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Table Talk
Photo: Nate Watters

Table Talk at [storefront] Olson Kundig

Seattle, Washington

Table Talk at [storefront] Olson Kundig

Seattle, Washington

  • Director

    Kirsten R. Murray

Inspired by the evolution of digital technology, Table Talk posed the question: is it possible to engage a worldwide audience in dinner table conversation? Co-created with the Master of Communication in Digital Media program (MCDM) at the University of Washington and Design Commission, Table Talk was a means of global conversations about life, death and everything in between led by MCDM inaugural Teaching Fellow, Michael Hebb.

Using interactive tables, Table Talk explored how dining rituals could evolve in an increasingly digital age. Designed and fabricated by Olson Kundig and Schuchart/Dow, two tables—“The Table of Truth” and “A Balanced Conversation”—were platforms for exploring these dynamics. “The Table of Truth,” a sixteen-foot-by-four-foot table suspended in space, digitally recorded and transmitted conversations via a centerpiece outfitted with eight video cameras, while “A Balanced Conversation” was equipped with voice-activated microphones connected to rotors and gears that physically tipped the table toward the person speaking. Live recordings made during dinners were archived and made available for viewing in the [storefront] during visiting hours.

Team