What makes this scene so spectacular? It’s an event that only happens when the creators decide it happens. It’s for the truly devoted fans who wait and dream about this night with long-awaited anticipation. It’s singularly focused in its execution: congee with a twist. The owners of Kraken Congee were recently scouted on facebook by CNBC for a reality show where contestants like the Kraken crew prove why they are worthy of funding for a brick and mortar. Owner Garrett Doughty explains, “it’s a chance for us to go from our one night a month pop-up to maybe making it into a real space and venue. That was the biggest draw for why we wanted to go.”
The final end goal and physical space need is a restaurant, known as the ‘Brick and Mortar’ part of the operation. This is not an architectural challenge and not out of the ordinary calling for most firms devoted to designing eateries. The part I am interested in is the beginning. Should architecture provide a shell for a pop-up, or does it lose its appeal because it is contrived? Is the beauty and success of a pop-up the mystery and unknown – meaning the place must be unknown as well? Or unexpected? Could architecture then act like a collapsable shell? Or one that is not formulaic other than the deconstruct-ability for temporary status and using humanitarian architecture as precedence? The whole system functions off eliminating the middle man and it’s between an established restaurant and a bourgeoning chef – possibly from a previously established friendship or a general understanding of hardships that come with trying to build a passionate career in the food service industry. It’s a mentorship of sorts, but without the apprenticeship. Instead, one is using the other’s resources – a working, restaurant quality kitchen and dining room. Does this eliminate the architect from the equation?