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Offbeat Visits ‘Into The Night’ at The Barbican
Team Offbeat | 08 Nov

Jumping at the opportunity to check out the latest art and design events in London, Offbeat took a day out this week to visit The Barbican’s latest exhibition ‘Into The Night’.

Exploring the history of cafés, clubs and cabarets, ‘Into The Night’ looks at the evolution of social spaces. From Mexico City to London, the exhibition recognises how these avant-garde spaces offered platforms for artistic experimentation and led the way for innovative creativity. From architectural and interior design to live performance and sensory experience, the show charts the history of artistic expression from the 1880’s through to the 1960’s.

When designing coffee shops, restaurants and bars, inspiration is drawn from a variety of stimuli. As designers, researching and celebrating iconic social spaces is a great way to expand our creativity and design processes. Here are our highlights of the show:

Chat Noir – Paris

Founded in 1881, The Chat Noir is one of the most iconic cabarets that emerged in the late nineteenth century. Entertainment included spontaneous poetry performances, satirical songs, improvised monologues and immersive shadow plays. The eclectic interior design combined faux-Gothic, Neoclassical and Japanese influence for an ornate and whimsical experience.

L’Aubette – Strasbourg

Founded in 1928, L’Aubette was created as an avant-garde leisure complex. Incorporating a cinema, dance hall and café/bar, the club’s design was based on the geometric De Stijl movement. Dynamic geometric abstractions covered the walls and ceiling of the hall. The minimalist, geometric aesthetic was designed with the intension to translate the concepts of time and movement, channelling the energy of dance into the space.

Cabaret Fledermaus – Vienna

A venue for expressionist dance, architecture, art, design, music and poetry, Cabaret Fledermaus was conceived to replace the boredom of contemporary life with ease, art and culture. Stimulating the senses, the bar was lined with over seven thousand multi-coloured tiles depicting fantastical motifs and meticulous attention was paid to every detail, from ashtrays and cutlery to stationery and staff pins.

On display until 19th January 2019, don’t miss this eye-opening journey into the world’s most iconic cafés and clubs.

By Charlotte Anderson

Opening a coffee shop or restaurant and need advice on brand or interior design? Let’s discuss your concept at or call 020 7060 3121