#eye #eye

Project Overview

2020 Spring

Design Research

In our current K-12 education system, the school lunch period is an important part of the daily schedule, as a break providing a healthy meal, time for play, and social interaction.

The tightly-funded nature of many large public schools makes it so that welcoming and engaging physical dining spaces are not a priority. When we think of public school cafeterias, we generally see the long rows of tables and benches which do not naturally afford welcoming or free-flowing conversations. These styles of space organization promote closed-off social circles, while children would benefit from more open-minded, kinder, and stress-free social dynamics.

The Vision

We proposed a speculative system for lunch tables, where students are able to roll them around and create new and different arrangments every day or even throughout the lunch period. These shapes and forms offer new and creative affordances for socializing through eating.

The Story

Imagine in middle school you moved to an unfamiliar neighborhood, and it is your first day of school. The people in this class are your new classmates. Lunch being an unescapable ritual in our daily lives, you have to face your fears and figure out your seating situation. What shaped table would you choose, and how would you piece it with others? Would you invite someone to your table to complete the system?

The Meanings 

  • Ritual and conversation
  • Social, personal, relationships in academic/learning/professional spaces
  • Welcomeness and belonging in/when first trying to get to know people again
  • The fluid nature of these smaller tables gives students more control
  • Shape language influences people’s decisions.