The film-and-TV craze for the moon landing is making its way to restaurants

Kiev – It’s been a landmark 50 years since the first moonwalk and now, particularly at a time when the world’s top government shows a penchant for science denial, film and TV are obsessed with the lunar topic. Damien Chazelle’s First Man came out late last year, followed by the new Apollo 11 documentary, made with superb 70-mm colour footage, and the what-if plot of Apple TV Plus’ upcoming original series, For All Mankind.

Interior design is following suit with the screen trend: in Kiev, space craze is manifesting itself through the locally beloved figure of the cosmonaut. Just ask Balbek Bureau, the studio behind the new Foodoo restaurant.

The star of the fast-casual diner is a 2.5-metre-high polyester sculpture of a space walker. The rest of the environment features some nods to elements that don’t respond to gravity as expected. For example, there’s a row of cantilever seats on one corner that seem suspended in thin air and appear far too light to hold an adult – and yet, thanks to detailed ergonomic studies by the Balbek team, the embrace is as strong as it is comfortable. Or take a look at the joints where the walls meet the floor: by using a shadow seam with a hidden aluminium profile, they turned marmoleum into malleable putty. The moon-like lamps are framed, in black, by what looks like their own orbit. There are even references to the Soyuz, a manned Soviet spacecraft series born in the 1960s, in the wall decor.

Spatial design can directly expose a younger audience to the hopes and fears of those who came before them

But why now? To Balbek’s Yevheniia Ryzhak, it has to do with a generational turnover, as pop culture – and on a smaller scale, spatial design – can directly expose a younger audience to the hopes and fears of those who came before them. ‘So that’s why at Foodoo you have the cosmonaut, a good protagonist that every boy and girl [from the 1960s] wanted to become when they grew up,’ she explained about the visual transfer of historical information. ‘That’s something similar to what I am experiencing with the Chernobyl series from HBO. I was born here in Ukraine six years after the real thing happened, but after watching all five episodes, I was overwhelmed with the level and the consequences of the disaster.’

So, as with Foodoo’s case, when the design of spaces turns towards the design of space, there is usually a much larger narrative behind it.

balbek.com

Location Knyazhyi Zaton St, 21, Kiev

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