Dusk Dining Co.

The night sky has always been a huge influence on me. As a kid, my family would go camping for weeks during the summer and we’d spend hours each night looking up at the stars: watching for satellites, falling stars and the space station. I’ve even witnessed a few meteor showers. I’ll never forget the night in October – years and years ago – when my dad woke me up in the middle of the night and we watched the most incredible meteor shower.

The night sky has also been a huge influence on my work and work space. I love my room at home. It’s painted to look like the stars and provides me with a great peaceful working atmosphere. Because of my history and fascination with the night sky, I’ve decided to base my thesis restaurant theme off of the stars. It’ll be called Dusk Dining Co. – Portland, Maine’s newest upscale restaurant that has a thriving night life, music scene, and delicious gourmet dishes.

My final design materials will include and be featured in the THESIS 2012 EXHIBITION in Maine College of Art:

Restaurant Conceptual Planning
Menus (drink/food)
Table-tent (specials)
Take-home boxes
Wall art
Gift cards
Frozen food packaging
Table & Two Chairs

Pictured in this post are some of my brainstorm “sketches” for a logo – essentially, ones that I digitized. I’m not sure that I’m sold on the logo yet. I’ll be working on the menu next and the logo development will be happening simultaneously.

I’ve also decided to include a piece of writing I did about this subject – taken from a paper I wrote about my influences:

…Another long-time influence of mine has been the night sky. From where I stand on the Earth’s surface, the sky is my ideal of perfection in nature because the actions of each galaxy, star, planet, and moon can exist and function without interrupting the actions of the other., though much of this flawless system happens without my spectation or confirmation. The subject of the stars and the universe inspires my design style to be simple and geometric: where each letter, shape, and color is placed carefully for a thoughtfully composed reason.
When I was younger, my dad used to look up the space station sightings and we’d watch as the small dot of light passed over our heads. I remember one winter when I was ten or eleven; my dad woke me up in the middle of the night and told me to come outside. The sky was filled up with falling stars – I was witnessing my first meteor shower. We laid down on the deck chair cushions for an hour. Not a minute went by without a dozen or so meteors falling across the sky. I will never forget that night.
My whole family became interested in watching for shooting stars and satellites. Every summer growing up, we’d pack our bags and go camping on Moosehead Lake for a week. Once the sun went down and the sky was dark, you could find all the members of my family sitting around the fire in lawn chairs with our heads tilted back, looking at the stars. My grandparents would always be the last to spot the moving satellites. It would take a few minutes of frustration trying to point out the exact spot, “Put your head here and look where I’m pointing.” That really taught me a lot about perspective. No one could see the world exactly as I did. If I happened to spot a shooting star and no one else caught it, I would sigh because of my lonely experience, wanting to share the excitement with someone else.
Almost six years have passed since my family stopped going camping and I have maintained my fascination with the sky and the stars. I never want to see them at a closer distance – I always want to be awed by their mystery and beauty but also the inability to ever touch or be near one.
Here in Portland, it’s harder to see the stars. Every now and then there will be a particularly clear night and the city sky will open up to the universe, but I have never seen the sky the way I have up in Northern Maine.
I used to research the constellations and the stories surrounding their creation. I was never interested in the science behind them – despite being a strong math and science student – I just wanted to hear the stories that different cultures associated with the stars.
Through my interest in the stars, I became curious about horoscopes and how many people have become believers of the readings in the sky. In my early design career, I used to incorporate images of the night sky into a lot of my work. Whereas a lot of my work is now client-driven, I catch myself planning a new star and sky piece every now and then: it could easily become the subject of my work.