Instructables.com is an “open source” website that allows people to post and view instructional videos on just about any topic you can think of. The website is completely free and part of a larger phenomenon on the internet based around Creative Commons licensing – the liberalization of copyrights in order to enable the free flow of information on the web.
Now an enterprising restaurateur in Amsterdam, Holland, has taken the spirit of Instructables.com and embodied it in a restaurant. Everything in the place is built from instructional videos on the site, from the chairs to the decorations and tables.
Most interestingly, all of the recipes served in the Instructables Restaurant are also available on Instructables.com, meaning you can get the recipe for your favorite dish right in the restaurant or download it later at home. And now there is a set of instructions on Instructables.com for building your own Instructables restaurant – completing the circle of truly free flowing information.
Not only can you leave the Instructables restaurant armed with recipes for every dish served and instructions for building every piece of furniture, you can also post your own recipes and instructions to the website and then see your instructions in action at the restaurant.
The restaurant claims to allow patrons to “digest the web,” and as a celebration of free internet culture, it is definitely a pioneer. What remains to be seen is how effective this experiment will be when it comes to being profitable.
Profits may not be the point, however. The most interesting thing about this project is how the internet has changed the way knowledge is disseminated throughout the world. The Instructables Restaurant is a reflection of that cultural shift, and a rare time when the abstract nature of the internet is recreated in a physical location.