Cool Spaces: INK Café in Doha

WORDS Steve Smith PHOTOS Caters News Agency/

Seemingly inspired by the black-and-white world of Norwegian band A-HA’s iconic ’80s music video, the INK CAFÉ in Doha has come up with a very Instagrammable (and clearly very cost-effective) decor concept.

While lead singer Morten Harket had to bang his head repeatedly against the panels of his comic-strip confinement and basically rip apart the fabric of time and space to exit the monochrome world, all you have to do to enter this one is open the front door.

Located in Doha’s Lusail Marina Food Arena, the Ink Café’s black-and-white decor is all about optical illusion as 2D- inspired pen-drawn cartoons mess with your 3D world. The white interior is a canvas for trompe l’oeil trickery disguised among actual tables, chairs and mugs that will have you reaching for something only Morten could grab.

INK Café in Doha

That famous music video, by the way, was created using a technique called rotoscoping, which is basically tracing animation over live-action footage. Animators Michael Patterson and Candace Reckinger spent four months drawing around 2 000 sketches that would allow Morten to pursue his love interest and sing his falsetto’d Take On Me plea.

(Please) take my order would be your version of the lyric should you be at Lusail Marina Food Arena – and, among a host of pastries and coffee on the menu, you could go full Morten and order the black-foamed “Black” latte or the “Iced Black” version. Described as unique and healthy coffee alternatives, they don’t only look hand-drawn, but are made from activated charcoal that is “perfect for those looking for an energising pick-me-up that also detoxes the body”. Also perfect when you’re … talking away… and you don’t know what to say … but you say it anyway.

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