FYI Bite Club
On behalf of FYI network for SXSW Interactive, the agency CIVIC dreamed of revamping a ballroom in Austin’s historic Driskill Hotel into a sophisticated foodie oasis and desired a focal installation for the space. Together we conceived a food lettering mural to display free nourishment for visitors that would inspire tasteful guest interaction.
Danielle was originally approached about a tabletop installation; in surveying the room’s limited size, she suggested an ambitious food type mural, the first of its kind, to grace the space. The task was to tackle the phrase Feed Your Imagination, one of the network’s indulgent taglines, as to encourage viewer interaction from both near and far. Chosen items were encouraged to reflect local Austin flavors and mirror featured rotating fare.
Nashville event builders, MadeFirst, not only constructed the wall according to Danielle’s design plans but completed the seemingly impossible task of building and installing the entire room with masterful skill and little sleep in less than 24 hours. Together we tweaked a few shelves and pegs to reflect variances in the size of ingredients. The eleven characters in Imagination constricted the width of the letterforms and dictated the need for a sans serif treatment.
We decided to plant fresh herbs in the wall to represent the featured tacos, quesos, and bloody marys. Hand cut and mounted floral foam were screwed to the wall. The doughnuts were stacked carefully to retain their visual appeal while generously filling in the letterform. Doughnut holes supplemented any gaps or small spaces within the A’s.
CIVIC requested a smaller bar sign for subtle station identification that tied in various greenery used in mixology. Floral foam was hand cut and screwed into a pre-painted board to ground mint, lavender, basil, celery, jalapeños, tomatillos, and artichokes into the slab, san serif logo.
Besides serving as a focal point, the food type wall was used as a backdrop for FYI’s food and travel series, Food Porn. Visitors indulged in various salsas, doughnuts, cornbreads, and cupcakes during filming while judges chose an outstanding restauranteur’s cheesy winner for the Quesoff.
- Design & Lettering: Danielle Evans
- Event Management & Design: Ellen Basille, Rachel Pulmeroy, Sarah Emery
- Construction: MadeFirst
- Photography: Daniel Cavazos, Robin Marchant, Danielle Evans
- Producer: Erik Attkisson