Sustenance Restaurant Design

How can a restaurant’s design approach parallel its food philosophy?


Sustenance is a concept for a restaurant that makes local food for local people. Design elements are kept to a minimum to put the food in the spotlight. Many aspects of the restaurant’s design consider the environmental and social impact of the food and materials used.


Daily menus are printed on odd lots, extra paper leftover from other jobs printers have produced, in a way that results in no paper waste. The menu behind the counter lives on white boards that can be modified or removed depending on the needs of the restaurant throughout the day.

Sustenance’s market program allows for an overabundance of any food to be preserved and sold jammed, pickled, or dried. The market also sells seed paper with seeds from the Sustenance’s on-site garden and instructions on how to care for and what to do with the plants in each piece of seed paper.

Takeout waste is reduced through an optional tiffin system. To-go orders have the choice to put down a deposit for a tiffin and the food will be packed in reusable stainless steel containers. The tiffin can be returned to refund the deposit, or exchanged for a fresh one with future takeout orders.

In addition to providing information about the restaurant, Sustenance’s website also has a recipe database that suggests seasonal recipes. The recipes can be filtered based on ingredients, allergies, dietary preferences, and cooking methods.

Role: Self Initiated