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Public Place, Social Space

This week some friends and I joined Monograph London for their Japanese supper club. It's an experience evening that fosters a synthesis between art, culture and food. The concept was simple but well executed - a dinner party, each course introduced by a unique film clip detailing an aspect of Japanese culture, hosted in a converted-Victorian-warehouse-now-art gallery. The food was nothing extravagent but captured the sensational simplicity of Japanese flavour. The gallery space hosted three long tables, at which a collective of strangers selected their seats at random. The evening was brilliant.

In part, because the food was delicous and the artistic content was beautiful. In part, because every guest brought their stories and a bottle of wine, making for lively and inspiring conversation. But what took me aback was how comfortable the atmosphere was - it was like attending a dinner party in someone's home, only every body is a stranger. But the intimate scale of the setting and the no-frills presentation fostered a sort of colloquial and comfortable interaction amongst the guests.

In a way, it captured some of the essence of a thesis project I undertook, where public spaces endeavour to enable social interaction in public, in a manner similar to as if you were at 'home'.

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