All Square is a restaurant in Minneapolis that employs individuals with criminal records who are in need of educational and professional opportunities. The restaurant, converts 900-square-feet into a vibrant, open, community-oriented space for fast-casual dining. It is for a nonprofit organization, whose Restaurant will help to offset the costs for the counseling and education services they provide to their employees.
To give the mission of All Square a physical presence, the design plays with layers of everyday elements – such as frames, mirrors and LED lights – to connect and distinguish people and objects in the restaurant. They create visual relationships in the moments of looking at, in, or through the material interventions.
Within the open floor plan the new insertions organize the room while creating planned and unplanned opportunities for engagement. Setting the stage for an opinion about someone or something by compelling the occupants to look closely at the other side. For example: the frame is an object that both separates and links; the mirrors reflect the subject into a double position; and the neon lights act as the source for continuous painterly effects. Altogether, the positions, framing, depth, and lighting produce a mies en scene with many viewpoints. They construct a framework for seeing objects and things but from another point of view.