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IDEO’s Winter Dining challenge’s winning designs balance safety without sacrificing the experience!

IDEO launched its very own Chicago-based Winter Dining Challenge during the age of COVID-19. Through this challenge, the city of Chicago aims to stimulate and encourage safe dining from Lake Michigan to Chicago Lawn and everywhere in between. This challenge is 2020 pandemic-specific since alternative dining experiences have been at the forefront of everyone’s minds, as you probably already know. On October 8th, IDEO announced the top designs for Chicago, each of which brought with them a distinct interpretation of safe, yet lively dining experiences.

Cozy Cabins

Inspired by ice fishing huts, Young designed modular, transparent cabins so that dinner guests can enjoy the bustling streets of Chicago while maintaining safety protocol for social distancing. The cabins are identical in size and shape, which makes it easy to reproduce in other cities, fitting easily within average-sized parking spaces. Best yet, the cabins are also simply produced, requiring only wood, corrugated

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Chicago picks winning designs for outdoor dining solutions in winter

Restaurants in Chicago have a few new ways to continue offering outdoor dining, despite the cold winter months ahead. 

On Thursday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that three design entries made it to the final round of the city’s Winter Dining Challenge. 

Those designs will be developed into prototypes and each of the three winners will receive $5,000 in prize money, according to the announcement. 

The winning ideas include “Cozy Cabins,” designed by Atlanta-based firm ASD | SKY, “Block Party,” designed by urban designers Neil Reindel and Florent Mettetal, and “Heated Tables,” designed by graphic designer Ellie Henderson. 


According to the proposal, “Cozy Cabins” are adjoining “cabins” with heated flooring. They also “fit within the footprint of a standard parking space,”  the proposal says.

The “Block Party” design is made up of heated modules that can be

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