Family dinner becomes identified by certain criteria that becomes universal across families around the world. Dinner usually happens around a table, with other members with place settings and a good meal. A place setting is a universal symbol for eating, and a formal recollection to the dinner table.
This prototype offers a question to what becomes acceptable at the dinner table. We grew up learning that it was rude to talk on the phone, but now with smart phones embedded into our daily activities and lives, how does that change our behavior? Is a cellphone at the table more acceptable now than before, or does it raise the question “is this wrong?’
Creating this place mat and presenting it to a few viewers I was able to get feedback on their personal reactions and feelings of seeing the mobile phone as a part of the dinner table. No longer is it just about the plate, knife, fork, and spoon, but also the additional digital element.
Interestingly, reactions ranged from “this is okay” to “this is seems so wrong” illustrating the changing acceptance by our generation. I gathered some feedback through sending photos via e-mail or placing this in front of people. It is interesting to see how the formal place mat has been “updated” to blend with society today. What is funny is that a major comment was “this would never happen with my parents” but it would be okay with friends. Although, just because your friends are young, it doesn’t mean this is any better, does it? Are we turning into a society that doesn’t mind disruption by cellphones? What would our ancestors think about that? How is this a commentary of how technology and digital devices affect our physical space?