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Table Talks brings together food-themed design projects

Students utilised their knowledge of food cultures and trends in the design process.
Table Talks Aalto, all projects, photographer Chikako Harada

The outcome of the Finnish-German Table Talks exhibition is a festive table setting on two long tables that utilises unique dishes, utensils and table-setting styles. The prototypes displayed in the Gallery at Design Museum Arabia are mostly made of ceramics and glass, which continue to be the materials most commonly used for dishes today. The set table signifies spending time together and sharing thoughts while eating.

 'A designer's work begins with an understanding of culture and the environment. For example, when designing an everyday item such as a coffee cup it's important to consider, along with the aesthetic properties of the object, the material, functionality, shape and structure as well as raw material sources, production technology, marketing and cultural context,' says Lecturer Nathalie Lahdenmäki from Aalto University.

Many design projects completed at Aalto University have been related to food and drink. Interesting ideas arise when students from different cultural and study backgrounds work together. A shape or taste that is familiar to one may be completely new to another, and differences in habits can be found near and far.

CONSISTENCIES – Berliini, Weissensee School of Art

A group of product, textile and surface design students from Berlin worked on the theme of consistencies. In cooperation with the Zagreus Food Project Berlin gallery, they developed a transformer menu in which the entire table setting changed from one course to the next. The aim when designing the cutlery, dishes, table and space was an experience that stimulates all of the senses.

 FOOD AND PLACE - Helsinki, School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Master's students in the Product and Spatial Design degree programme worked on the topic of food and place. Their assignment was to find an interesting place in the Helsinki metropolitan region and use it as the starting point to produce a set of dishes. They looked for inspiration in, for example, the atmosphere of a certain place or places that are important to them. The people in a place and the activities going on there also provided inspiration.

The following students participated in the exhibition:

Mervi Antila, Elisa-Josephine Ammarell, Ayumi Ayabe, Maria Braun, Julia Dreier, Katsiaryna Filist, Caroline Frett, Lukas Gruber, Shin Goeun, Laura Görs, Eren Hulya, Annaleena Hämäläinen, Maho Horiuchi, Henri Judin, Anna Kantanen, Vesa Kattelus, Lisa Keller, Ida Korsström, Dorothée Krings, Tero Kuitunen, Anne Lange, Yolanda Leask, Anna van der Lei, Tiina Leinonen, Salla Luhtasela, Philippa Maaswinkel, Laura Maldonado, Katti Mauksch, Friederike Meinecke, Roosa Melentjeff, Nathalia Mussi, Julia Nissen, Ai Ono, Liisa Poskiparta, Idalene Rapp, Rena Sato, Rebecca Schrankl, Eri Shimatsuka, Johanna Taubenreuther, Laura Timosaari, Mari Tolvanen, Katharina Stärck, Erin Turkoglu, Natascha Unger, Maiju Uski, Noora Valtonen, Collin Velkoff, Wesley Walters, Minja Wang and Man Yau.

Teachers: Nathalie Lahdenmäki, Christiane Sauer, Barbara Schmidt, Kirsti Taiviola, Ursula Wagner

Exhibition in the Design Museum Arabia Gallery 9 September – 25 October 2015
Entry to the gallery is free of charge.

Design Museum Arabia Gallery Arabia
Hämeentie 135, 00560 HELSINKI
Wed.–Fri. 12–18, Sat.–Sun. 10–16, Mon.–Tue. closed
Tel. +358 20 439 5357

Further information: Nathalie Lahdenmäki, nathalie.lahdenmaki(at)aalto.fi +358 50 384 4695

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