On the 3rd of December we hosted a very special dinner event at Old Paradise Yard – a follow-up to last year’s Fine Designing. We invited clients and collaborators to our on-site café i'klectik, a lovely space here next to our studio.
As the digital revolution marches on, it's important to step away from the screen occasionally. We devised an analogue evening to embrace the tactile and the tangible using all five senses (taste, sound, sight, smell and touch).
First we enjoyed a few drinks and snacks in the bar while having a chat with each other, and later the tasty cheese of our raclette dinner. We liked the idea of choosing the ingredients and cooking our own food as part of the theme, so a raclette was a perfect fit for this event. We had loads of vegetables to grill and dip in melted cheese and we all had to share them which made it a very social experience.
The dessert was also self-made. Each table had some piping bags filled with whipped and raspberry cream and some berries, and everyone had to create their own mini tartlet.
The music was completely analogue. As background music we had a record deck where everyone could make a request to Joe who would play it for you on vinyl. But it was Louise Wellby’s beautiful voice, accompanied by Sam Greg from the piano, which created the centrepiece to the evening. She sang a selection of songs based on the five senses:
‘Songbird’ by Fleetwood Mac, for sound
‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ by George Gershwin, for sight
‘Fever’ by Peggy Lee (my favourite), for touch
‘A Case of You’ by Joni Mitchell, for taste
… and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana, for smell – people absolutely loved her magnificent stripped-down ballad version which brought the haunting, strange lyrics to the fore.
The sight-station was an old-school projector on which we put some acetates with graphic elements from some of our past projects. The result was a collage background on the walls of the café. The guests could change it and spell out messages on it. It gave a fun atmosphere to the room.
What do your mornings smell like? And summer? Some little bottles brought all those memories back. The big mystery was what life smells like…
We can get goosebumps for so many reasons, but definitely by feeling through our skin is one of them. A feather tickling stick, a head massager and a back scratcher to use on each other formed our touch station.
Staying true to our idea, we made all the graphic elements analogue, too. The invitations and wine labels were typewritten one by one, as well as the little leaflets that we placed on the tables to explain the evening to our guests.
It was a hugely warm, intimate evening. Thank you to all those who joined us, I hope you felt as comfortable as we did and left with a new appreciation for the analogue in your digital lives.