Photograph of Butcher’s Bar, London EC1

Eugene Menard, 2001, photographic print, 31 x 20.8 cm

Dear Eugene: You created the atmosphere of the Butcher’s Bar café using the “least design”— the existing butcher’s shop as a backdrop for the interior of the café. How did you come to this decision? What were your motivations? Did you sense that you were taking a risk?

Dear Kim: The ultimate challenge for me is to reinvent the familiar space — so people pay attention to something that would have previously been ignored. I believe in the richness of the world, not designers’ portfolios. Designers impose standards and uniform solutions on things that deserve to be unique, resulting in some kind of generic identity in different locations. New is not always better. And we are not any smarter than the previous generation. Uniqueness has been replaced by uniformity.

– “Doing Nothing,” Kim Levine, Dot Dot Dot #2, 2001