Shea Links: December

At Shea, we pride ourselves on staying on top of what’s happening in design news. It helps us keep tabs on what’s fresh, inspiring, and happening in the world—and we make a few headlines of our own, too. Here are some recent articles delving into design, experience, and what’s buzzing in our community:

“Form + Function: Makelines” – Restaurant Development + Design:
This piece looks at how the design and functionality of makelines in quick-service restaurants is vital to efficiency and profit, as well as aesthetics. Makelines allow guests to customize their meals and see them made fresh in front of them, emphasizing quality and choice, but it’s all about incorporating a makeline by way of a brand-driven approach to keep design consistent. Sizing and placement are essential, as is creating a system to keep all food at the proper temperature. Equipment can be customized for a specific restaurant’s needs, and creating the proper framing for the makeline is essential to making it fit into a space seamlessly.

“Top Stories of 2020” – VMSD:
VMSD looks back over the year in retail, from the products that boomed to the stories that made the biggest waves, and this piece summarizes the most major moments. “Pivot” was the word of the year for retail, from brick-and-mortar stores creating curbside programs to luxury companies making hand sanitizer, and sales of puzzles and CBD products soared. Major companies closed stores and furloughed employees, retail workers earned their due as frontliners, and Apple and Amazon opened some of their most ambitious retail projects yet.

“Shea-Designed Vivir Named the ‘Ultimate Restaurant Pivot of 2020’” – Shea:
An end-of-year Artful Living piece extolling Popol Vuh’s shift to Vivir, and how Shea’s design has helped make it a success.

“5 Key Drivers for the Workplace of the Future” – Interiors + Sources:
This Work Design piece delves into the role of the office in the workplace paradigm shift that has occurred as a result of COVID-19—while acknowledging that it hasn’t been unexpected, as more and more offices have been shifting to hybrid structures over the last several years. Workplace-strategy experts weigh in on what will be important in offices in the coming years, including considering the purpose of the office, designing spaces that cater to the kind of work being done, pilot programs for bigger real-estate companies, budgeting to stay nimble in terms of design, and thinking for the long-term needs of staff.

“What Fine Dining Might Look Like in the After Times” – Food & Wine:
Food & Wine digs into the world of fine dining and how it may fare post-pandemic. While all restaurants are struggling, fine-dining spots have had a particularly difficult time making adjustments to strive for survival in 2020. Many chefs believe that even as people venture out again, they’ll be looking for comfort food and simplicity, with a rise of the “mid-fine” dining space in lieu of super-high-end restaurants. Many chefs from around the country weigh in on where they see the sector heading in the next decades, as diners and chefs alike grow weary of innovation whiplash. People will be guarded with their dollars and looking for nostalgia, done well, by way of craveable dishes and seasonal food.

“After 2020, Designing for Indoor Air Quality Will Never Be the Same” – Metropolis:
Now that some of the dust around ventilation in the pandemic era has settled, Metropolis offers a look at how airborne pathogens can really be spread and filtered. Simply changing filters or adding denser ones won’t necessarily do the trick (denser filters slow down airflow, requiring a stronger push of air that spikes energy consumption). The best system is still one that refreshes indoor air the most often—by bringing in outdoor air and circulating indoor air as often as possible.

“2021 Trends: Third Places are Redefining the Urban Workplace” – Work Design:
As part of their 2021 series, Work Design delves into downtown office buildings and how they can be reimagined as destinations where workers will want to go daily. The key is providing a space that’s markedly different from home, where in-person human interaction is encouraged—and this can be done easily by way of design. First, office buildings should work into the fabric of the neighborhood: When selecting amenities, the neighborhood offerings should be considered. A welcoming exterior and lobby are important, and “third places” throughout the building are necessary to give workers a spot that’s neither desk nor home to feel like they belong, and can be curated to the building’s tenants.

“Redefining the Dine-In Experience” – Foodservice Equipment and Supplies:
When it comes to dine-in restaurant eating post-pandemic, it’s going to be more vital than ever for restaurants to be able to create a social experience for guests, since that’s what they’ll be most craving. Furthermore, they’ll be looking for easy flow and feelings of comfort and safety. This piece gives a chef’s point of view on what will change going forward. Incorporating bars more into the dining room for flexibility, and simple, clear menus will be the regular. The goal is to achieve good service with minimized contact and exposure between different parts of the restaurant, with covered food delivery to tables and tableside-shaken drinks—right through to touchless payment.

“Shea Projects Sweep 2020 STARR Awards” – Shea:
News on the winners of the 2020 Minnesota Shopping Center Association STARR Awards, including a Shea sweep of categories for Baldamar, The Grocer’s Table, and 801 Chophouse.

“These Will Be the 21 Biggest Food Trends of 2021, According to Chefs” – Food & Wine:
Food & Wine talks to chefs from across the country (including Petite Leon’s Jorge Guzman) about what they see coming in restaurants and dining in the next year. Predictions range from super-special-occasion dining and a rise in heritage and Black foodways to more comfort food and in-home restaurant opportunities. In terms of food, condiments, tofu, mushrooms, and fermentation will find their footing, and operations will shift with more diversity in restaurants, hybrid market-dining models, and ever more local-focused and quick-service projects.