Zen and the Art of Immersive Dining


From the makers of teamLab Future Park, last year’s immersive indoor playground installed at the Mall of Georgia, comes a new dining experience specifically and meticulously designed for eight guests at a time in Tokyo’s Sagaya restaurant. This new digital installation, and our Installation of the Week, evolves as if the wait staff has personally foraged for all of the fresh ingredients, and the multi-sensory imagery is customized for each course.  

It’s been dubbed Worlds Unleashed and then Connecting because, as the teamLab collective has explained,The scenic world contained within the dish is unleashed, unfolding onto the table and into the surrounding space. The worlds unleashed from each dish connect in the external space creating a new larger world. The worlds unleashed are affected by the other dishes on the table.”

Worlds Unleashed and then Connecting These “unleashed worlds” can also be influenced by the physical actions of any one of the eight participants. For instance, a motionless diner may invite a digital butterfly to perch on their hand before it takes flight based on a sudden movement. And in true Japanese fashion, time and attention have been spent on the tiniest of details from the choice of ceramic plate to the decorative edible arrangement as well as the countless flower petals floating through diners’ line of sight. The effect is that nourishing oneself becomes a slow, deliberate and Zen-like affair.

Check out the video below to see and hear how this is all accompanied by nature audio including the gentle sound of water falling and birds chirping.  In other words, umami is no longer the only term for a savory, but otherwise indescribable, x-factor in Japanese dining.

About Author

Jason Kushner is a videographer, editor, writer and filmmaker living in the Greater Atlanta Area. With an educational background combining film and journalism, Kushner has shot video and written for a myriad of publications and multimedia projects including Creative Loafing Tampa, TBO.com, Starline Films and Digital Signage Connection. His 2009 documentary American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee became an Official Selection at 12 international film festivals, won Best Documentary at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival and a John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival.  In 2015, he became Digital Media Editor for Digital Signage Expo, LightShow West and LED Specifier Summit and has since become Digital Content Manager for those shows’ parent company, Exponation.

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