Mini Meet

Distanced Dinners

Studio H, in collaboration with Tiny Empire and Hendrik Works, is excited to share their ongoing research project MINI MEET, a micro, two-day pop-up experience held at Tiny Empire, a co-working space in Cape Town. MINI MEET is a real-life exhibition and demonstration where clients and the public will is invited to experience some of the strategies Studio H has designed for an altered, post-coronavirus landscape. To this end, MINI MEET encourages social interaction while maintaining a safe social distance, using food and eating tools to measure and implement a safe and interactive social experience.

Visitors to MINI MEET can book an hour-long slot for two people in an isolated space, that is sanitised and dedicated to small meet ups. These meets ups can be with clients, friends or family members who may not have seen each other in person for nearly three months. Visitors will be served food items designed with social distancing in mind. Food is eaten and served with no external human interaction, using oversized, 1,5 m-long cutlery sets designed specifically for this micro experience.

 Those opting in also get to wear oversized 1,5 m-long gloves that can be used to make up for sensory deprivation suffered during lockdown. “Never before have we focused more on our hands by washing and sanitising them all the time, without being allowed to touch anything. We wanted to design an experience that could make up for lost time by overstimulating the sense of touch,” says Hendrik Coetzee, a design researcher based in The Netherlands.”

"These experiences can be highly intimate and hyper-personalised."

In their recent report titled, Reimagining Our Food Future, Studio H deemed these micro experiences a major trend and solution for the events industry going forward: “There may still be generalised fear around mass gatherings, as we progress to less strict lockdown levels, so guest lists for events will be smaller and we will celebrate with a select few. Instead of throwing big events, brands are more likely to host a series of mini-experiences that are super bespoke and where every detail is considered.  These experiences can be highly intimate and hyper-personalised, sometimes just for one or two persons, as in the case with MINI MEET. Venues will be understated and small with a focus on authenticity and honesty.” says Studio H founder Hannerie Visser.

“The natural progression from the report for us was to design an installation and experience to show our solutions and strategies in action. This led to the MINI MEET concept, which is a collaboration with some of Studio H’s oldest and dearest friends in the industry.”

The MINI MEET project features the following collaborators:

– Hendrik Works, artist and design researcher based in The Netherlands
– Tiny Empire, the co-working space in Cape Town that Studio H calls home
– Jason Bakery, a brother-and-sister-owned artisan bakery in Cape Town
– Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, Cape Town’s ethical butcher
– HOICK, our go-to graphic design studio
– Marolize Southwood, fine artist and maker based in Cape Town

The MINI MEET menu includes a choice of the following social distancing meals:

1x 1,5m Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants pasture-reared beef boerie on Jason Bakery hotdog roll with homemade ketchup

2 x 750 mm Jason Bakery cookies

Each 1,5m snack is served with bottomless drinks poured handsfree from a foot pedal-operated Tippy Tap, which will activate a jukebox when you pour your drink.

We are very excited that MINI MEET’s next stop is The Netherlands where we will continue researching and documenting the social behaviour of social distancing and grow our open-source social distancing cutlery manual. Visitors get to contribute their ideas to the manual, which will be available for download on Studio H’s website.


Article by Hannerie Visser, founder of Studio H and our Culture, Food & Design correspondent.