1,000 COOL THINGS ABOUT VANCOUVER | The Social Seating Experiment At Timbertrain

November 15, 2016.

img_5973

1,000 Cool Things About Vancouver is a pretty self-explanatory Scout column that gives equal weight to the common attributes and obscure intangibles that make our city well worth living in. Getting to a thousand is a pretty ambitious goal, but we believe in our city and we’re already well under way…

———————————————–

by Andrew Morrison | I know this might come as a shock to some, but coffee-loving people equipped with laptops really enjoy working in cafes. Some say it’s a consequence of free wifi, others argue it foretells a dystopian, anti-social future wherein we don’t talk to one another even in what used to be the most social of places. Either way, there’s no escaping the truth: even the very best cafes are macked these days. One way to try and slow the advance of the phenomenon is through design. This has been easy enough to spot locally in the recent preponderance of communal tables, but the biggest swing at bat to date in this regard is hidden in plain sight at Timbertrain Coffee Roasters on West Cordova St. in Gastown.

sketch-figures-3000x677This is where Simcic & Uhrich Arhictects attempted an experiment of sorts when they designed it back in 2013. They deliberately fiddled with the concept of the “booth” by making them the sole access points to a series of little deuces lined up against the wall. While the design doesn’t stop guests from using their laptops or smartphones, many of them nevertheless have to interact with one another in order to get to and from their seats. Marko Simcic confirmed my suspicions by telephone. “Part of it was technical; we had to come up with seats for sixteen people. But there was a social intent that drove the design too,” he explained. They considered communal tables and other configurations for Timbertrain, ultimately coming up with one that affords guest to be “alone and together” at the same time. I know from my own experience that it subtly squeezes even the most focused workers into (at least) acknowledging the existence of their table mates, even steering some to – gasp – actual conversation (true story). It might seem awkward to some at first, but it’s not in the least bit uncomfortable. Try it out the next time you’re in Gastown. It’s a pretty unique arrangement, and one worth singling out for celebration.

img_5967

THE NEXT COOL THING

#ScoutThis

There are no comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Should Know Local histories and mysteries...

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The ‘Easter Be-In’ That Occurred In Vancouver 50 Years Ago

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The ‘Easter Be-In’ That Occurred In Vancouver 50 Years Ago

by Christine Hagemoen | Yesterday - Sunday, March 26th, 2017 - marked the 50th anniversary of the first “Be-In” held in Vancouver. The event marked a huge… more 

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The Piece Of Vancouver History That Just Sold For A Song

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The Piece Of Vancouver History That Just Sold For A Song

by Christine Hagemoen | Vancouver’s oldest wood-frame commercial structure - the subject of a famous Fred Herzog photograph (below, then and now) - is… more 

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About Groundbreaking Eleanor Collins, The City’s ‘First Lady Of Jazz’

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About Groundbreaking Eleanor Collins, The City’s ‘First Lady Of Jazz’

by Christine Hagemoen | I think everyone in Vancouver should know about Eleanor Collins. Some of you may already know and admire the glorious singer, but I… more 

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The ‘Bottle Dash’ Houses That Still Glitter In The Vancouver Sun

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The ‘Bottle Dash’ Houses That Still Glitter In The Vancouver Sun

by Christine Hagemoen | You have passed them a thousand times and not even noticed. Then one sunny winter day a glint of light catches your eye. Why is that… more 

YOU SHOULD KNOW | Our City Streets Were Once Paved With These Little Wooden Blocks

YOU SHOULD KNOW | Our City Streets Were Once Paved With These Little Wooden Blocks

by Christine Hagemoen | Right beside the historic 106-year-old Patricia Hotel on the Downtown Eastside lies a remnant of Vancouver’s “lumber town” past… more 

YOU SHOULD KNOW | The Explanation Behind The Odd Granite Obelisks Of Mount Pleasant

YOU SHOULD KNOW | The Explanation Behind The Odd Granite Obelisks Of Mount Pleasant

by Christine Hagemoen | The first time I noticed the odd little granite obelisk pictured above on the corner of E 11th and Ontario was just over a year ago… more 

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The 100 Year Old Diapering Of Architects Townsend + Townsend

YOU SHOULD KNOW | About The 100 Year Old Diapering Of Architects Townsend + Townsend

by Christine Hagemoen | Have you ever noticed some older brick buildings around town that feature a distinctive diamond shaped pattern in the brickwork? The… more 

FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BRIEF #461 | ‘War Authority’ Reminds Us Of Pandora’s Open Box

FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BRIEF #461 | ‘War Authority’ Reminds Us Of Pandora’s Open Box

War Authority is a short documentary film that examines the 2001 "Authorization for the Use of Military Force" (AUMF) which gave the US President "almost… more 

The scout Community

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters & Lucky’s Doughnuts Acorn Agrius Ai & Om Alibi Room Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio Anh and Chi AnnaLena Araxi Arbor Ask For Luigi Au Comptoir Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Bar Oso Bauhaus Beach Bay Café & Patio Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe Bel Café Bestie Bishop’s Bistro Pastis Bistro Wagon Rouge Bittered Sling Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Bottleneck Bufala Burdock & Co. Cabrito Cacao Cadeaux Bakery Café Medina Caffè Artigiano Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. Campagnolo Campagnolo ROMA Cartems Donuterie Chambar Chefs’ Table Society of BC Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie  Chicha Chill Winston ChocolaTas Chocolate Arts Cibo Trattoria Cinara CinCin Ristorante + Bar Cioffi’s Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill Cocktails & Canapes Catering + Events Cook Culture Culinary Capers Catering & Special Events Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen District Brasserie Dixie’s Authentic Texas BBQ Earnest Ice Cream East Van Roasters Cafe Edible Canada Elementa Espana Fable Fanny Bay Farmer’s Apprentice Fat Mao Fernwood Coffee Company Field & Social Forage Giovane Cafe + Eatery Gotham Steakhouse & Bar Grain Granville Island Grapes & Soda Greenhorn Espresso Bar Gyoza Bar Hart House Restaurant Harvest Community Foods Hawksworth Restaurant Heirloom Heritage Asian Eatery Homer Street Cafe & Bar Hy’s Steakhouse Irish Heather Jamjar JJ Bean Joy Road Catering Juice Truck Juke Fried Chicken Juniper Keefer Bar Kin Kao Kissa Tanto Knifewear Kozakura Kuma Tofino L’Abattoir La Buca La Mezcaleria La Pentola La Quercia La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop Les Amis du Fromage Lions Pub, The Liquidity Bistro Little District Lobby Lounge + RawBar Longtail Kitchen Made By Pacific Maenam Mamie Taylor’s MARKET by Jean-Georges Matchstick Coffee Roasters Meinhardt Fine Foods Miku Restaurant Milano Coffee Minami Miradoro Mission Mister Mogiana Coffee Mosquito Nero Belgian Waffle Bar Nicli Antica Pizzeria Nightingale Nomad Nook Nuba Oakwood Canadian Bistro OLO OPUS Bar Osteria Savio Volpe Oyama Sausage Co. Pallet Coffee Roasters Pat’s Pub & BrewHouse Pidgin Pied-à-Terre Pizzeria Farina Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, The Pourhouse Railtown Cafe Railtown Catering Rain Or Shine Ice Cream Red Wagon, The Revolver Coffee Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. Royal Dinette Sai Woo Salt Tasting Room Savoury Chef Shaughnessy Restaurant Shebeen Whisk(e)y House Shelter Shika Provisions Siena Six Acres Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe Sorella Stable House, The Tableau Bar Bistro Tacofino Tavola Terra Breads Thierry Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie Timber Timbertrain Coffee Roasters Torafuku Tractor Foods Truffles Fine Foods Two Rivers Specialty Meats UBC Farm Uncommon Cafe, The Urban Digs Farm Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana Vij’s Restaurant Virtuous Pie West Restaurant Wildebeest Wolf In The Fog YEW seafood

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was .