Airbnb, the disruptive hospitality service created by two designers that connects travelers and potential homestay hosts, has always been a brand built on hospitality and shared connections. At this year’s Design Miami/, the brand is partnering with Mexico City-based Pedro&Juana for Sobremesa, an interactive installation that explores the fluidity of indoor and outdoor space and how objects co-habitate with their users.
The concept of sobremesa is a uniquely Mexican one with no exact English translation. Loosely, it describes the “indeterminate amount of time people spend together lingering around a table after a meal to share in casual conversation.” As Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo, co-founder of Pedro&Juana explained, “A lot of our work examines social spaces and how individuals interact with the built environment.” During Design Miami/, guests are invited to participate in an act of co-creation through a series of hosted “sobremesas”—meals, musical performances, cocktails and other curated events—and a unique tiling project. With each colorful tile, guests can help “build” the space by permanently transforming the structure in a creative collaboration.
Pedro&Juana’s design ethos is steeped in the textures of domestic interiors, often exploring the role of food and cooking within that context. For the opening weekend of Museo Jumex in 2011, the duo created the Hellmut Table, a table/bench, that along with a caja china oven, a roated piglet and info boards transformed a lecture hall into a conversation around “What is the role of the contemporary museum?” Their Cocina DS project for the Dorothea Schlueter Galerie in 2013 shipped a kitchenette from Merida, Mexico to the gallery space in Hamburg, Germany and utilized the crate as part of the installation. And at the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015, Pedro&Juana installed Randolph Square inside the Chicago Cultural Center offering free wifi and the intimacy of a personal living room in the midst of a public forum. Sobremesa continues to explore the duality of themes like public/private, indoors/outdoors and fixed/dynamic objects in their installation for Airbnb.
Airbnb has been supporting a series of interesting design interventions at tentpole design events. Last April in Milan, the company teamed up with design curator and Milan native Ambra Medda to present Makers & Bakers at Rossana Orlandi’s Marta restaurant. At London Design Festival 2014, the company worked with Jasper Morrison, Ilse Crawford, Raw Edges and Patternity to explore notions of what makes a house a home in A Place Called Home in Trafalgar Square.
Sobremesa will be on view at Design Miami/ November 30-December 4, 2016.