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2012 Eat-Drink-Design Awards: Best Temporary Design

Best Temporary Design
Chasing Kitsune by Hassell + Schiavello

Jury comment

Capturing the imagination of the Melbourne food and design community, with its synergy between compact form, a tight selection of Japanese food and drink, and urban extemporaneity, Chasing Kitsune demonstrates that memorable dining experiences can be simple and spontaneous. A key aspect of the project was its raw engagement with the city – from narrow lanes to spacious plazas – adding intensity and conviviality to the urban realm. The use of social networks to reveal Chasing Kitsune’s nightly shifting location reinforced its subversive attitude to orthodox eating experiences. Despite its deliberately restricted material, formal and gastronomic palette, there is a great degree of ingenuity, adaptability and accessibility in the design. With its evocation of both traditional and contemporary Japanese aesthetics, Chasing Kitsune achieves a remarkably rich conversation between culture, the city and the senses.

Design statement

Chasing Kitsune joined the food truck phenomenon for the 2011 State of Design Festival and redefined it by creating a mobile pop-up restaurant that adapted to its landscape. Kitsune is a mythical fox in Japanese culture that shape- shifts and only reveals its true form in shadow or reflection. The “fox” arrived at a site and transformed into a restaurant complete with a kitchen, point of sale and plywood box seating. A reflective canopy extended out, aligning the lighting with the workspace and providing shelter. The truck operated at night with the locations revealed through social networking sites and via the festival’s iPhone application. Once people “found the fox,” delicious Japanese food was on offer.

Chasing Kitsune
Various locations
Melbourne Vic 3000


Design practice
Hassell Melbourne
Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Rebecca Trenorden, Jacqui Low, Cara Gabriel, Rob Harper, Angie Hanke, Alex Hopkins
Site details
Location Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Number of stories 1
Site type Mobile
Type Restaurants
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2011
Website http://www.hassellstudio.com/en/cms-projects/detail/chasing-kitsune/



Published online: 24 Oct 2012
Images: Bonnie Savage


Artichoke, December 2012

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