On the road of life, everyone is a lonely traveler. But on this lonely road, we will always need time to recharge and get our sustenance

Eating well could be the best and simplest way of healing one’s bio-physical and emotional state. While being strained by the vagaries of daily working life, we can satisfy ourselves by eating; through tickling our taste buds, it can be a great joy. Enjoying eating should be given more attention because, often, it determines our mood.

We can enjoy the services and delicious food of a well-designed restaurant with little waiting time. Eating in a restaurant can not only satisfy our appetite but also save us significant time and energy in our fast-paced world.


But why do singles avoid dining out on their own?

When people want to stay alone at home, delivering meals is often the chosen solution. Singles may be self-conscious and they may not want to be seen as “lonely” or, alternately, they could be leery of being in close proximity with others.

How could a public setting become comfortable enough for singles to have their own space? At the same time, how do you leave it open so individuals do not have to cut themselves off from the social world altogether?

Encouraging people to go to public space and eat alone is the first small step. Then, the intention is to redefine the dining experience of a one-person restaurant by creating a more elegant, engaging, and playful sensory experience.


The challenge is to create a lighting design for a comfortable and safe personal eating space in public. It can be applied to any solo dining restaurant for a higher standard of a creative dining experience.

Concept: Remodelling the Experience and the Environment

Date Yourself is a lighting system that includes a set of lights and symbols used for customers. It is designed to be used in a solo dining restaurant; the customer will engage with their individual light through a chosen symbol while entering. It offers a unique experience for dining alone, but also includes an experience that remodels the solo dining experience. It does this, first, by making solo dining more casual, which is fostered by an open environment that caters to the solo time.

Casting Runes: Pick A Stone!

Before entering the restaurant, customers need to first select a symbol with a table number on it as they choose their seats.

Three types of symbols are designed for customers to choose their preferred one. By selecting a coaster that activates the lights, a corresponding individual light can be chosen as your meal pairing, and you can dine together. So, you actively design your dining experience.

Each of the forms is the mini-version of a light that is being displayed on each table. The forms are inspired by the variety of minerals/rocks in nature that are then channeled to suit the urban environment. Elemental materials like stone, marble, and scented wood are used to evoke different symbolic qualities and environments, which the customers choose to fit their personal tastes.

My Underlying Philosophy and Motivations

As our social existence as humans evolves, along with technology, and urban living, it is indispensable that industrial design keeps ahead of the curve, up to date, and engages with the new social, technological, and urban developments. Date Yourself came from thinking about how my industrial design practice can progress with the new world. Then, I wondered how it could also help, assist, and/or cater to a neglected demographic of people; from there, I began to ponder about myself, my classmates, and my friends, realizing that the majority were singles, living and dining on their own for the most part. I also mused about what the consequences were of this atomized form of living, and that led me to social atomism and the theory of anomie. Then, I imagined how rethinking and redesigning an environment would better suit the unique needs and desires of this burgeoning demographic.

It is being designed with them in mind.

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Eve Suen | INDD 2020

Hi, I’m Eve.

I graduated from Emily Carr University in May 2020. I currently reside in Vancouver, BC.

People’s behaviors can be influenced by their relationships with objects. As a product designer, I am convinced that we can have a profound influence on renegotiating and questioning the relationships between people and the current environment. We are able to try to break down the existing structures and habits and elevate people’s current lifestyle to a level where most people would choose to adapt accordingly because one of the excellent aspects of product design is that it can initiate the communication between people and objects.