What Happens When movements 3 & 4 by The Metrics Design Group

Movement 3 – inspired by spring garden parties and impressionist art


                                            Movement 4 – inspired by jazz music

Dodo have been super busy these past few weeks with live projects and course work but we are happy to say we have now finished our second semester and are about to embark on a long hot summer (we hope).

Something we have wanted to blog about for ages are the latest What Happens When movements. What Happens When is a temporary restaurant installation in NYC that transforms every 30 days or so for nine months, changing its menu, visuals and sounds whilst on a tight budget. Since we last blogged about them they have had their 3rd and 4th movements. These amazing projects delve into the world of imagination and transform the way food is experienced.

We have done a little write up of each movement so bon appetit


Movement 3

The third movement was inspired by spring garden parties and impressionist art. This transformation allowed guests to dine under an 8 m long striped pastel awning, while strings of bulbs lighted the space.


Elle Kunnos de Voss from The Metrics Design Group says the makeover was inspired by Renoir’s ‘The Luncheon of the Boating Party’ painting. They looked to the colouring of the Renoir painting to re-create an intimate yet communal experience reminiscent of 19th century time and place. Impressionistic colours – shrimp pink, dirty mint, butter yellow and washed denim – connected 1880s France with todays NYC.

Chef John Fraser’s menu also reflected classic French cuisine, with a ‘joie de vivre’ approach to Provençal cooking. The sound was also arranged by Ball of Flame Shoot Fire, a Brooklyn-based band. They combined a mix of French music from the 13th through 20th centuries, using old LP records, film and video clips and digitally-warped sound files.

Movement 4 – current movement

The fourth movement is inspired by jazz music, the design explores concepts of rhythm and the architecture that defines music. Using 3000 m of amber string to create volumes within the space, the canopy stretches through out the room and connects the entrance to the back. All the light fixtures are inspired by jazz instruments and made from basic geometric shapes in bright colours and configured around the room at different heights, adding to the visual symphony.


Guests are greeted as they come in by a photo collage in the tiny foyer, meant to hark back to New Orleans, while DJ Diallo Riddle mix’s New Orleans and modern styles each evening. Also the Chef’s (John Fraser) menu is inspired by New Orleans flavours and techniques, making for some spicy and classic concoctions.

Were waiting with eager anticipation for the next movements. It’s such a fantastic concept – it would be brilliant if the project just kept regenerating and moved every 9 months or so to a different site – bringing life back to a neglected area in NYC. The Metrics Design Group also help demonstrated that unique restaurant experiences can be created with good ideas and very little money – a lack of funding has pushed their creativity in creating an interesting restaurant interior with reclaimed furniture and other cost effective decorations. Design does not have to cost the earth and these guys help prove that.

For further information please check out:

What Happens When: www.whathappenswhennyc.com

The Metrics design group: www.metricsdesigngroup.com

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