Why a designer opted for virtual, not natural, escapism in this Russian café

Rostov-on-Don, Russia – Virtual worlds have long promised escape from our own. Russian designer Eduard Eremchuk enables such an escape through the interiors of AND Y, a conceptual Rostov-on-Don fast-food café. Inside the space is a grid of LED screens playing glitch-filtered, meditative videos depicting urban environments, lifestyle and nature. Employing bold, illusory details in this vein was an important part of Eremchuk’s work – they define the atmosphere of the space, which he hopes will enable people to momentarily exit (this) reality.

AND Y’s founder is confident that Eremchuk’s vision will entice many: the location was strategically selected, on a square directly in front of the Don State Public Library, an urban landmark. Universities surround the area and diverse programme of art festivals and exhibitions take place there – it’s no mystery why the interior direction is a clear appeal to cultural crowds.

At 120-sq-m, though, the café may not always be able to immediately accommodate the people who flock to the space for lunch and an Instagram shot. Bright orange, Tetris-inspired furniture helps circumvent these spatial limitations: the majority of pieces in AND Y are transformable, geometrical stools and tables, constructed from perforated metal. A large dining table was made by a local factory – its construction, too, is an illusion. The table top appears to balance on unstable legs, but they are reinforced inside. Small chairs are from DELO, a local furniture brand. Repeating patterns are everywhere from the virtual screens, furniture and grey-tiled flooring of the dining space to the bathroom, which is surfaced in a surprising, high-contrast cow pattern.

Eremchuk is rapidly making his mark on the interior landscape of Rostov-on-Don, where he has worked on a variety of projects. A flower shop and showroom are two in particular that, like AND Y, clearly reflect the young creative’s future-facing aesthetic and methodology.

eduarderemchuk.com

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