives a sense of passion and inspiration

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Now, do you see how our long-term traditions help in bringing back the lost connection with the outer world? This was one of the methods that were actually implemented in one of the restaurants in Singapore which changed the entire look and vibe of the restaurant. 

So, we as designers need to think not just as artists but also as what the consumer wants from us and the emotions behind their making of that space. Personally, speaking this show has forced me to think about what it actually means to put your soul into what you design. A design like you are going to use that space once you make it. 

From the entry to every minute detail, one should feel connected with not just the world outside but also connect to the emotions wanting to be conveyed by the owner of that particular space. My parting words would say “Strength lies in the cohesion of the differences and not in similarities.”  

Mansi Mattoo
Author

Mansi is pursuing her graduation from SMVDU, Jand K. She is an avid nature lover and in the perfect environment to pursue her architecture dreams. She looks to becoming the voice for the unspoken emotions depicted in the world of architecture. A keen observer and hard worker is what describes her well.

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