Brain Food

Spring 2018

Merge 2019 

Student Design Award


2-3 Months

Project Type:


Size: ~3,000 SF

Softwares Used:

Revit, Enscape,

Sketchup, Photoshop

Brain Food is a bookstore with a complementing book-inspired bakery. It is located in a historical building in downtown San José, California. The design challenge of this project is to encourage people from all generations to pick up a physical book and interact with nature instead of staying at home with an eBook. To encourage people to pick up a physical book, there are three checkpoints in this bookstore: the bakery, retail store, and lounge area.


The design derived from looking at what books are made of–paper fibers that are a result from processing trees. In a microscopic image of paper, the fibers create each page through a strong bond of connection. Each fiber connected and intertwined to each other inspired Brain Food to connect people to books.


The casework, lighting, and ceiling work in unison to create a three-dimensional immersive space as if people are inside a book that’s microscopically made up from small fibers. On the ceiling, an abstracted tree spreads from the center of the store. The branches spread out of the trunk into the bookstore as if the tree grew into the bookstore and sprouted books. Connecting the origins of how books are made is a story within the bookstore itself.


Brain Food hopes to revive reading physical books by providing an exciting experience and combining an existing socialization culture to encourage people to pick up a physical book.

brainfood_floor and rcp.jpg