Dine + Design

“In ancient times... the first ‘Social Media’ gathered around food.”  - Natalie Engels from Gensler of San Jose explained. Behind her on the presentation screen a picture depicted ancient Egyptian encryptions of people, with food in hand, gathered around tables. The place where we gather and share a meal has been a core element to society since early civilization. Today in modern culture it is still a strong force. Even with the ability to eat on the road or in front of a screen, there is still something that pulls us to the dining experience. To consider what goes into this experience is what Gensler presented to a group at Forager at our Dine + Design event hosted by Content Magazine.

Many came to the presentation --some with no background in interior design, design majors from San Francisco, museum curators, as well as professionals. The presentation provoked questions that wouldn’t initially come to mind when thinking about  design. What defines a space? What is it that makes you want to come back, take photos in it, be with people you love, meet new friends…?

I’ve considered these questions when helping create the space in Devout Coffee in Fremont, as well as here at Forager. However, decision-making has been an instinctual feeling. This exercise put questions to my feelings and helped in the professional process of getting inside someone else’s desire for a space.

We asked these questions amongst ourselves while being able to experience this together. We were all divided into groups to replicate a different ‘restaurant’ vibe. While working together in the hustle, we selected fabrics and swatches. We made mood boards and crafted a feel for our room with fabric walls and table settings.

After the spaces were prepared, we nomadically traveled from ‘restaurant' experience to 'restaurant' experience where we tasted: sushi from Michi with a kick to be remembered, tacos paired with the local beers of Forager’s curation, freshly pressed juice from Origin’s Juicery (neighbors just down the street from Forager), and inventive ideas from Raw Daddy--vegan goodness you eat from a cone with a flavor explosion to match. Forager provided items off of our seasonal menu such as deviled eggs, brussel sprouts, and a small flat bread.  

Having chefs, designers, and creative people to feast together naturally equals an inspiring experience. This is the type of event I feel is the heartbeat of Forager. We are cultivating a place for more of these opportunities to emerge. A place where the expression of music, arts, culture, food, beer, and coffee brings us back to the roots of social gathering.

Even in phase one, you can taste something new, drink local beverages, and take in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Each experience is like a voice calling us to take community deeper - to let new ideas emerge.

Comment if you’d like to see more of this type of event and what you would like to
Dine + ________  with?