BDS Alumnus Featured in Design Museum Boston!


Interview with BAC Alumnus, Stephen Martyak, StudioTYAK

Before his Design Museum Mornings presentation, we sat down with Stephen Martyak, Principal and Founder of StudioTYAK, to discuss what goes into designing for restaurants, the creative process, and the dining experience. Reserve your free ticket for Stephen’s presentation on 6/19 at Red Thread today!

Design Museum Boston: What factors contribute to the atmosphere of a restaurant?

Stephen Martyak: Designing is what atmosphere really is. The physical representation of a restaurant concept is shaped in different ways including layout, circulation of patrons and staff, arrangement and types of seating elements, lighting, and sound, including the levels for music and speaking for patrons. This also translates to staff uniforms…What patrons will be greeted with in terms of servers, hosts, and bartenders as well as the physical place settings on tables.

The Sinclair; Cambridge, MA

DMB: How is designing for restaurants different from designing for other spaces?

SM: Restaurants are really a part of the hospitality industry which is a different animal compared to other types of spaces. The most compelling part of restaurant design is that atmosphere is only one part of experience next to food and service. These three factors are so important to the over all concept and often heavily influence design and atmosphere. It’s not about creating a cool space, it’s about creating a highly efficient experience.

DMB: Is there a particular process to follow when designing for restaurant interiors?

SM: Yes, but each project start in different ways. We start by listening to our client to define and refine their own concept. Once a concept is defined, along with a menu, we internally run as a true design studio. Our process involves lost of sketches on tracing paper, pulling samples, and a lot of Pinterest. No idea is a bad idea, its about trying to come up with best arrangement of ideas to what this concept translates into an appropriate atmosphere. I’ve recently been referred to as a ‘method designer’. I find it necessary to totally immerse myself in the concept that we’re working on. The design process is not compete without a Spotify playlist. We listened to a lot of  Justin Townes Earle when we were working on The Sinclair, Miranda Lambert & Dolly Parton for Loretta’s…we’ll even listen to mariachi if we’re working on a taqueria!

Loretta's Last Call; Boston, MA

DMB: Do you have a favorite aspect of designing for restaurants?

SM: There are actually two aspects, but they both happen in a very close proximity to one another. There’s a moment when the “family” comes together. Projects become a family when the owner, designer, and contractor come together. During a project, we’re busy in the space, curating and setting up. Meanwhile, at this time, the staff is being hired and start showing up. When we have meetings and start to get to know the chef, cooks, manager, bartenders, and hosts, the family grows exponentially. The second aspect is when I get to sit down on opening night and I get to have my first cocktail at the bar. It’s really cool to experience your work.

Reserve your free ticket for Stephen's presentation on 6/19 at Red Thread today!