Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes) in Interior Studies / Adaptive Reuse


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Eduardo Benamor Duarte

Second Advisor

Nick Haus Heywood

Third Advisor

Jeff Huang


Traditional mall-based restaurants, such as P.F. Chang’s in the Providence Place Mall, have primarily focused on site-based dining and bar services. However, the food provided by this chain restaurant often lacks depth, and customers seldom learn the story behind the dishes. This thesis explores the integration of mixed reality technology within the physical environment of P.F. Chang’s, an American Chinese restaurant chain with over 300 locations, aiming to transform it into an authentic Shanghai food culture experience. This experience combines virtual and physical stimuli to evoke various periods of Chinese history, providing a unique encounter for customers.

The proposed transformation for P.F. Chang’s includes several steps. Firstly, the entry area will be enhanced to express dining visions, incorporating video footage of people enjoying the food and the cooking process. Secondly, a blend of physical dining and virtual digital interaction, including screen tables and digital menus, offers an immersive environment. Visitors can observe their surroundings transform to evoke the atmosphere and aesthetics of Shanghai. The screen table and digital elements change color to stimulate diners’ appetites with visual cues, and the surrounding lighting is adapted using a REST API embedded into the online menu as food is served. Furthermore, customers can interact with the table to learn about the ingredients of the food served, promoting food knowledge.

Leveraging Firebase, a back-end database technology offered by Google, this thesis examines user involvement within the metaverse and potential implications for the future of physical commerce at P.F. Chang’s in Providence Place Mall. The findings contribute to a deeper understanding of how virtual business interventions can reshape the commercial landscape. The results suggest that integrating mixed reality technologies can create more engaging and personalized cultural immersions for consumers, thus transforming the traditional restaurant into an immersive Shanghai cultural engagement.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.