Museum of Sake Journal Summer 2016 - Page 15

THE CUP SAKE REVOLUTION The bar was an important single element of design. It had to be easily assembled to a 20 metre curved length to a precise orientation in a few hours, yet robust enough to last over a week. We decided on fabricating it from a honeycomb paper- it could be a wondrous object that would offer a softness and casual tactile quality and yet be elegant and beautifully intricate as it turned the various bends in the space and caught the light. Having sourced a appropriate manufacturer to work with in China we developed the best form and specification to balance mass, size and strength. The folds and openings needed to be rigid and fine enough to read as both a single form yet reveal its texture close up. After the event, the bar could be collapsed back and easily stored. The paper cell texture allowed us to directly ‘plant’ flowers into the surface as if it was a physical block of soil. This gave the bar a playful quality that allowed us to combine the refinement of individual flower stems directly with the raw scale of the bar, eliminating any intermediate vases, containers or objects and focusing all the attention on the bar surface and the cup sake itself. To continue the sense of playfulness we decided that the bar-top flowers should also act as the main lighting controls for the space. Creating a relationship between scent and colour, each coloured rose was turned into a sensitive switch through some the addition of some invisible bespoke electronics and computer programmes we developed. Guests could discover by chance midway through their drink that by brushing the yellow or red or pink flower they could alter the lighting of the whole space, as the colours across the room changed to match the colour of the flower last touched. The powerful interactive element offered another layer of movement and sensory delight which was deliberately embedded into the architecture. It provided a constantly evolving atmosphere of flavours driven by the guests enjoying and discovering new sake varieties. The paper cell texture of the bar allowed us to directly ‘plant’ flowers into the surface as if it was a physical block of soil. MUSEUM OF SAKE JOURNAL 15