The Diner by David Rockwell + Surface with 2x4 brings together acclaimed designers and brands to reimagine the iconic American dining experience for Salone del Mobile 2018

Surface presents The Diner by David Rockwell in collaboration with 2x4. Image by Michele de Candia.

Surface presents The Diner by David Rockwell in collaboration with 2x4. Image by Michele de Candia.

April 2018 – To celebrate its 25th anniversary, leading American design magazine Surface will collaborate with architect David Rockwell and design studio 2x4 to create The Diner, an installation to be revealed at Ventura Centrale during the 2018 Milan Design Week. The fully operational pop-up restaurant immerses visitors in a coast-to-coast journey through the United States, where four distinct environments—the Roadside Diner, East Coast Luncheonette, Midwest Diner, and West Coast Diner—will celebrate American design now.

Surface presents The Diner by David Rockwell in collaboration with 2x4. Image by Michele de Candia.

Surface presents The Diner by David Rockwell in collaboration with 2x4. Image by Michele de Candia.

“Diners have always been a home away from home for me and a place to observe people coming together. They are inherently optimistic mix of consistency, familiarity, and pioneering design. It has been a thrill to collaborate with Surface and 2x4 on our own version of The Diner. Along with the LAB at Rockwell Group, we handpicked some of our favorite brands to collaborate with us in order to create a unique visual language that expands and extrapolates on the DNA of this American cultural icon,” says David Rockwell, founder and President of Rockwell Group.

“This has been amazing team work”, says Marc Lotenberg, CEO of Surface Media. “Jacob Peres and Eli Peer initially pitched The Diner concept to us as a way to mark our silver milestone. David Rockwell’s design concept and vision and 2x4’s vibrant graphic identity made the concept come to life. Together, the team secured brands and collaborators to enhance the experience and build this ambitious project.”

Open throughout Milan Design Week, the Diner features daily programming, including private events, designer karaoke, and late-night entertainment throughout the week. The restaurant features a contemporary menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as late-night cocktails. The dining experience is executed by renowned New York –based specialty food purveyor Murray’s Cheese. Melding tradition with a contemporary twist, Murray’s pays tribute to diners of the past while serving guests a taste of the future.

“Food and design have always gone hand in hand. Cheese is the thing that Murray’s knows best, and we are thrilled to reinterpret our classic dishes through a collaborative vision with design leaders Surface and Rockwell Group. By reinterpreting American classics–grilled cheese, mac and cheese–and sharing them in this context, Murray’s links the history of our American roots with the scope of an increasingly interconnected world,” says Elizabeth Chubbuck, SVP of Marketing and Sales for Murray’s Cheese.

The Diner kicked off on Monday, April 16 with a VIP opening and party with music and sounds by Music for Architecture with Peter Adjaye. Acclaimed DJ and producer Zen Freeman will create the music direction on April 17th-18th.

Some of the world’s most celebrated design brands have contributed to the project. Spanish surfaces company Cosentino utilized its signature Silestone® quartz surface to create a 14-meter-long central bar, designed by Rockwell Group and the LAB at Rockwell Group. The Roadside Diner features a coffee bar made of Dekton® ultra-compact surface finished in Orix, a texture inspired by eroded cement, while the East Coast Luncheonette, Midwest Diner, and West Coast Diner features Dekton® booth tables in an Opera finish.

“We are honored and privileged to be part of David Rockwell’s immersive eatery project celebrating American design. Silestone® and Dekton® surfaces bring beauty and performance to the bar and table-tops of this amazing restaurant project,” says Santiago Alfonso, VP Marketing and Communication for Cosentino Group.

To round out the concept, The Diner also showcases emerging and established U.S.-based design firms, including modern American furniture company Design Within Reach. Furniture from DWR Contract, a division of the company dedicated to servicing the contract and hospitality industry, will be featured in the installation, including the new Lina Swivel lounge chair by Hlynur Atlason, and the Fire Bench and Go Porch Swing by Loll Designs, a company known for its use of recycled plastic. More than three dozen other pieces from DWR Contract will feature throughout the space.

"This collaboration–a triumvirate of concept, editorial, and execution–allows us to showcase our capabilities through an engaging branded experience at the epicenter of the design world," says David Kennedy, VP Contract at Design Within Reach.

Other partners featured in the experience include Shaw Contract Carpet Tile, which supplied The Diner’s flooring, and Kohler, which provided sinks and faucets for the kitchen. Lighting design is provided by Focus Lighting with fixtures by Philips Lighting and Design Within Reach, while Maharam contributed a range of textiles. The Diner also features Nasser Nishaburi ’s distinctive, traditional hand-woven rugs made in collaboration with Spanish designer Luis Eslava. Aluminum wall-mounted laminates from metal studio Pure + Freeform, including a collection designed by Marcel Wanders and custom-made laminates by Chemetal, are featured throughout the space. Bisazza provided cement ceramic tiles, which are part of a collection David Rockwell designed for the mosaic tile brand. Other partners include Wallpaper Projects, Tina Frey Designs , L’Objet , and Electrolux .

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For press information, visit or contact Jacob Peres Office: David Hoffman,

Notes to Editor:

About Surface Magazine
Surface is the definitive voice of global design. For 25 years, the publication has produced authoritative and thought-provoking stories on architecture, art, design, fashion, and culture. Surface offers a clean aesthetic and incisive writing with an emphasis on process and craftsmanship. Surface is a compass for today’s creative leaders and a barometer for what’s new and what’s next.

About Rockwell Group
Based in downtown New York with a satellite office in Madrid, Rockwell Group specializes in a wide array of work from luxury hospitality, cultural, and healthcare projects, to educational, product, and set design. Founded in 1984 by David Rockwell, Rockwell Group takes a cross-disciplinary approach to its inventive array of immersive
projects. A strong commitment to explore and experiment resulted in the formation of the LAB at Rockwell Group, a design innovation studio that blends interactive technology, architecture, strategy, and storytelling. Crafting a unique and individual narrative concept for each project is fundamental to Rockwell Group's successful design approach. From the big picture to the last detail, the story informs and drives the design.

About 2x4
Founded in 1994 by Michael Rock, Susan Sellers and Georgianna Stout, 2x4 is a global design consultancy headquartered in New York City with satellite studios in Beijing and Madrid. The focus of the studio’s work is brand strategy for cultural and commercial clients who value the power of design. 2x4 identifies and clarifies core institutional values and creates innovative, experiential, participatory and visually-dynamic ways to engage key audiences worldwide. 2x4’s intellectual and creative conviction is that thoughtful design can make an essential contribution to every level of cultural discourse.

About Jacob Peres
Jacob Peres, founder of Jacob Peres Office, is based between Tel Aviv and London working as a design and communications consultant with an international client base. Jacob’s background in product design and journalism informs his unique strategic process, which focuses on creative collaborations in the design world.

About Eli Peer
Eli Peer is the founder of Allenby Concept House, NYC, a one stop shop that delivers services and solutions, starting with building the concept and ending with its production and implementation. Eli works internationally, making ambitious projects come to life with the world most celebrated creatives.

About Ventura Projects
Ventura Projects are curated exhibition areas that present the latest developments at the forefront of contemporary design. Each Ventura Project involves carefully selected exhibitions that also feature temporary initiatives, special projects and/or creative
hospitality concepts. Whether as a design district or integrated exhibition, Ventura Projects stands out with its focus on content, creativity and experimentation. Its dynamic curated format balances renowned designers with emerging talents, independent studios with established brands, design academies, galleries and institutions. Conceptual experiments are juxtaposed with professional presentations. In this way, visitors are challenged to view design from different perspectives, and participants are connected with others working beyond their own domain. In line with the widening scope of design, the event's open approach gives participants flexibility to present their work in a way that best suits their practice.

About Design Within Reach
Design Within Reach is a modern furniture company, known for introducing great design to the public. It has built a reputation on educating the consumer about design classics and 20th century greats. In the 20 years since its founding has become a destination for new designs and designers that carry on the spirit and ideals of the icons of modern design. Counting both residential and commercial. The company’s retail presence includes 35 Studios in North America, a call center in Connecticut and online at Its commercial division DWRC provides contract and hospitality clients with a single comprehensive project source for everything from furniture to lighting to accessories and can be found online at

About the Cosentino Group
The Cosentino Group is a global, family-owned company that produces and distributes high value innovative surfaces for architecture and design. As a leading company, Cosentino imagines and anticipates together with its customers and partners design solutions that offer value and inspiration to people’ lives. This goal is made possible by pioneering brands that are leaders in their respective segments such as Silestone®, Dekton® and Sensa by Cosentino®. Technologically advanced surfaces, which allow the creation of unique designs for the home and public spaces.
The group bases its development on international expansion, an innovative research and development program, respect for the environment and sustainability, and its ongoing corporate commitment to society and the local communities where it operates, education, equality and health & safety.
The Cosentino Group currently distributes its products and brands in more than 80 countries, from its headquarters in Almeria (Spain). Currently Cosentino is present in 32
countries, with its own assets in 29 of them. The group has seven factories (six in Almería (Spain and one in Brazil), one intelligent logistic platform in Spain, and more than 120 commercial and business units throughout the world. More than 90% of Cosentino Group’s financial turnover comes from international markets.

About Murray’s Cheese
Established in 1940, Murray's Cheese is a beloved fixture of New York's Greenwich Village. Along with neighboring food destinations like Faicco's, Ottomanelli's and Rocco's, Murray's is part of the rich food history of this formerly Italian enclave. In its 75+ year history, Murray’s has evolved into a world-renowned specialty food destination that offers the finest selection of cheese, meat and grocery items. Murray’s opened a second retail location in Grand Central Terminal in 2002. Murray’s businesses also include a wholesale team that sells to 600+ restaurants and hotels, an E-commerce business, year-round educational programs, a full-service restaurant, Murray’s Cheese Bar, private events, catering and state-of-the-art cheese aging caves in Long Island City, New York.

About Shaw Contract Carpet Tile
To us at Shaw Contract, it’s the ground beneath your feet that has a positive impact on how you live, learn, work, heal and play. We strive for design excellence in everything we do – from conception to production to installation, it’s what sets us apart. Our flooring delivers a purposeful blend of design elements, materiality, sustainability and performance. Every day we take on creative challenges to research, design and inventive flooring solutions that transform spaces across the globe. For more information visit

About Pure + FreeForm
Pure + FreeForm’s contextual metal cladding products, suitable for both interior and exterior applications, are featured throughout the entry vestibule of The Diner. Each finish is part of a unique collection, and versatile in use from exterior cladding to interior ceilings, doors or millwork. Pure + FreeForm’s metal cladding products offer abroad appeal and visual excitement without requiring extensive processing. The material is single skin, non-combustible, without a reportable VOC content, 100% recyclable and contains post-consumer recycled content. The products are ready to use with a 60-year lifecycle for exterior applications.

Jacob Peres Office