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International Arts Movement Supper

Pilot Projects partnered with the International Arts Movement to bring “Supper: A Gathering at the Exquisite Trough” to fruition. “Supper” was essentially that -- a dinner -- but we wanted to deliver the meal in a way that both broke routine and heightened everyone's sense of sharing and participation. 

We were especially excited about this project because in addition to exquisite local food and wine, it prompted us to experiment with spatial choreography.

As with any supper, the main focus is always the food. The Pixie and the Scout's custom menu used local ingredients to celebrate sustainable eating and they made it taste and look spectacular. Dishes heaped with seasonal vegetables, lamb, simple grains, fruits, and artisanal cheese were served family-style.

Banquets in which everyone waits for a server to bring plates and remove them can be alienating; this way, we hoped, participants could interact more with one another -- not to mention reach for seconds.

How the space was used was also important. We chose narrow tables, so that people would literally be closer together. How to fit all the food, place settings, water and wine glasses on such narrow tables? Out of that dilemma the idea for a trough was born. By elevating the food onto a center platform, we increased table real estate. The trough also allowed for the meal to be presented dramatically -- literally descending from above.

The next step was to design troughs with the capacity to carry the weight of several serving plates, span 12', and be easy to carry and present over the heads of diners while still being inexpensive to manufacture locally. 

The troughs were delivered to each table by a troup of eight carriers as live piano music played in the background. Placed on the table, the troughs rested upon Mason jars filled with twinkling lights and created an architectural anchor at guests' chest level. Outside the windows, the lights of Manhattan's Upper West Side mirrored the room's glow. 

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