“Make (something) suitable for a new use or purpose; modify.”
“Become adjusted to new conditions”
With the current global pandemic, we are all having to learn how to adapt. What changes do we have to make to allow for us to create some kind of normality? We must adapt our daily ways of life to allow society to continue. We are living under new conditions in which we did not expect, but rather than it being a negative it can be a time to be creative, to think and design new ways of doing things.
One restaurant in Amsterdam has done just this. The Mediamatic arts centre had to think quickly about how they could find a way to keep their restaurant open to the public during these times. Coronavirus transmission rates increase when people spend a lot of time in close proximity within enclosed spaces, which makes normal restaurant setups untenable for the time being. However, with the creative mindset from the team at Mediamatic this just meant they had to adapt. They had to find a solution to this and they did. They were able to create a socially distanced dining experience by using greenhouses, meaning pairs from the same household were able to continue to go out for dinner by having their own pod. Waiters would serve food on long platters so that they did not need to enter the greenhouse and would wear PPE including face shields, allowing them to continue to operate as a restaurant whilst still following the government guidelines.
The pods may be separate, but they still allow visibility to the public and the scenic views looking over the canal, which gives diners the feel of being within a restaurant environment, all be it that everyone is further apart. This highlights how we must learn to adapt and be inventive with the ways in which we can do our best to keep businesses running. As Servass from Mediamatic said “I think we prove with this dining concept that you can still experience intimacy in a special setting within what our government calls an ‘anderhalvemetersamenleving’ – ‘a six-feet society’.”
This is a time in which we can change the way we do things and create new and exciting experiences for people through design. Spaces will need do adapt but this doesn’t have to be a negative, why not make the change positive, a chance to enhance what we already do to make it better.