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Thursday, May 11, 2017

The multisensory dining experience

By Kiran Ghosh
Photography: Courtesy Sagaya
Read Time: 1 min 30 secs
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teamLab elevates the dining affair at SAGAYA to a multi-sensory experience starring nature and its bounty. It exemplifies the ties between flora, fauna and food craving with two forms of scientific-art, cooking and design.

If one ever finds themselves in Ginza, Tokyo with a desire for ethnic seasonal food, SAGAYA is the place to be explored. The intensity of immaculately-dressed dishes served, is an experience that transcends taste and palette, whilst striving to achieve unprecedented forms to satiate the ‘five senses and five seasons’. Hence, when teamLab was asked to design a special room “Tsukihana” (which translates to “something that is appreciated or favoured”) for such special food, they planned to engage the guest in a multisensory dining experience and elevate the taste of their star dishes with the help of projections, digital sensors and sound.


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In a dark room, a table for eight is set. All that is visible are the Arita-yaki and Karatsu-yaki porcelain tableware containing a specialized Saga beef dish. As one sits at the table, the room begins to unfold. Screens surrounding the dining table light up with scenic prompts of different seasons complimenting the food served. Suddenly there are birds and butterflies that might perch on the table or one’s hand. The springing of trees and fauna from the dish weaves a world, recounting the story of each ingredient and the season in which it grows.
 
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The sizes, shapes and interactions of the objects released into the space are affected by the worlds unleashed by other dishes on the table, creating a world of constant change. These unleashed worlds are also affected by the behaviour of the diners. If you are still, a tiny bird might alight on your hand; if you move suddenly, it might fly away.
 
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With the help of interactive technology, teamLab has knit the simple act of eating into a surreal experience of story-telling through projections and screens, which do not forget to put the spotlight on the seasonal ingredients used.  The restaurant’s menu and presentation changes every month for the 12-course meal, to match the seasons.
 
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Having opened on April 23, 2017, reservations are accepted for only 8 guests per day.  

Fact File:
Designer:  teamLab
Restaurant: SAGAYA
Location: Ginza, Tokyo

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