The Diner Wins Milan Design Award 2018 for Best Engagement

Surface presents The Diner by David Rockwell, and the LAB at Rockwell Group, in collaboration with 2x4. Image by Michele de Candia.

Surface presents The Diner by David Rockwell, and the LAB at Rockwell Group, in collaboration with 2x4. Image by Michele de Candia.

April 2018: The Diner, a collaboration between American magazine Surface, architect David Rockwell with the LAB at Rockwell Group and creative studio 2x4 received the Milan Design Award for Best Engagement.

The Diner which was part of the Ventura Centrale design event, was chosen from more than 1,500 of Fuorisalone’s design exhibitions that were open to the public during Milan Design Week. The fully operational pop-up restaurant immersed visitors in Rockwell Group’s vision of 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— celebrated American design now. The visual identity, created by 2x4, juxtaposed contemporary design with iconic U.S. cultural references of the diner.

Jacob Peres of strategic agency Jacob Peres Office and Eli Peer of NYC based, Allenby Concept House originally brought The Diner concept to Surface Magazine for their 25th anniversary. Together with Surface, Rockwell, 2x4 and other talents they developed, executed and communicated this award-winning project.

“It takes a village.” says Marc Lotenberg, Surface CEO. “Experiential events are radically changing, the guests aren’t the guests anymore, they are the participants, they engage with the concept and have the potential to instantaneously create massive waves of awareness through their own content feeds. As a media group today our role is to create new platforms for people to experience and engage; The Diner was booked solid for lunch and dinner and made for spectacular social content, our web traffic was up double digit growth, our social channels and email signups each gained five digits in new supporters”.

The Diner held daily programming including private events, designer karaoke, and late-night entertainment throughout the week. The restaurant featured a contemporary menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, executed by renowned New York –based specialty food purveyor Murray’s Cheese.

Some of the world’s most celebrated design brands contributed to the project. Spanish surfaces company Cosentino Group provided its products to construct the 14-meter-long central bar and banquet tables. Modern furniture company Design Within Reach, through its DWR Contract division, supported the project with its furniture. Other brands included Shaw Contract Carpet Tile, Maharam, Kohler, Chemetal, Pure + FreeForm, Nasser Nishaburi, Bisazza, Tina Frey Designs, L’Objet, Wallpaper Projects, and Electrolux.


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’s 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