Well this week has delivered two big surprises. The first in the form of a broken elbow, the second – being asked to design the interiors of a new restaurant in Africa!
Let me give you the background. I was recently approached by a friend who co-founded an amazing charity called Kick4Life. Kick4life operates in Lesotho (pronounced Le-soo-too), an African country land-locked by South Africa. Lesotho is severely afflicted by HIV/AIDS and recent figures suggest 50% of women under 40 are infected. Kick4life have been delivering a range of projects for orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho for the past 7 years including HIV prevention, HIV testing, life-skills development, mentoring, support towards education and employment.
Recently Kick4Life announced they will be building a restaurant in Lesotho as a way of providing employment and transferable skills to graduates of their programs and asked me to design the interiors. So, I wanted to share this journey with you and get your input along the way! The design needs to be in keeping with Lesotho culture, so to give you some visual references here are two examples of iconic Lesotho design:
Here is the brief I have been given:
- The restaurant will be limited to 36-40 people inside.
- It should be a high-end eatery.
- The design should be greatly influenced by Lesotho culture.
- Materials used should be recycled/re-used/easily-accessible in Lesotho.
- The design should be in line with the restaurant’s “organic” nature.
- An art-space should be incorporated to promote local artists on a rotating basis.
- There will be outdoor seating available in the milder months, which will require shading.
- The restaurant will be called “No.7”
- Since it is a charity, expense should be kept to a bare minimum.
No. 7 needs to be up and operating in the first quarter of 2013, which doesn’t leave me a lot of time! I am currently putting together an initial design concept which I will share with you all in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I would love to hear any of your ideas!