Design Corps

Small Business Reopening Network

The Design Corps is a network of volunteers assisting restaurants’ design-related needs that have arisen due to the COVID-19 crisis. Restaurants can sign up to receive a free consultation from a design professional who can help answer questions about improving dining area, space layout, and adapting to the guidelines.

Restaurants

Below are profiles of small businesses that are seeking a consultation to help improve their space in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. Restaurant owners can reach out directly to the designers listed in the section below. Please note, the program offering includes a free consultation with a design professional. Materials and construction costs are not included.
Are you a design professional interested in assisting restaurants improve their dining spaces? As a Design Corps member, you or your firm will engage with restaurant(s) by providing a free consultation to provide guidance to current dining regulations and find solutions to Covid-related design challenges. Please note that materials and construction costs are not part of the program offering. Please see our program guidelines above to learn more about the volunteer role. Get started by creating an account and sharing your information through the “submit” button below. Restaurants can reach out to the design professionals, however, we encourage the volunteers to initiate the consultation with restaurants. Once your application is approved, please return to the homepage to see restaurants seeking design services.
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Designers

Browse the list of design volunteers who are members of the Design Corps. Interested in assisting restaruants? Designers, apply to be part of the network below.
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Testimonials

Browse successful projects implemented for small businesses that have been a product of Design Corps volunteers’ dedicated work.

Pro Thai

Soluri Architecture Design & Development

Construction of our first pro-bono Design Corps project has been completed – the outdoor dining build-out for Pro Thai in East Harlem. The completed project is truly the result of a team effort and a great example of how the architecture, design and construction industries are coming together to help small businesses survive during this pandemic – epitomizing the goals and ideals of the Design Corps. The key challenge at Pro Thai was the steep hill it is located on that complicated the design and detailing of their outdoor dining setup. To overcome this challenge, we had to innovate and expand on the basic DOT guidelines to incorporate a build-out that allowed handicap accessibility while complying with the other requirements of NYC’s Outdoor Dining program. Another key challenge was to keep the design and detailing simple to keep costs down. This goal was achieved through teamwork – since wood frame construction is not common within NYC, we consulted a structural engineer and collaborated with a contractor who has built hundreds of wood framed houses. Together, we developed the details and proper wood sizing to ensure strength and durability for withstanding NYC’s harsh winter and able to survive in the outdoor elements for at least 1 year.

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