After a long break from blogging…

…I’m back for the second half of thesis and am waiting to post updates on what I’ve been doing over this long, much needed, winter break!




Now I am in the process of making a prototype for my  “mobile dinner table” thesis idea. The mobility comes from myself being mobile, and moving these past few years, but also that this is something I can take anywhere. It is something that can be set up for other, as well as myself to enjoy.

I started playing around with some paper last night and cam up with two possible designs for this (so far). It’s a lot harder than you think!  Making everything compact in a small space, and being able to “roll-out” into something much larger is definitely a challenge.

Survey says?

In my exploration of where my thesis is going and how my ideas may be related to other people, I wanted to do a short survey with some people on their thoughts on family dinner. I gave these out to a random bunch and got some nice answers. Working on compiling them to see what the take-away will be.

Prototype #2: Deciphering Dinner

I was sick last week and didn’t get to update as often as I wanted to! I realized that I have been missing posting daily, but I have been updating my bibliography.

For this prototype I created a book to tell the story of my family experiences around the dinner table. The things I remember and meaningful conversations are depicted in the narrative of this story.

I have been in a little of a rut recently, trying to figure out where my thesis is going. While some people are on a clear defined bath, I think I have some defined areas of interest and I am not sure how al these pieces are going to come together. It troubles me to think that this far into thesis, I am unsure of what exactly my thesis will be.

I am also struggling because of my personal connection to my work so far. I wanted to be able to expand my ideas through my thesis to other people, other cultures, other groups, but I haven’t been able to clearly define how I will be able to bridge that gap. Today, in our critique Katherine made a good point and said if what I really want to do is about myself, I need to stop fighting it and either accept it, or move on because if I don’t decide soon, I will end up running myself in circles. This is exactly how I feel. I think it is the balance of staying true to what I am passionate about but also being able to challenge myself along the way. I have to think a little more about this though and what exactly I am after.  Part of me feels like I am trying to come up with an understanding of why I am the person I am today.

In doing this prototype I was able to make something that I see as a description to my past. A description to why I have these values that a lot of other people don’t necessarily tie themselves to. To see the whole story, click here.

My presentation from class today can also be viewed at this link and here is a link to my brief for my second prototype.


Prototype 1: A “new” dinner?

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?

Attached is my presentation and here is a link to my prototype brief.