Hato’s new website for Sketch defies the tropes of food styling and interiors shots so often seen in culinary culture, and instead presents an interactive, abstract digital experience of the space. On the site, each of the characterful dining rooms has been translated into avatars, spinning globes floating in an undefined, theoretical digital space that resembles a 3D version of a blank piece of graph paper.
It’s by clicking on each form that you reach the various games representing each space – from food Jenga to creating your own neon sign, making psychedelic patterns or designing a deep-pile grassy rug – as well as the booking system, where each avatar morphs according to the details of the reservation. Of the creative approach to table bookings, Ken Kirton says: “It’s a restaurant, so the booking process is at the heart of the site. Every table has a totally unique avatar, which takes shape according to the time, date and party number. You get sent a link to it with your table booking, and we’ll soon be adding a form of API that’ll connect the details of your order to the avatar, so it’ll morph and collect memories according to your dinner.”
Of the project, Ken says: “We wanted to encourage both people who are familiar with Sketch, and those who aren’t to engage with the site. There will be recognisable elements and parts that let your imagination create the space, building an individual impression of its constituent parts.” The site is part of a wider project, where Hato and Sketch are rethinking its digital engagement, and developing an augmented reality app, which will launch later this year. Ken says: “It’s an important time for brands and institutions to engage with digital space. There’s a growing awareness of the responsibility to engage with customers, and digital being such a user-driven space presents a great opportunity to do more than say, ‘this is what we do’. The team at Sketch have really engaged with interactivity, and have a positive outlook on the potentials of what can be achieved through creativity and learning through play. It’s been a great opportunity to create experiences that can reach a wider group of people.”
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