We’ve been singling out restaurants with recession-defying design over the last few months, and today the James Beard Foundation named several of those spots as design award nominees for their slick spaces and gorgeous graphics. Among the white tablecloth nods is one down-home coup: Nominee PieLab is a space created by design-for-good collective Project M in Greensboro, Alabama, whose mission to give neighbors in the economically-devastated town a neutral place to come together over pie. PieLab’s new location (above) was designed by a team of mostly graphic designers and built with a group of YouthBuild volunteers with reclaimed materials from the neighborhood.
Another nominee is architect Andre Kikoski for his work at The Wright, the new restaurant in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim we highlighted at its opening. Kikoski used Wright’s geometric shapes as a guide to create the sculptural tables and counters throughout the space.
Evan Douglis Studio was the third nominee in the architecture category with their work for Choice Market‘s newest Dumbo location in Brooklyn. According to The Architect’s Newspaper, Douglis created the swirling ceiling panels out of urethane, which were cast in molds made by a 3-D printer.
In the graphics division we have Korn Design’s (what a name!) festive Catalonia-in-Chicago work for Mercat a la Planxa and Steven Solomon’s pop-art branding for the New York wine bar Terroir. The graphics designed by Pandiscio Co. at the High Line-straddling Standard Grill in New York also got a nod, but when it comes to graphic impressions the hotel is perhaps most famous for its Dante’s inferno-like video collage. The winners will be announced in a ceremony in May.