Thinking Outside The Cardboard Box

Photography by Jashan Sippy

Create. Consume. Change.

Our Food & Space correspondent Jashan Sippy visited the new dining space "Cardboard" in Mumbai for us. From a sustainable material concept to locally sourced ingredients, "Cardboard" seems to be a welcome alternative, offering a brighter outlook for food futures.

Cardboard recently opened its doors in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex. The design of the food, as well as the space, work in sinuous harmony. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy neighborhood, Cardboard transports you to peace on arrival. The cooling comfort of the earthy tones make you settle in almost immediately. A wide variation of seating arrangements, privacy and nooks and corners allow you to pick what works best for your mood. A solo reading session, some remote work, a quiet coffee date or perhaps loud banter at the open communal table.

Photography by Jashan Sippy

Photography by Jashan Sippy

The curvy, sculptural forms manufactured using CNC technique bring the quiet, unassuming material to renewed life. You almost immediately want to run your fingers along every layer of the beautiful installation designed by architect Nuru Karim of NUDES. Cardboard has been used in every way you can imagine – horizontally, vertically, along its edge, facing, curved, linear and angled. It has been treated with a special surface coating that makes it non-staining, waterproof and easy to clean.

The menu design reflects the monochromatic layers and rhythmic, therapeutic patterns in the space. Freshly pressed juices are listed in order of their density, from thin to thick, just like the layers of cardboard unfold through the space. There are plenty of vegan options and a large selection of coffees made with two kinds of beans – Pandrimalai and Velakarai. The beans are sourced from plantations in South India and are freshly roasted especially for Cardboard.

The motto of Cardboard is “Create. Consume. Change.” And the design and food team have strived to live up to it. It’s interesting how a natural, recycled material such as cardboard, when used in spatial design, influences a consumers’ perception of the food they are about to consume. Subconsciously, the consumer is led to believe that the produce they are about to consume is also all-natural, unadulterated and has little effect on the environment. This demonstrates the inextricable link between food and design. Could we be on to something big here?

We need more spaces like cardboard. Honest, recyclable, biodegradable and memorable.


This article was written by our Food & Space correspondent Jashan Sippy from Sugar and Space.