Back in November I came across a series of photos of a new interior and exterior design concept for the McDonald's quick-service restaurant chain in France by French designer Patrick Norguet. Believe it or not, I'm not always in favor of "modern" design simply for the sake of being modern. To me modren design is the physical embodiment of functional design interplayed with elements of beauty and whimsy in a package stripped of extraneous features. The concept put forward by Norguet is stunning in the totality of the concept. While the many patterns and shapes create a visual complexity, there is a simplicity to the approach. Norguet truly thought of everything, including ways to improve the experience of ordering inside of the restaurant (note the kiosk in the last image).
From PatrickNorguet.com: "McDonald’s has put Patrick Norguet in charge of designing the new architectural identity for its restaurants in France. A project which is exciting in terms of its scope as well as in its technical and sociological constraints since it concerned McDonald’s returning to its founding myth: familial fast food. If the brand was originally founded on the family, its image has little by little slid towards a more urban and adolescent tone. A return therefore to McDo’s DNA with this new interior design that Patrick Norguet, literally and figuratively, matches with getting back to roots."
Culturally, we as a country do not fully understand the importance of design in a variety of areas. We love our Apple i-devices, but we don't require that everything we encounter in the world to be well-designed or well thought-out. Maybe we just have too many idiots in too many positions of power. But that's a topic for another day. So, until we require that our McDonald's look like they will in France, please delight in the images below.