Savinien Caracostea: Shopping in the Living Room

A collage of furniture and a man arranged to resemble an eclectic living room

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Living Room Event Series

Walking into a department store or grand hotel today can feel nostalgic, as if visiting confused and disheveled remnants of spaces whose golden age is long past, vessels for the dreams of a bygone era.

Today, online shopping and e-tourism are slowly removing the dream from objects and experiences, abstracting them as interfaces and environments devoid of context, shadow, or materiality. The permeance of multinational brands, online reviews, social media trends, and persistent advertising is making traveling and shopping loud, homogenous, and meaningless.

Shops and hotels have long shaped our imaginations, societies, and cultural production. Lautréamont's chance encounter with an umbrella and sewing machine in the shop window of a Parisian arcade and Kracauer's reading of the hotel lobby as a space of performance predate Marcel Duchamp's found objects and the advent of relational aesthetics.

These threads connecting our not-so-distant past to a future still in formation make shopping and hospitality important frontiers for dreaming and speculating about blending physical and virtual sensations and experiences. They can, in fact, reengage with these curatorial roots by thoughtfully combining spatial and gastronomic experimentation — splicing moments and activities like scenes of a nonlinear film to produce new kinds of dynamic content which blur cultural, social, and commercial aspirations.

This talk will focus on the intersection of architecture and food as the foundation for a new kind of authenticity and meaning in a postdigital world, and speculate on the future of retail and hospitality as mediums for their expression.

Savinien Caracostea (B.Arch. '10) is a designer and cultural entrepreneur combining his extensive research around the future of retail and hospitality with expertise in spatial and culinary design to imagine, generate, and activate the commercial and leisure spaces of tomorrow. He has degrees in architecture from Harvard GSD and Cornell University, and a degree in pastry arts from the French Culinary Institute. He has consulted for top universities and international fashion and hospitality groups and has designed cafés, bakeries, corporate headquarters, fashion retail locations, and residential projects in the U.S.

Join us immediately after the event for light refreshments and to meet the presenters.

For more information, email The Living Room or visit The Living Room on Instagram and Facebook.

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