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    The New American Tavern is a client project done by a group of MFA students at the Design for Social Innovation program at the School of Visual A… Read More
    The New American Tavern is a client project done by a group of MFA students at the Design for Social Innovation program at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Team: Tanya, Tiffany, Katja, Stephen, Monica, Wei, Josh, Andrea Read Less
The New American Tavern is a movement to build a new kind of tavern across America, mixing the convivial and the civic with good food, good drink and good conversation. These taverns will serve as a community’s social hub and unofficial civic centre. The New American Tavern is promoting social cohesion, solving the issue of declining civic health and using the idea of a third place to foster social capital. 

The stage at which we entered the project was when our client had been hosting events at various bars in New York as a way of getting the New American Tavern out into the world. The timeline of the tavern was to unfold as events ---> pop-up space --> brick and mortar restaurant.
We were one of the many teams involved, mostly coming from the perspective of systems and design. The project took about nine months and was divided up into three phases. Team: Andrea, Katja, Monica, Stephen, Tanya, Tiffany, Wei, Josh

Client: Todd Schechter

1. Observe & Prototype: 
As a team, we started researching by going to our first New American Tavern event. We arrived, observed, interacted and participated. We saw many opportunities in that first interaction: 
- To create a cohesive identity / experience
- Focus on the first impressions
- Get people talking
We decided to prototype a better experience for the next N.A.T. event. We used communication that would stand out from the clutter of the event space, help people navigate through the experience, and the language was witty, bold and fun. The prototypes were tested at two events - the 3rd presidential debate and the night of the presidential election.
2. Events & Identity: 
We started what was called the New American Tavern Lab, a space where our team could explore the possibilities of a N.A.T. event by hosting smaller versions ourselves. The first one of those was the meeting of the minds, a gathering of volunteer teams and interested parties to explore ideas for the Tavern Experience in order to form a more perfect series of spring events.

3. Wrapping it up: 
After researching for almost 8 months, we needed to define the guidelines of what a ‘New American Tavern’ event might look like. Also, we needed to synthesize all our ideas, references and insights in one place. While food and drink can make for a warm and inviting context, it’s what the guests will take away from the event that will tell the tale of an organization’s success.