The Public Tablescape by Risako Arcari

The Cooper Union

Bachelor of Architecture

Project Name: The Public Tablescape

Since the inception of the Open Restaurants Program in June 2020, restaurants have been setting up their outdoor dining spaces in accordance with the guidelines determined by the Department of Transportation in New York City. These dining pavilions have taken over public sidewalks and parking lanes throughout the city at no additional cost, providing a new environment for eating and socializing.

This thesis proposes ways in which the spatial typology of the outdoor dining program can be appropriated at an urban scale. To facilitate cultural engagement, this project will reclaim the parking lane for broader public use to reimagine the outdoor environment as an intersection for social transactions. It is composed of a kit of parts that can be gathered, rearranged, and adapted to provide the necessary framework to support the programmatic needs of each neighborhood.