Dana Cupkova’s Senyai Project Wins 2017 LIT Design Awards


The School of Architecture is pleased to announce that the Senyai Thai Restaurant ceiling design by Dana Cupkova and her team at EPIPHYTE Lab won the 2017 LIT Design Awards in the Hotel and Restaurant Design category.

The LIT Design Awards were created to recognize the efforts of talented international lighting product designers and lighting implementers, with the belief that lighting is an art and a science, and it is one of the most important elements of design. LIT was envisioned to celebrate the creativity and innovation in the fields of lighting products and application.

About the Project
Senyai Thai Restaurant is a small 340sq space striving to create unique atmosphere in the developing urban district of Pittsburgh. The ceiling, inspired by the vaulted geometry of ancient Thai architecture, incorporates acoustic and lighting performance into a contemporary spatial experience with soft ambient effects. Visual layering of ceilings fins is suggestive of movement while reducing the reverberation of sound in individual vaulted zones, thus creating localized acoustic privacy and overall dynamic character supported by lighting. The global texture of the surface and color plays with light to create a sense spatial weightlessness and visual expansion, as the eye travels beyond the each articulated edge. At the same time the slats appear as a continuous surface, mimicking an active body of water, or, in homage to the restaurant’s name (sen yai translates to “big noodles” in Thai), a bowl of hot noodles in broth.