All the competitors from ‘Dining in the Urban’ were invited to join the collective investigation into the competition entries as part of the wider research project, The Intimate City.




All the competitors from ‘Dining in the Urban’ were invited to join the collective investigation into the competition entries as part of the wider research project, The Intimate City.


This collective investigation invited a plurality of interpretations of entries. The goal of the collective investigation was to develop a deeper understanding of communication and interpretation, and how it could create a cycle of knowledge and generosity.

The judges have selected nine designs out of forty-nine entries for the collective investigation.

The collective investigation invited competitors to interrogate the nine chosen entries. We asked them to reflect on their interpretation of the brief and compare it with that of others, focusing on specific design decisions. The intention of this investigation was to create a moment of reflection, understanding that through a plurality of interpretations, we can move towards a thorough understanding of design decisions which connect people to their environment.

Please click here for a PDF containing all the results from the collective investigation.


Dining in the Urban

By Ana Garc.a L.pez & Mart.n De Pablo Esteban

“…Intimate space within the pavilion create communication amongst visitors, promoting interaction, both, direct and visual as well as between the inside and outside creating a vibrant public space..."

“…I feel very strongly, as a visual artist, that a secondary reading that occurs by juxtaposing one façade with another at such close proximity has to be considered or it risks being disjointed…” 

“…Domestic rituals are not necessarily always open to everyone, but invite only those in close relationships and/or for the privileged visitors. While the design seems inclusive and inviting, the proposal statement does not reflect on the duality embedded in such dining rituals…” 

Reflection by Vishwa Shroff 

Key themes: use, disjointed, inclusiveness, duality



The garden of earthly delight


Dining Carpet 

By Benoît Marcou

“…The lack of specifying of different zones in the design actually gives the freedom for interpretation…”


‘’… This soft design intervention gives the opportunity for exploration and interpretation in your own manner. I appreciate how this somehow incorporates the idea of generosity…” 

Reflection by Despina Kaneva


“So I believe it feels like carpeted rooms on raised platforms that invite the domestic habit of eating, cooking and congregating together in groups to become a watched act / a play. These platforms are performative spaces…" 

Reflection by Charlie Levine

Key themes: interpretation, generosity, performative space


The garden of earthly delight


Picnic Ritual

By Chenhao Ma and Yutan Sun

“…The sharing of the dinning cloth stands as a spontaneous act that gradually leads to dining with strangers and aspires to create new and meaningful connections…”  

Reflection by Boris Netsov

“…I am not fully convinced by this idea that this space will go from being commercially driven to being a public, collective dining space as usually public spaces evolve in the reverse order to this…"

Reflection by Dearbhla Mulligan 

“…There is a risk for designers to sometimes overspeculate what use will be made of their work, the document is also a reminder that architecture operates at different scales of time, and that even fragile temporary interventions, whether they leave physical traces or not, have long-lasting consequences on the functioning of public space…” 

Reflection by Benoîr Marcou

Key themes: connections, public space, speculation, ephemerality


The garden of earthly delight



The garden of earthly delight


Additional comments

“…I am realizing discussion is now possible on an international scale like never before. This gives opportunities for knowledge to come from unexpected sources. Participating has made me understand that there are so many ways in which you can dine with others - food for thought indeed..."

Reflection by Boris Netsov

“…I am looking forward to seeing the results of the collective investigation and how this kind of collective activity forms new knowledge to create, manage and govern urban public space..."


Reflection by Katsushi Goto 

“…It’s also a useful exercise in considering personal choices made during the proposal making stage, eg - how do you visual an idea, how does context present itself, is this based on theory or practice etc? .... I look forward to seeing how this reflective approach to decision making develops..."


Reflection by Charlie Levine


Key themes: dialogue, management, development


The collective investigation progressed the conversation through themes such as:

- Social and physical boundaries
- Urban continuity
- Urban identity
- Inclusivity
- Performative space
- Ephemerality 
- Longevity

The investigation has created a dialogue between peers, providing a platform to share and develop design ideas and knowledge. The collective investigation raises questions such as: 

- Through adding another fragmented structure to the site can we create a constellation to     achieve urban continuity?
- Can formality be used to generate informality?
- Can commercial spaces generate communal habits?
- How can we navigate the risk of over speculating future impacts of a project?
- Can we acknowledge and plan for the traces left by an intervention, exploring both the   social and physical impact of a project?
- Through geometry can we create forms which encourage communal dining without       association to specific cultural rituals?
- Is it possible to provide space for negotiation between cultures to ensure it develops a   conversation rather than creating a fragmented environment?
- How can the intervention create space for both solitary and communal rituals?
- Is providing a space for the performance of the ritual enough to generate social and   physical latency?


Through the analysis of the designs, a focus has been placed on ephemerality of projects, exploring the social impact of the design and how it can create inclusivity in the urban environment. 

The investigation has explored the use of commercial functions to create identity in public space. 


How can the identity of ‘dining’ support the inclusivity and usage on the site?

The questions raised by the investigation results will now be used to interrogate and develop the final three shortlisted designs. A focus will be placed on identity, inclusivity, ephemerality, and longevity. 


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Photographers: Andrés Stohlmann, Hilary Yeung, 

Holly Dale, Szuju Chen, Nina Vlasblom,