「いただきます!」 Noodle Shop Podcast
Earlier this year, we were brought on to design the set for OTK Network's new anime discussion podcast called Noodle Shop. Since your resident blog writer officially joined C. Scenic for their weeb knowledge, this project was right up their alley, so under the advisory and supervision of the one and only Grand Poobah, Paul Warmus, Morgan- or I?- took on the design of a three-wall set from the perspective of a ramen bar kitchen.
Prior to the entire process, Paul provided a quick sketch of OTK's ideas for their set. It was a straightforward concept - a ramen shop with the hosts sitting at the bar counter. The spin would be that the cameras (and subsequently, the audience) would be placed in the "kitchen" area, looking out into the restaurant. So the next part of the design process was...
I spent about five years living in Austin and several college breaks visiting the city beforehand. Deep down, Austin is my first home, and one of my absolute favorite places to be were the variety of ramen shops throughout the city. From the iconic first location for Ramen Tatsu-ya to my personal favorite, Kanji Ramen. I wanted to incorporate elements from these locations to honor where OTK resides and the city I loved.
One of the key notes that OTK passed on to us was that this set needed to be relatively bright. Most ramen shops are filled with mood lighting and dim ambience, so finding bars that were well-lit and a bit lively was a small challenge. Thankfully, Ramen Tatsu-ya was a great point of reference and inspiration!
First Design Pass
With lots of research compiled, the next step was to take Paul's concept rendering and bring it into a 3D space while incorporating design elements from the inspiration references. Pulling from the brighter noodle restaurants, I decided to make the primary wall color white, and paired with that, I knew red would have to be the primary accent color based on the logo we'd been shown and so, sought to incorporate it low onto the walls the way booth seating would be arranged in an actual noodle shop with deep crimson upholstered fabric.
To provide choices for our client, I mocked up two variations to the design. The first was a lot closer to Paul's first drawing, with three back walls segmented by two columns and angled at about 35 degrees off the side walls.